• Photo by Mustafa Rony Zeno

  • Photo by Mark Hayes

  • Photo by Mark Hayes

  • Photo by Laura Ahmed

  • Photo by Laura Ahmed

  • Photo by Susan Yin

  • Photo by Mark Hayes

  • Photo by Mark Hayes

  • Photo by Laura Ahmed

  • Photo by Susan Yin

  • Photo by Todd Williamson

  • Courtesy of AMPAS

  • Courtesy of AMPAS

#docsgetreal

Getting Real is a biennial conference on documentary media. This conference attracts thousands of filmmakers and industry professionals. It is the only gathering of its kind in North America.

September 22-24, 2020: A Digital Convening

In response to the evolving situation around Covid-19, we have paused in this moment to ask ourselves the original questions that prompted the first Getting Real Conference in 2014: How can we come together as members of a documentary ecosystem to learn from, support and inspire one another? How can we transform what can be an isolating endeavor into a community endeavor? How do we respond to changes in the world and the way they affect our storytelling, and how do we build a more sustainable and equitable field that allows critically important storytellers to weather any storm? These questions are more pressing than ever, but the landscape for our work looks almost unrecognizable at this point.

With all this in mind, IDA will hold a mini-conference online on 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.

We Want to Hear From You

We look forward to sharing space (albeit virtual) and conversations with all of you as we learn to navigate these evolving waters together. We are starting this process by listening to you. We want to hear what you are going through and how you are adjusting to this moment we find ourselves in. If you have something to share, please do so via this feedback form. Your experiences are extremely valuable to us as we plan our next steps.


What We Heard From Filmmakers in 2018

 What a magnificent experience Getting Real was this past year, as it always is. I was able to bring my work to more colleagues, friends, and supporters than at any other forum I can think of. The networking with other documentary filmmakers and sponsors is unparalleled. There is no better conference for documentary filmmakers to get their voices heard within the community. As a filmmaker with a disability, I can say that IDA has been the first major organization to bring disability into the conversation around documentary makers. At Getting Real 2018, I was able to talk about not only my own work, but the important topics around disability and documentary-making to a huge number of people because of the opportunities Getting Real went out of its way to present.  

- Jason DaSilva, President & Founder AXS Lab Inc.

 As someone who has spent more than 25 years as a documentarian, it’s hard to express how far our filmmaking world has come. Today we have a rich and diverse documentary community, telling important stories while building empathy, understanding and truth. Central to that evolution is the IDA and the Getting Real conference. It is a chance for us to come together as storytellers and share lessons, ideas and aspirations. I’ve had a rich experience with Getting Real as a speaker and attendee. More than anything, the conference allows us to connect with emerging voices and share the knowledge and purpose on what is often a lonely road.

- Morgan Neville, Tremolo Productions

 It's unlike any other film gathering I'd ever been to—it's more inspiring than a conference, more engaging and sincere than a networking event, and doesn't have the work and pressure of a film festival. Rather, Getting Real gave me the very special opportunity to zoom out on my career, meet face-to-face with colleagues I'd never met in-person and to develop and teach concrete skills. It's a special, radically collaborative, caring, and nurturing event for artists, producers, creators and distributors.

- Ani Mercedes, Looky Looky Pictures

 My wife and I are mid-career documentary filmmakers, both from a significantly underrepresented community, and both having each worked on a number of features so far. She attended Getting Real 2016, and insisted I attend 2018, I'm truly glad I did. The sessions were really quite informative, wide-ranging in scope and easily accessible. But the conference more than just listening to lectures. As a meeting point for documentary filmmakers from far and wide, I used the lunches and dinner parties to network with old connections as well as make new ones. In one-on-one sessions we got solid feedback on our projects. And in between all of that, I attended more sessions. I did a lot of talking, a lot of listening and certainly a lot of walking, and I look forward to doing it again next year!

- Talal Jabari, Documentary filmmaker