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

By Michael Donaldson

Dear IDA Members:

IDA 2001 is up and running. In January and February we held our annual seminar series, Documentaries from A to Z: Putting It All Together, at Eastman Kodak in Hollywood. Many thanks to our good friends at Kodak, and particularly Board member Lawrence Cate, for hosting this invaluable program. And thanks also to Board members Barbara Leigh Gregson, Carol Munday Lawrence, Dianne Estelle Vicari, as well as former Board member Steve Roche and Lance Webster and IDA’s Programs & Festivals Administrator Melissa Simon Disharoon for putting it all together. They all performed a yeoman’s task of creating a five-week series devoted to budgeting, directing, music, promotion and publicity and legal issues and assembling experts from all those fields to provide attending members with essential information.

And IDA was well represented at the Sundance Film Festival this year: I represented the Board, along with First Vice President Mary Schaffer and new member Nancy Willen, who leant her expertise in publicity to a panel devoted to media relations; Director Emeritus Betsy McLane moderated a panel on finance. Both panels were part of the hugely successful House of Docs, launched last year at Sundance to great acclaim and expanded this year to accommodate those attending the second half of the festival. Former Board President Lisa Leeman also attended Sundance, and our Editor, Thomas White, was on hand to cover the event for next month’s issue.

Elsewhere in January, IDA set up its booth at the Documentary Pavilion at NATPE in Las Vegas. Many thanks to Board Treasurer Richard Propper and former President David Haugland for coordinating from LA. IDA member Ward Bouwman manned the booth in Vegas, along with Christine Casey and Amie Williams.

This month is awards month, of course—from the Guilds to Independent Spirit Awards to the crème de la crème, the Academy Awards®. IDA, of course, is celebrating as it always has, with the Documentary at the Oscars® party on March 22 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills, and DocuDay, the daylong screening festival of the Academy Award® nominees for Best Achievement in Documentary, on March 24 at Paramount Studios. You won’t want to miss these stellar tributes to documentary’s highest honor!



Michael C. Donaldson
IDA President