Unlike any other event on the documentary calendar, Getting Real is a unique gathering of filmmakers and industry professionals. It provides a much-needed space for the field to hold constructive conversations, build lasting relationships, and tackle ethical, sustainability, creative, production and distribution challenges facing our growing community.

Produced by the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) since 2014, the biennial conference hosts three days of inspiring keynotes, practical workshops, interest group convenings, dynamic presentations, roundtables, case studies, structured networking and receptions.

As a field-building incubator, Getting Real has served as the launchpad for the Documentary Core Application Project, the State of the Documentary Field studies, the inaugural Documentary Sustainability Summit and Documentary Preservation Summit, the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc), and the Documentary Producers Alliance.


397 participated in the inaugural conference—launching a unique, field-wide gathering in North America.


  • 700 participants

  • 31,390 website views

  • #docsgetreal reached 700,833 social accounts and generated 3,763,260 impressions

  • First-ever convening of Asian American documentary filmmakers, leading to the formation of A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network


  • 1,015 participants

  • 42,382 website views

  • 33% of the 84 sessions in 2018 provided information specifically for groups underrepresented in the documentary filmmaking community, such as women, visible minorities and filmmakers with disabilities

  • First-ever convening of documentary filmmakers with disabilities

  • Enhanced participation of filmmakers of color through collaborations with Firelight Media, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, National Association of Latino Independent Producers and the Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival

  • Programming collaborations with Women Make Movies, Outfest, The Collective of Documentary Women Cinematographers, True False Film Festival and Sundance Institute


In response to the evolving situation around COVID-19, the 2020 edition of Getting Real will take place online between September 22-24, 2020. The extent of the conference has yet to be determined, but we hope that by that point, we will have a better sense of the global impact of the virus and can meet online for some productive virtual sessions. We will reschedule our in-person conference in Los Angeles to May 2021 or later as circumstances require.