Dear Friends,

I am pleased to share with you the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) Organizational Report covering our activities from 2016 to 2019. IDA continues to be a champion for documentary filmmaking around the world, and as you will read in the pages that follow, this has been a busy time for the organization.

At IDA, our work is focused on supporting a thriving and inclusive documentary culture, and the individual filmmaker and their needs are at the heart of our mission. In recent years we have made great strides to enhance the financial support available for documentary projects. In addition to our longstanding Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund and Fiscal Sponsorship Program, we launched the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund in 2017 with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Over the last three years, the Enterprise Fund has granted $3 million in development and production funds to filmmakers working on original and contemporary feature-length documentaries that integrate journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. With support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, we launched the Logan Elevate Grant to support emerging women filmmakers of color. All of these initiatives reflect IDA’s commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion in nonfiction storytelling.

In addition, IDA’s biennial peer-to-peer conference, Getting Real, has become a cornerstone of our work. The tremendous passion and enthusiasm for documentary brought by participants at the conferences in 2016 and 2018 was inspiring. Attendance has grown from 700 participants to more than 1,000. Covering a wide range of themes such as creativity, diversity and sustainability, Getting Real provides insights into the day-to-day struggles and achievements of filmmakers. Getting Real offers a space to discuss the challenges and opportunities across our collective experience, and the conference is evolving to provide a critical forum for us—the documentary filmmaking community—to share our knowledge and ideas and truly work together to improve the field.

We have been a vocal and active advocate for filmmakers in jeopardy and continue to work to protect filmmakers, issuing calls to action, publishing op-eds to raise awareness of critical issues, and signing more than 70 amicus briefs in partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

I’m happy to report that IDA has been expanding our programs to new regions beyond Los Angeles. We are providing filmmakers in Austin, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City, among others, with opportunities for professional development and cultural enrichment, and we’ll keep building that as we move forward and try to become an organization that truly serves the entire documentary community, wherever they may be.

With gratitude,

Simon Kilmurry
IDA Executive Director


Fiscal Years 2016 - 2019 by the Numbers