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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, March 2000

By David Haugland

IDA 2000 is off and running with smooth transitions, active programming and worldwide visibility!

As the annual election ballots rolled in from you and your colleagues in 50 countries, we say adieu to two dedicated volunteers. Lynne Littman and Joan Sekler have retired from the IDA board after years of active and enthusiastic service. Joan, as many of you know continues to work tirelessly promoting independent documentaries and working actively with new media coalitions.

Lynne, who has directed more clip shows for our annual Awards and Oscar receptions than we dare count, will continue her longstanding involvement with those events and her leadership of our annual awards jury. For your past and continuing contributions to IDA, documentaries and filmmakers, a hearty thank you from us all.

With the ballots in, we now welcome returning board members. Marina Goldovskya and Richard Propper to another three year term on the Board. Marina has served as board vice president for two years, produces her own films, and coordinates the IDA salons at UCLA. Richard serves as IDA Secretary and has led our new ventures at markets in the U.S. and internationally. Welcome back!

Joining us as new board members this year are Rick Trank and Michael Donaldson. We are especially pleased that these two very busy people have chosen IDA to benefit from their time and expertise over the next few years. Rick, a documentary filmmaker who is well known for his Oscar-winning documentary, The Long Way Home, is also director of the media program at the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles. Michael has a long history with the IDA, having served as our legal counsel since its funding. Over the years, Michael has volunteered countless hours to the IDA conducting sennas and workshops for rnen.rbers and will now actively bring those years of service and knowledge to the board table. Welcome!

In early January, "Documentaries from A to Z: Putting It All Together," our annual seminar series, was again hosted by Eastman Kodak in Hollywood. Board members Barbara Gregson and Carol Munday Lawrence with Steve Roche and Lance Webster created another teriflc series destined to be SRO. The five evenings included distinguished experts on pitching, production, editing, deals and finance. Thanks to you and all of this year's panelists for making this series another great success.

New this year at the Sundance Film Festival was the "House of Docs," a gathering place and honte base for non-fiction filmmakers. Our executive director Betsy Mclane and I were both there to experience the huge success of documentaries at the festival as well as the panels and informal conversations held at House of Docs. Betsy also rnoderated and participated in panels as did former IDA trustee Pat Mitchell.

Following her multiple panel appearances at Sundance, Betsy traveled to New Orleans for NATPE where she moderated the first-ever IDA panel at the annual mega-event for the television industry. This panel on the digital future included IDA trustee Bram Roos, Deborah Stewart of Discovery Digital Networks and Barry Schulman of A&E. It was met with resounding success, as was the IDA members' booth staffed by associate director Grace Ouchida, Chris Miller and IDA volunteers fiom the New Orleans area.

The century is off to a running start and I hope that all of you will take advantage of the great opportunities ahead for documentaries and documentary makers through the IDA.

David Haugland,
IDA President