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2009 IDA Documentary Awards: Feature Documentary Nominees

By IDA Editorial Staff

Anvil! The Story of Anvil (*Winner)
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Producer: Rebecca Yeldham
Co-Producer: Chris Soos
Little Dean's Yard; Ahimsa Films; Abramorama; VH1

At 14, Toronto school friends Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, went on to become the "demigods of heavy metal," releasing one of the heaviest albums in metal history, Metal on Metal, which influenced a musical generation. But Anvil's career took a different path--straight to obscurity. Director Sacha Gervasi has concocted a wonderful and often hilarious account of Anvil's last-ditch quest for elusive fame and fortune. Anvil!: The Story of Anvil is a timeless tale of survival and the unadulterated passion it takes to follow your dream, year after year.

                                -John Cooper/Sundance Film Festival


Afghan Star
Director/Producer: Havana Marking
Executive Producers: Mike Lerner, Martin Herring, Saad Mohseni, Jahid Mohseni
Kaboora Productions; Roast Beef Productions; Red Start Media; Zeitgeist Films in association with HBO Documentary Films 

After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Pop Idol has come to Afghanistan. Millions are watching the TV series Afghan Star and voting for their favorite singers by mobile phone. For many, this is their first encounter with democracy. This timely film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk all to become the nation's favorite singer. But will they attain the freedom they hope for in this vulnerable and traditional nation?


Diary of a Times Square Thief
Director/Writer: Klaas Bense
Producers: Janneke Doolard, Hans de Weers, Reinout Oerlemans
Executive Producer: Janneke Doolaard
Eyeworks Film & TV Drama


Diary of a Times Square Thief documents a journey of discovery: the search for the writer of a mysterious diary that filmmaker Klaas Bense found on eBay. This manuscript describes the adventures of a young man who, in the late 1980s, left the Midwest for New York to realize his big dream: to find a publisher and become a writer. He fails, and the diary gives a frank and confronting account of the author's subsequent downfall. Diary of a Times Square Thief consists of small, intimate portraits of some of the colorful characters described in the diary. Through these encounters, clarity gradually emerges about the fate of the talented but failed author, and about the value of chasing dreams.


Food, Inc.
Director/Producer: Robert Kenner
Producer: Elise Pearlstein
Co-Producers: Eric Schlosser, Richard Pearce, Melissa Robledo
Executive Producers: William Pohlad, Robin Schorr, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann
River Road Entertainment; Participant Media; Magnolia Pictures

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan, along with social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising, and often shocking, truths about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.


Mugabe and the White African
Directors: Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson
Producers: David Pearson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock
Executive Producers: Steve Milne, Pauline Burt
Arturi Films in association with Explore Films, Film Agency For Wales and Molinare Productions.

Michael Campbell is one of the few hundred white farmers still left in Zimbabwe since President Robert Mugabe began his land seizure program. Mike, like hundreds of farmers before him, has suffered years of multiple land invasions and violence at his farm. But now this grandfather, a tough, humorous, 74-year-old, fifth-generation, white African farmer, is alone in making a stand. He is taking Mugabe to an international court in Namibia for racism and violation of his civil rights. Mike and his son-in-law Ben Freeth stand ready to protect their life's work.