Development Grantees

The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund provides development funds to documentary film projects taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. Inclusion and diversity, both in terms of the filmmaking team and subject matter, are a priority of the fund.


2020 Grantees

  • 11 Questions investigates one of the most lethal yet often invisible forms of domestic violence, a growing crisis told through the stories of those fighting to bring it to light.

  • As the reindeer herding Nenets community living on Siberia’s Yamal peninsula begin their summer migration, a gas plant kicks into high gear on their land. Meanwhile, climate scientists examine a new phenomenon occurring here: since 2014, and in tandem with unprecedented permafrost thaw,...

  • For four decades, the town of Minden, West Virginia has languished in a toxic cesspool stuck between a sewage treatment facility and a water park. Cancer rates hover around four times the national average, and nearly every one of the town’s 247 residents has a friend or family member who’s...

  • A sexual abuse scandal Involving multiple perpetrators at America’s preeminent children’s theater has been buried for decades. This film unearths the story, and follows the survivors who come forward in an attempt to hold their abusers and the institution that harbored them accountable. ...

  • Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Art Cullen and his family fight to be the journalistic voice of their rural Iowan farming community through their biweekly newspaper, The Storm Lake Times.

  • There’s a new drug on the horizon that promises to make little people taller—but it’s threatening to erase the very community it claims to serve. As little people grapple with their uncertain future, director Julie Wyman confronts her own complicated diagnosis of dwarfism.  At the heart of the...

  • Themes of culture, diversity, and internet freedom clash in this study of how social media has reshaped our lives and upended decades of technological, journalistic, and political norms.

  • After helping achieve independence for South Sudan in 2011, an activist and military officer left behind the government and its abuses. Hiding in the bush, far away from his family, the former officer worked to form an opposition party in the hopes of ending the cycle of violence and bringing...

2019 Grantees

  • An exploration of the nexus of political and social forces roiling our southern border and acts of resistance by Americans to U.S immigration policies.

  • Cosricans follows a close-knit group of friends on their journey to redefine their own lives through their art and the power of their community.

  • Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. The new leader of the opposition party, MDC, Nelson Chamisa, is challenging the old guard, ZANU-PF, represented by the acting president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

  • Hollow Tree tells the stories of three teenagers coming of age in Southeast Louisiana; a parable of climate adaptation worldwide.

  • A six-year-old Rohingya boy named Hossain Johar grows up in the world’s biggest refugee camp in Bangladesh. But soon, he’s forced to grow up when deadly monsoons hit and a deal is made to return his people to Myanmar.

  • With startling and unprecedented access, MAYOR follows a charismatic leader's quest to build the city of the future in a land paralyzed by its past.

  • Q

    Through a generational lens, Q explores the filmmaker, her mother, and her grandmother's relationship to God, trauma and womanhood.

  • An animated documentary exploring the crisis in the criminal justice system and US racial divide through the eyes of one family.

  • When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona and a speech pathologist in Texas are told they must choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech across 28 states in America.

  • STASI examines former East Germany’s information gathering police state through the eyes of those who are now confronting their past by opening and investigating their files on camera for the first time.

  • Users (working title) explores the unintended and often dehumanizing consequences of our society's embedded belief that technological progress will lead to the betterment of humanity.

2018 Grantees

  • In 1984, Rona Affoumado answered a classified ad in the New York Times for a “Clinic Coordinator” and found herself at the epicenter of the AIDS crisis in New York City. She became the Executive Director of a free-standing clinic before the virus had a name. This film is about the untold history...

  • Facing deportation, hundreds of refugee children in Sweden have become afflicted with Resignation Syndrome, withdrawing from the world into a coma-like state, as if frozen, for months, or even years.

  • In many rural villages across the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is little to no power or visibility once the sun sets other than from firewood or kerosene lamps. Even in the twenty-first century, less than 10 percent of Congo’s population has electricity, one of the lowest in the world,...

  • A daughter explores the disappearance of her father, a former Libyan Foreign Minister and peaceful opposition leader to Qaddafi, and pieces together her mother's 19-year perilous journey through a political labyrinth to find him.

  • In 2016, outsider candidate Rodrigo Duterte upset the political establishment in the Philippines by winning the presidency and promising vengeance and violence.