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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, June 1998

By David Haugland

There are few things more gratifying for an IDA President than welcoming new members, friends and especially new trustees. In the first few months of 1998, three organizations have joined our dedicated board of trustees.

New IDA trustee Broadcast News Network, a New York-based production company, includes among its many credits the verite series I Witness for CBS Eye on People, the CNN Perspectives documentaries Teens and Dark Religion and Border Battles, and the A&E series Inside Stories. Representing CNN on our board of trustees will be BNN founder/president Steve Rosenbaum. Discovery Channel returns as an IDA trustee. With thousands of hours of original documentary programming and audiences around the world, Discovery is a recognized leader in the docu­mentary world. Senior Vice President and General Manager Michael Quattrone will represent Discovery at IDA trustee meetings.

PBS, home of P.O. V., American Masters, Frontline, American Experience and other documentary showcases, joins IDA as our most recent trustee. Tiling a chair at our table will be PBS Vice President of Program Management Donald Thoms, who includes among his responsibilities Liaison with independent producers.

A hearty welcome to BNN, Discovery, and PBS! By the time you read this, Steve and Mike and Donald will have attended their first trustees' meeting, adding their advice and counsel to the future of IDA. Extend your welcome and thanks to them whenever you have the opportunity. Another dedicated group of people has been meeting regularly for nearly a year. The "panels committee" has been hard at work, talking about the state of the documentary and brainstorming the best possible program for DocCon3.

Kudos to "ever ready" panels committee members: Michael Donaldson, Tracy Fowler, Michael Friend, David Jensen, Mikel Kaufman, Betsy McLane, Grace Ouchida, Mary Schaffer, Chris Sheridan, Andrew Thompson, Rick Trank, Leslie Unger, David Weisman and Rosalind Wolfe, for creating a Congress program that truly embodies the Congress theme: Documentary at the Millennium! Adopted by the Congress Steering Committee in late April, the Congress program will be announced early this month in a special mailing to IDA members and documentary enthusiasts around the world. The program has a distinctly international flair: documentary film festivals around the world and opportunities for international co-production will lead off the Congress agenda. And there will be featured programs about historical, biographical, reality and natural history documentaries.

Congress delegates will hear the latest on new technologies, image optimization, financing and other issues critical to documen­tarians on every continent. And speaking of continents, this year's "Focus on..." sessions will bring the world to the Congress via filmmakers and their work from Africa, the Pacific Rim, China, Latin/South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. If ever there were an opportunity to get the pulse of documentaries as we enter the next millennium, DocCon3 is the place.

Complementing the daytime schedule, two evening programs of interest to everyone will highlight the Congress. One evening is dedicated to music (the international language) documentaries and is guaranteed to entertainin an extraordinary way. A second evening will focus on the power of the documentary to change the world politically during the past century.

The Third International Documentary Congress is the place to be October 28-30. Mark your calendar, talk to your colleagues, make your travel plans and register early!


David Haugland,