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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, September 1997

By David Haugland

... and now for a brief look back at the IDA summer of '97:

The summer began with the first public screening of the long repressed documentary Nuremberg (1946) by Pare Lorentz. With the cooperation of Elizabeth Lorentz, the Lorentz Panel, the documentary archive at the AMPAS Library, the California Council on Humanities and the Museum of Tolerance, IDA attracted an over-capacity audience at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles on June 2nd. With such strong interest in the film, IDA is now planning future screenings in Los Angeles, Washington and New York.

Shortly after that "first", IDA partnered with New York Women in Film and Television to present an evening with Jessica Yu at HBO in Manhattan. The evening of screenings, discussion and socializing was enthusiastically received by an overflow crowd. Our special thanks to trustee Sheila Nevins and HBO for creating another memorable evening that merits repeating.

By July, independent filmmakers were signing up in record numbers for an intensive one-day seminar to learn "everything you've always wanted to know about public television..." Presented in partnership with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and PBS, the seminar gathered every West Coast PBS affiliate from Seattle to San Diego, top PBS programming staff, the CPB and consortia funding organizations, and more than 400 filmmakers for a six-hour event in the ATAS Leonard Goldenson Theatre, in North Hollywood: it was a first and a great success! Board member Lance Webster did a yeoman 's job in coordinating the myriad of details, with ATAS, IDA, and PBS staff and volunteers. Our thanks to all of them!

While all of this was going on publicly, more than 40 volunteers were spending their evenings throughout the summer screening entries for the 13th Annual IDA Awards. Under the dedicated leadership of board members Lynne Littman, Rich Samuels, John Mason and past board member Ann Hassett, hundreds of films were screened, scrutinized, and discussed by juries fueled by dozens of pizzas, pounds of salad and gallons of soda! Our gratitude to you all for giving your time and expertise so generously.

And as the deadline for this issue loomed, summer '97 yields up even more bounty with the announcement of prime­time Emmy® nominations: in the category of Informational Special, nominations were received by IDA past president Mel Stuart for his American Masters' Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant Garde, and for members Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills; in the category of Informational Series, The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century received a nomination, with producer Blaine Baggett and numerous IDA members involved. A record number of Emmy® nods also went to IDA trustees HBO, Turner, Discovery and A&E. Our congratulations to you all ­ we'll be watching and cheering for you in September!


David Haugland
IDA President