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February 1, 2023

Chris Albert and Orwa Nyrabia Join IDA Board of Directors


Los Angeles, CA (February 1, 2023) –– International Documentary Association (IDA) announced that Orwa Nyrabia, Syrian filmmaker, activist, and Artistic Director of IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) and Chris Albert, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications for National Geographic Content and Disney Branded Television, joined the organization’s Board of Directors.

Orwa Nyrabia and Chris Albert join the IDA board of directors of 10 members including Grace Lee (Co-President), Chris Pérez (Co-President), Amir Shahkhalili (Secretary), Marcia Smith (Treasurer), Hallee Adelman, Chris Albert, Maria Agui-Carter, Ina Fichman, Al Perry, and Michael Turner.

Nyrabia visited the IDA office in Los Angeles on Thursday, January 26 for a meet and greet with the IDA staff accompanied by IDA Board Co-President Grace Lee and Board Member Ina Fichman who has recently been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature with Fire of Love, which she produced.

Addressing the staff, Nyrabia said: “The IDA is a vital organization that means so much to many of us around the world. When I was a young, ambitious documentary producer starting up back home, IDA was one of the few platforms that made me realize that I am part of a global community, that I was not alone! I am proud to be a board member, and to work with the other members and the staff to reimagine the next chapter of IDA’s story, as a locomotive for the documentary community, its battles and its debates, its health, and its safety”.

Chris Albert joined the board in early December, ahead of the 33rd IDA Documentary Awards on December 10, 2022.

“As a longtime admirer and supporter of the IDA, the opportunity to join the board and support this vital organization at this critical time in showcasing the incredible documentary storytellers in our global community was not only an honor but a privilege. I am delighted to be part of this organization and the incredible staff it has assembled along with a board of top-tier industry talent I have long admired as it expands into a new era,” said Albert.

About Orwa Nyrabia

Since 2018, Orwa Nyrabia has been the Artistic Director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, IDFA, the world’s largest documentary film and new media festival. At IDFA, Orwa is a member of the board of directors, overseeing the organization's various programs and offers.

Born in Syria 1977, Nyrabia is a graduate of Damascus’ Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts. He started his film career as an actor and worked as 1st Assistant Director on fiction films. He also worked as a journalist between 1997 and 2003.

Nyrabia is one half of a documentary film duo with director-producer Diana El Jeiroudi. Together, they co-founded a documentary film production company in 2002. In 2008, the duo co-founded the Syria’s first independent film festival, DOX BOX, which quickly became the region’s leading documentary event and welcomed filmmakers such as Patricio Guzman, Pirjo Honkasalo, Omar Amiralay, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Nicolas Philibert, among others.

Nyrabia and El Jeiroudi had to leave Syria in 2012, ending up in Germany, where they co-founded No Nation Films and continued their production work, and where DOX BOX transformed into a Berlin-based non-profit documentary film support association. Their filmography includes Lina’s 5 Seasons of Revolution (Sundance 2023), D. El Jeiroudi’s Republic of Silence (Venice 2021), GF Rosi’s Notturno (Venice 2020), O. Mohammad’s Silvered Water (Cannes 2014), T. Derki’s Return to Homs (IDFA 2013), among others.

Nyrabia is recipient of numerous awards including the European Documentary Network Award, Katrin Cartlidge Award, Celebration of Lives Award of the Biografilm Festival (all shared with Diana El Jeiroudi), George Polk Award, and the Nestor Almendros Award, among others.

He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Deutsche Filmakademie, The Netherlands Film Academy, and IDA. He currently serves on the boards of DOX BOX Association, The Festival Academy, and is the chair of the board of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR).

About Chris Albert

As Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications for National Geographic Documentary Films, Disney Original Documentary, National Geographic Content, and Disney Branded Television, Chris Albert is responsible for developing and executing global consumer communications strategies for this broad portfolio of content.

Albert’s oversight of the awards strategy for National Geographic has resulted in more critical acclaim and awards recognition than ever before. Albert was instrumental in building National Geographic Documentary Films as a major awards contender, with films including Academy Award®-BAFTA- and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film Free Solo, award-winning feature documentaries The Territory, Retrograde, The Cave, The Rescue, and The First Wave, and recently Academy Award-nominated feature doc Fire Of Love. 

Additionally, during his illustrious tenure at National Geographic, Albert spearheaded, innovative, landmark campaigns for a multitude of critically acclaimed shows, including Emmy®-nominated anthology series Genius, the Disney+ Original series Limitless With Chris Hemsworth, Emmy-winning epic natural history series Secrets Of The Whales, Emmy®-nominated Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller, and beloved Critter Fixers: Country Vets, just to mention a few.  

Most recently at Disney Branded Television, Albert and his team launched Proud Family: Louder & Prouder, Zombies 3, The Santa Clauses, and the feature documentary If These Walls Could Sing, among others.

About International Documentary Association

Mission: To support the vital work of documentary storytellers and champion a thriving and inclusive documentary culture.

Vision: IDA is dedicated to the vision of a world where documentary creators flourish. Through our work, we connect audiences with the best of the form, provide resources, create community, and defend the rights and freedoms of documentary artists, activists, and journalists around the globe. We do this work because we believe that documentaries enrich and deepen our culture, fostering a more informed and connected world. 

Twitter: @IDAorg
Instagram: @IDAorg