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2011 IDA Documentary Awards: Creative Recognition Awards

By IDA Editorial Staff

Senna, which won the Creative Recognition Award for Editing. Courtesy of PDA

The Creative Recognition Awards, a new addition this year, honor creative achievement in documentary filmmaking. Recognizing contributions in cinematography, editing and use of music in documentary feature films, these awards underscore the collaborative effort of powerful nonfiction storytelling.


Creative Recognition Award for Cinematography

The Castle (Il Castello)
Directors/Producers/Writers/Editors:Massimo D'Anolfi, Martina Parenti
Cinematographer: Massimo D'Anolfi
Composer: Massimo Mariani
Montmorency Film in collaboration with Rai Cinema

The Castle (Il Castello) is about a year inside an intercontinental airport, a place where bureaucracy, procedures and control put a serious strain on the freedom of individuals, animals and goods passing through. The airport is a strategic place where all law enforcement agencies of a country come together: Italian and foreign secret services, customs police, Guardia di Finanza (financial police), Carabinieri (police), security guards, sniffer dogs, currency dogs and explosive detector dogs, closed-circuit TV cameras everywhere and the ever-growing fear of an impending unknown danger. By watching the law enforcement agencies in operation, the filmmakers created a portrait of a customs border in four movements.



"We decided to shoot a film in an international airport because we believe it's here, more than anywhere else, that one can grasp our obsession with security, our fear of each other and the control strategy that permeates the world we live in. The Castle is a movie of observation; we put our camera on a tripod and point it to try and understand what's going on before our eyes and in our ears. We give a structure to the images, to the film, by combining rational and emotional thought."

—Massimo D'Anolfi and Martina Parenti


Creative Recognition Award for Editing

Director: Asif Kapadia
Producers: James Gay-Rees, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Executive Producers: Kevin Macdonald, Manish Pandey, Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin
Writer: Manish Pandey
Editors: Gregers Sall, Chris King
Supervising Sound Editors: Andy Shelley, Stephen Griffiths
Composer: Antonio Pinto
Universal Pictures and Producers Distribution Agency present, in association with ESPN Films, a Working Title Production in association with Midfield Films

Formula One racing legend Ayrton Senna's remarkable story, charting his physical and spiritual achievements on the track and off, his quest for perfection and the mythical status he has since attained, is the subject of Senna. Far more than a film for Formula One fans, Senna unfolds a remarkable story in a remarkable manner, eschewing many standard documentary techniques in favor of a more cinematic approach that makes full use of astounding footage, much of which is drawn from archives and previously unseen.

"Some of the footage we use is from YouTube, we have Super-8 footage and some of it was shot on 35mm-that's the range of our movie. For me, it was always going to be a mosaic that we all put together. You look up close and you aren't sure what you see; our film will never look technically perfect. You take a step back and it is beautiful, like a piece of Gaudi architecture. I always approached it as a fiction film, a film with real-life drama, real people. Documentaries are constructed. They have always used fictional techniques. Fiction films try all the time to be real. I wanted to find a new space or genre somewhere in the middle."

—Asif Kapadia


Creative Recognition Award for Use of Music

Better This World
Directors/Producers/Writers: Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega
Producer/Graphics Designer: Mike Nicholson
Executive Producers: Julie Goldman, John Battsek, Nicole Stott,Chana Ben-Dov, Sally Jo Fifer/ITVS, Simon Kilmurry/American Documentary/POV
Cinematographer: David Layton
Editor: Greg O'Toole
Composer: Paul Brill
Loteria Films, ITVS, American Documentary/POV, PBS, Bullfrog Films, Cat & Docs

How did two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas wind up charged with terrorism at the 2008 Republican National Convention?Better This World follows the journey of David McKay (22) and Bradley Crowder (23) from political neophytes to accused domestic terrorists, with a particular focus on the relationship they develop with a radical activist mentor in the six months leading up to their arrests. A dramatic story of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal,Better This Worldgoes to the heart of the War on Terror and its impact on civil liberties and political dissent in post-9/11 America.


Photo: Robert Stewart


"Working closely with our editor [Greg O'Toole], graphics designer/producer [Mike Nicholson], composer [Paul Brill] and cinematographer [David Layton], we developed a look, feel and sound for each strand of archival material, with the goal of integrating them in a coherent aesthetic whole."

—Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega