Cover of Documentary magazine, Winter 2022 edition with abstract block design.

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Filmmakers Leo Chiang (left) and Jerry Henry filming Connie Young Yu, an Asian American historian, for the PBS documentary series 'Asian Americans.' Courtesy of WETA and CAAM.

Winter 2022

As IDA commemorates 40 years in the documentary space, we’ve witnessed a tsunami of change around us, from the art to the business, to the transformation of the community to a front-and-center manifestation of what democracy truly looks like. And we’ve done our best to morph accordingly—and hopefully by riding the tsunami, rather than by chasing it. Looking back, we spotlight two of our most cherished programs. The IDA Documentary Awards has, for most of our history, honored the game-changers of the form, while expanding our swath of categories to accommodate the many manifestations this form has taken. The IDA funding program is noting a little anniversary of its own. Well, two. In 2011, we started providing grants, courtesy of our Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, and in 2017, we launched the Enterprise Documentary Fund. The biggest sea change over the past four decades has been the evolution of the gear and how it has facilitated the practice, access and cost. We asked our members to dig into their archives for images of their younger selves with their vintage cameras. And in looking ahead, we tapped into some of the best minds of our generation to deliver a collection of provocative essays about the form and our community—where we are now and where we’re headed.


Features

  • Don Young is an Asian man with short gray hair, speaking into a mic, at an event centering the PBS doc series ‘Asian Americans.’ Courtesy of Don Young/CAAM.

    Public Media at a Precipice: A Call for Commitment to Transformative Change

    This past year, a respected colleague who had...
  • MacArthur Foundation's Kathy Im is an Asian American woman with shoulder-length black hair and glasses, wearing a black dress and standing at the podium at the IDA Documentary Awards.

    MacArthur Foundation's Kathy Im: Addressing Inequities, and Grateful for the Frank Conversations

    As IDA celebrates its 40th anniversary, we at the...
  • An outdoor venue for the 2021 Black Star Film Festival; the screen shows the BlackStar Film Festival logo. Photo courtesy of Terrell Halsey

    A Kind of Time Travel: BlackStar Film Festival at 10

    BY Maori Holmes & Imran Siddiquee
  • Participants at the first gathering of FWD-Doc members, at the 2018 Getting Real conference. Photo courtesy of AMPAS

    FWD-Doc: Working to Add 'A' for Access onto DEI

    The founding of FWD-Doc (Filmmakers with...
  • Iyabo Boyd (left), a Black woman with short hair and glasses, is standing with other women of color documentary professionals—all members of Brown Girls Doc Mafia—during True/False fest. Courtesy of Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

    Brown Girls Doc Mafia: Working Towards a Future of Thriving

    Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) started as a secret...
  • Kisrten Johnson speaking at a session at the 2016 Getting Real conference. Photo: Susan Yin

    Kirsten Johnson Reflects on the Three Mirrors of Cinema

    Dear beloved IDA, You are 40 years old! How time...
  • Lourdes Portillo, a Latinx woman with white hair, glasses and a black top, accepting the IDA Career Achievement Award in 2017; Portillo is the only filmmaker to have earned IDA Documentary Award in four different decades. Photo: Susan Yin

    Where Are They Now? IDA Documentary Award Winners

    The IDA Documentary Awards have been a part of...
  • Poh Si Teng is an Asian woman of Malaysian Chinese origin with shoulder-length black hair. She is wearing a black turtleneck & in front of a brick wall. Photo by Marcus Yam

    A Call to All Documentary Gatekeepers

    I find the term “gatekeeper” discomforting. I...