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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, April 2001

By Michael Donaldson

It’s Oscar time, and the International Documentary Association is proud to be able to say that at least one of the producers on every single nominated documentary – long and short – is a member of IDA. Here are the films with their producers. Bold indicates the IDA members, as always.

Best Documentary Feature

Into the Arms of Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
Deborah Oppenheimer, producer; Mark Jonathan Harris, director/writer.

Tod Lending, producer/director/writer

Long Night’s Journey Into Day
Frances Reid, producer/director; Deborah Hoffman, director/editor

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
Daniel Anker, producer; Barak Goodman, producer/director

Sound and Fury
Roger Weisberg, producer; Josh Aronson, director


Best Documentary Short


Big Mama
Tracy Seretean, producer/director

Curtain Call
Chuck Braverman, producer/director; Steve Kalafer, producer

Greg MacGillivray, producer/director; Alec Lorimore, producer

The Man on Lincoln’s Nose
Daniel Raim, producer/director

On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom
Eric Simonson, producer/director; Leelai Demoz, producer


Two of the films were among the six films selected for IDA’s DOCtober, the week-long documentary festival held each October. Those films are:

Legacy by Tod Lending
On Tiptoe by Leelai Demoz and Eric Simonson

With special pride, IDA also points to the two nominees who were part of IDA’s

Fiscal Sponsorship Program. Documentarians sign up early in the fundraising process so they can accept grants from foundations and government agencies without the hassle, time and expense of forming a not-for-profit corporation themselves. It saves a lot of trouble and gives the filmmaker the imprimatur of the IDA. The nominees that were part of the Fiscal Sponsorship Program are:

Legacy by Tod Lending
The Man on Lincoln’s Nose by Daniel Raim

All the Oscar nominees will be celebrated in one of the best events of the Oscar Season. As we have for the past 19 years, IDA will be hosting a clip screening and reception for all the nominees at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles on the Thursday before the big event at 7:30 p.m. That’s March 22, 2001. Be there to help us celebrate. And we would like extend a big thank you to Ric Robertson and everyone at the Academy for hosting this event. Thanks also to HBO and FotoKem for their support. The films will be shown in their entirety at DocuDay on Saturday, March 24, 2001 at the Paramount Theater. Full details appear elsewhere in this magazine.

At the events, you will also be able to congratulate Melissa Simon-Disharoon, who was just promoted to Managing Director of IDA. IDA will also be announcing the leadership of our development efforts at the Thursday night event.



Michael C. Donaldson
IDA President