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1989 IDA Awards

By IDA Editorial Staff

An overview of a car driving through the perspective of a telescopic site, from 'Who Shot President Kennedy.'

The fifth annual IDA Awards presentation was held last November 17th in Los Angeles. The awards were handed out at luncheon ceremonies to honor personal achievement and outstanding documentary productions.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was presented with the 1989 IDA Career Achievement Award. Cousteau, the noted French ocean explorer, environmentalist and inventor, has produced more than 100 theatrical films and television programs, which have been seen by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. The award to Cousteau was presented by David L. Wolper, last year's recipient, who called Captain Cousteau, "an earth bound man who gave us the key to the silent world."

Sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company, the IDA Awards have become widely recognized as a hallmark of excellence for non-fiction film and television. IDA President Harrison Engle thanked Kodak for their support of the Awards program, and urged film and video artists to use each new creative tool to its potential, "to continue to make films with vision, passion, poetry and style."

Five awards for Distinguished Documentary Achievement were presented by Master of ceremonies, Jack Haley, Jr. The films reflected a range of styles and were chosen from entries from 17 countries. The five awards are presented with equal ranking.

FOR ALL MANKIND (USA), director/producer Al Reinert's unique and awesome feature documentary, looks at man's first lunar voyage, as told by the men who traveled there and back, using painstakingly restored footage from the NASA archives.

An astronaut salutes while standing next to the United State's flag on the moon. From Al Reinert's film 'For All Mankind,' which looks at man's first lunar voyage, as told by the men who traveled there and back.

HONEY HUNTERS (France), director/producer Eric Valli, Antenna 2 Productions, National Geographic Explorer/TBS Superstation. This beautifully photographed short documentary follows the Gurung people in the Himalayas on a dangerous expedition to collect honey from the world's largest and fiercest honeybees.

LET'S GET LOST (USA ), director/ producer Bruce Weber, Little Bear Films. A 119 minute "shimmering dark valentine " by director and fashion photographer Bruce Weber which documents the life and self-destruction of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, as told by Baker, his family, friends, admirers and other musicians.

TWILIGHT CITY (United Kingdom), director Reece Auguiste, Black Audio Film Collective. A haunting and innovative film that is a kaleidoscope of interviews and accounts of childhood memories and present-day perceptions of London. In accepting his award, filmmaker Auguiste said that with this film he felt he was "extending the boundaries of documentaries...through a combination of document and dream."

WHO SHOT PRESIDENT KENNEDY? ( USA ), director /producer Robert Richter, Robert Richter Productions for WGBH/NOVA. Using new scientific techniques, such as photo enhancement and acoustic "fingerprints," this 57 minute PBS journalistic documentary re-examines the evidence in the Kennedy assassination.

The IDA Preservation and Scholarship Award was presented to film archivist and educator David Shepard. Mr. Shepard's numerous contributions to the documentary include the restoration of such classic films as Nanook of the North and The Plow that Broke The Plains.

Jinhua Yang, a native of China and a master's graduate of UCLA's film school, received this year's David L. Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Award. Her film, CHINA DIARY, provides a very personal look at young people in several cities in China, and a unique perspective on the student democracy movement.

"Documentary filmmakers have a big responsibility in our visually literate society," said John G. Spence, on behalf of Kodak's Motion Picture and Audiovisual Products Division. "They have the power to enlighten us and enrich our lives." The IDA Awards are designed to bring greater public and industry awareness to the unique artistic, technical and social contributions of the documentary form.