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October 7, 2019

IDA Announces 35th Annual IDA Documentary Awards Honorees

Los Angeles, CA (October 7, 2019) - The International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced the 35th Annual IDA Documentary Awards honorees. The 2019 Awards will be presented during a ceremony at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 7. Tickets will go on sale Thursday, October 10 and press registration is open now.

This year, the IDA will honor:

  • Academy Award® and Primetime Emmy® winning filmmaker (and five time Academy Award® nominee) Freida Lee Mock (Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, Anita) with the Career Achievement Award

  • Emmy® nominated filmmaker Rachel Lears (Knock Down The House, The Hand That Feeds) with the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award

  • Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which provides pro bono legal representation and other legal resources to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists, with the Amicus Award

  • And the film foundation and production company Cinereach with the Pioneer Award

“We are so excited to be honoring such talented filmmakers and organizations that really make a difference in the world,” said Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the IDA. “Freida Lee Mock’s Career Achievement Award is overdue. Her films have tackled a wide range of topics with an insightful artistic vision, and her unparalleled body of work continues to inspire and impact the world. In her film Knock Down the House, Emerging Filmmaker Award recipient Rachel Lears brings us a powerful story of what it can mean when ordinary citizens decide to get involved in the political process and shows the change they can make.”

In reaction to the announcement, Freida Lee Mock said, “I’m delighted and honored as a documentary filmmaker to be recognized by the world’s preeminent media organization devoted to the documentary arts and craft.”

And, Emerging Filmmaker Honoree, Rachel Lears, remarked, "I am truly humbled and honored to be this year's recipient of the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award, given the IDA's long history as a pillar in the field. As I continue to try to tell stories with human depth, political and cultural nuance, and audiovisual grace, I'm thrilled to have the IDA's vote of confidence in my ongoing commitment to the art form of independent documentary.”

Commenting on the Amicus and Pioneer Award Honorees, Simon Kilmurry commented, “Amicus Award honoree, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has fought for and defended the rights of countless journalists and filmmakers, and has been a key partner for IDA-funded filmmakers. And, Cinereach, our Pioneer Award honoree, has truly been a pioneer through their consistent and courageous support of documentary artists and new voices in film.”

Bruce Brown, Executive Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press noted "We are honored to receive this year's Amicus Award. Through our partnership with IDA, we have been able to provide critical legal support to documentary filmmakers who are bringing some of today's most important stories to light.”

And, Phillip Engelhorn, the Executive Director of Cinereach commented “We are humbled by this recognition coming from the International Documentary Association, an organization that has played a pivotal role in addressing what is needed for nonfiction film to thrive.” Engelhorn continued, “Cinereach believes that nonfiction films are essential to reflect on our shared humanity and find beauty in our differences. For us, this award is a celebration of the bold artists we have proudly been able to support, who have dedicated themselves to nonfiction film's ability to be as artful as it is honest.”

The IDA Documentary Awards 2019 Shortlists for Best Feature and Best Short categories will be announced this Thursday, October 10.