Production Grantees

The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund provides production funds to feature-length documentary films taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. In addition to funds, grantees receive additional resources and expertise tailored to the needs of the project. Inclusion and diversity, both in terms of the filmmaking team and subject matter, are a priority of the fund.


2019 Grantees

  • In a Midwestern state caught between the opioid epidemic and surging incarceration rates, three unforgettable mothers prepare to leave prison and rebuild their lives after being separated from their children for years.

  • 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.

  • Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators.

  • An in depth look into the bond between Evangelical Christians and the Jewish State. Set in Israel and the USA, the film weaves together stories of individuals from two initially separate communities as they intersect to reveal a unique faith based alliance.

  • 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.

  • A group of survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests battle for justice and collaborate to create fictional scenes depicting rituals of power in the church.

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

  • As President Trump doubles down on his war against immigrants, documented and undocumented, a Washington DC family faces the threat of deportation and a family separation crisis. They step out of the normalcy of life as law-abiding taxpayers to confront the U.S. government. Their lawsuit pulls back the curtain to reveal the motivations behind the Trump administration's decision to terminate their legal status.

  • Exploring the unsolved murder of celebrated Indigenous activist Annie Mae Aquash, we uncover a mysterious and complicated web of deception spun over the course of several decades. Annie Mae is one of thousands who make up the staggering number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. By reframing her story, the film hopes to shed light on this current epidemic.

  • 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

  • Untitled Safe Schools Project explores the landscape of 21st-century school safety in the United States, illuminating the complex ways in which we as a nation struggle to understand and prevent violence and endeavor to create safer schools.

  • Ernie & Joe follows two officers with the San Antonio Police Department who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment—one 911 call at a time. They are not only redefining policing and its mandate to “keep people safe,” but also transforming the ways in which law enforcement agencies across the U.S. think about, approach and help those with a mental health diagnosis.

  • A young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada and a registered nurse in Missouri build a movement of insurgent candidates challenging powerful incumbents in Congress. One of their races will become the most shocking political upset in recent American history.

  • Mama Bears is a feature-length documentary that explores the many ways in which the lives of conservative, Christian mothers are impacted and utterly transformed when they decide to affirm and advocate on behalf of their LGBTQ children.

  • Radical civil rights attorney, Larry Krasner, leads a band of activists who set out to end mass incarceration by taking over the agency at its center: the district attorney’s office. Embedded behind closed doors, the film watches an unprecedented criminal justice experiment unfold to ask: can outsiders reform a system from within?

  • In a polarized America, where the dual forces of white supremacy and patriarchy threaten to further erode our democracy, women of color are claiming power by running for political office. And She Could Be Next, made by a team of women filmmakers of color, asks whether democracy itself can be preserved—and made stronger—by those most marginalized.

  • Skin of Glass is the story of São Paulo’s largest vertical favela, a 25-story office tower that is a treasure of mid-20th-century architecture and Denise Zmekhol’s late-father’s masterpiece. The film follows Zmekhol’s journey to discover her father’s threatened legacy as an artist, as she confronts the harsh reality of inequality destroying the city he loved.

  • Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America follows the stories of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East as they flee persecution in their countries of origin to seek better and safer lives in the U.S.

  • Searing urgency is a guiding force as Welcome to Chechnya shadows a group of activists who risk unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ+ pogrom raging in the repressive and closed Russian republic. Since 2016, Chechnya’s tyrannical leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has waged a...

  • A high-profile police shooting rocks the Minneapolis Police Department, and its reform-minded first female chief is forced to resign. Following three women officers— who carry on the fight to transform the MPD and restore community trust—Women in Blue — explores gender, violence and policing in America.

2017 Grantees

  • 16 Shots, (formerly The Blue Wall), is the feature documentary account of the Chicago police killing of Laquan McDonald. The film is a forensic examination of a shooting, an anatomy of a coverup, and a portrait of a city torn apart in the aftermath.

  • During three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore, Charm City delivers an unexpectedly candid, observational portrait of those left on the frontlines. With grit, fury, and compassion, a group of police, citizens, and government officials grapple with the consequences of violence...

  • Amidst a landmark lawsuit over illegal policing quotas, Crime + Punishment intimately observes the real lives and struggles of a group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest and summons in New York City. Over five years of rare...

  • An average American family becomes entrenched in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the U.S. government.

  • When a filmmaker investigates rumors of surveillance in her Arab-American neighborhood in Chicago, she uncovers one of the largest FBI terrorism probes conducted before 9/11 and reveals its enduring impact on the community.

  • If you think hazing is a trivial college problem, think again. In Hazing, award-winning filmmaker, Byron Hurt, lifts the veil on a range of secret, underground rituals that are often dehumanizing, abusive, and sometimes, deadly. Byron, a member of a fraternity, places hazing culture...

  • In America’s capital of wrongful conviction, a man is imprisoned at 19 for a murder and rape he didn’t commit – and spends nearly a quarter century fighting to be freed.

  • Three women find purpose carrying babies for strangers in the conservative heartland of Boise, Idaho - the unregulated and unofficial “surrogacy capital” of the United States - even as they put their own lives at risk.

  • Netizens delves into the lives of three women profoundly impacted by online harassment, following as they confront digital abuse and strive for equality and justice online.

  • After becoming a mother, a filmmaker uncovers the untold history of China’s one-child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment.

  • Trafficked in America tells the story of a group of teenagers from Guatemala who are forced to work against their will at an Ohio egg farm.