IDA’s New Screening Series To Replace DocuWeeks Qualifying Showcase
LOS ANGELES, April 11, 2013 — The International Documentary Association announced today the launch of the IDA Documentary Screening Series, invitation-only screenings of fifteen documentary features to take place annually between September and January. The new series will replace IDA’s DocuWeeks™ Theatrical Documentary Showcase, a program designed to help filmmakers qualify their works for Oscar® consideration. IDA is making these changes in response to both the evolving needs of documentary filmmakers and recent changes in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (AMPAS) qualifying rules for documentary features and shorts.
Over the last year, the IDA has undergone an extensive internal audit, surveying its membership and the documentary community to gauge their needs and wants. Based on this feedback the IDA concluded that in addition to education, funding and advocacy, filmmakers are best served with a program that extends throughout the awards season and works in harmony with industry guilds and organizations to raise awareness for documentary films overall.
From 1997 through 2012, IDA’s DocuWeeks™ Theatrical Showcase helped to qualify outstanding new feature and short documentaries for Academy Award® consideration, by providing its participants a commercial theatrical exhibition in Los Angeles and New York. During its sixteen year run, 30 films from DocuWeeks™ were nominated for an Academy Award® with 7 winning the Oscar®, including Smile Pinki (2008), Taxi To The Dark Side (2007) and The Blood of Yingzhou District (2006).
The new screening series will bring some of the year’s best documentary films to IDA members as well as members of AMPAS and industry guilds with the goal of increasing voting participation in the documentary award categories. Each screening will include a Q&A with the filmmakers, which will be recorded and made available on documentary.org, YouTube and through the filmmakers themselves. The IDA will share additional details about this new program in the coming months.
“As the industry evolves so will we,” said IDA Executive Director Michael Lumpkin. “With this new screening series, along with programs like our annual IDA Documentary Awards and DocuDay, we will continue to celebrate and champion the art of documentary filmmaking worldwide.”