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Notes from the Reel World: The President's Column, November-December 2006

By diane estelle Vicari

Dear IDA Community:

As we dedicate this month's issue to the arts, I recall a vivid, yet confusing experience while reading E.H. Gombrich's novel, The Story of Art. The author writes, "There really is no such thing as Art. There are only Artists."

It takes a community to bring a documentary to successful fruition. While we often celebrate the filmmakers, their artistic process and the subject of art in their films, we must pause to acknowledge the gift of mentors, the faith of investors, the artistry of the dealmakers, the guidance of legal counsels, the tenacity of distributors, the vision of the broadcasters and so on.

Each year during this time, the IDA's Nominating Committee is charged with the task of finding a group of creative individuals who reflect the various documentary-related professions or fields that comprise our membership. This is your chance to directly impact the leadership of the IDA. We invite you to nominate a potential candidate or to step forward yourself. The guidelines will be sent shortly and will also be posted on our website,

IDA's Executive Committee, as well as Executive Director Sandra Ruch, met with the IDA Trustees in New York City in September. Finance, activities and program reports were presented, and discussion surrounding the expansion and use of our website platform was top priority. The Communications Committee, led by board members Robert Bahar and Nancy Willen, presented the IDA's board-approved Communications Plan, which re-examines the balance between the magazine and the website as communications platforms over the next few years. Thanks to the generous support of our Trustees, we continually strive to increase the level of service to our members.

This past month, we extended an invitation to the members of the recently closed Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), offering its members a trial membership that would also enable them to continue their participation in their health insurance coverage. We are delighted at the response from members from all over the country and wish to welcome them as new members of the IDA community.

Last but certainly not least, our staff is gearing up for the 22nd Annual IDA Documentary Achievement Awards Gala. The nominations have been submitted to our distinguished Blue Ribbon Committee, and final screenings are in process. 

On Friday, December 8, we will honor the documentary genre in eight different categories. And for the first time, we will announce the winners in the Feature Documentary and Short categories at the event. The Awards Gala is IDA's annual fundraiser, as well as our way to celebrate, with our constituents, a year of great accomplishment!

Please save the date and join us! We look forward spending time with you that evening.



diane estelle Vicari
IDA President