February 21, 2020

IDA Awards $245,000 to 15 Films through the Enterprise and Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund

Los Angeles, CA (February 21, 2020) - The International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced grants to 15 films through its Enterprise Documentary Fund and Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, totaling $245,000. Since 2017, IDA has provided over $3.6 million in grants through its documentary funds.

Ten documentary projects have been selected to receive development grants from the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund. The film projects will receive $15,000 each. The Fund, with major support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, supports documentary projects taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process.

In addition to announcing the grants, Carrie Lozano, director of the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund, also announced IDA’s first-ever collaboration with the award-winning PBS series FRONTLINE to jointly support a project. 

“Regardless of our booming field, with the vast distribution opportunities cropping up, development remains largely self-funded by independent filmmakers,” said Lozano. “We are committed to supporting filmmakers early in their process, even at the concept phase, to lessen the burden. This slate has a particularly investigative thrust, as these filmmakers unravel complex issues and phenomenon, and we are thrilled to announce that PBS FRONTLINE has already signed on to support 11 Questions.” 

"We are thrilled to partner with IDA and Cassandra Herrman on her film 11 Questions," says Raney Aronson, executive producer of FRONTLINE. "We are so pleased and supportive of IDA's effort to diversify and support the growing field of investigative documentary filmmakers." 

Documentaries receiving Enterprise Fund development grants are:

(*Due to the sensitive nature of its content, one project is anonymous.)

The Enterprise Fund has given development support to films such as A Thousand Cuts by Ramona S. Diaz, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and 2020 Oscar-nominee Life Overtakes Me by Kris Samuelson and John Haptas.

The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund is currently accepting applications for production grants up to $100,000. The application deadline is March 1, 2020. Visit documentary.org/enterprise for the application and more information.

An additional five projects will receive grants totaling $95,000 through IDA’s Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund. The Fund, created in 2011 with support from The New York Community Trust, honors the legacy of legendary American documentary filmmaker Pare Lorentz. 

The projects receiving support through the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund are:

IDA also announced the inaugural class of Documentary Magazine Editorial Fellows. Four Fellows were selected from a pool of 48 finalists. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Documentary Magazine Editorial Fellowship initiative is designed to enhance opportunities for writers from underserved and underrepresented communities to participate in IDA’s editorial planning process, bringing a wider range of voices and perspectives to cover the documentary field. Each Fellow will receive an annual stipend to write articles for publication, participate in editorial meetings and mentorship sessions, and attend IDA’s Getting Real conference in September 2020.

Documentary magazine has an annual print and digital readership of 250,000 and is the only national publication to focus exclusively on the documentary field.

Tom White, editor of Documentary said, “The Editorial Fellowship program will be of mutual benefit: for Documentary magazine, as we continue to broaden and deepen our coverage with a diverse range of voices, perspectives and experiences; and for the inaugural class of Fellows, for whom this initiative will provide opportunities for interaction with key thought leaders and gatekeepers in the documentary community.”

The 2020 IDA Documentary Magazine Editorial Fellows are:

  • Yi Chen, a queer Hakka-Chinese journalist from rural Massachusetts who aims to use media as a tool of social advocacy. She has written for The Boston Globe, Elastic magazine and Birthmark magazine. She has conducted research at MIT’s Open Doc Labs and is currently working on a docuseries highlighting her Hakka heritage.

  • Ashley Omoma, a daughter of Nigerian immigrants who is currently earning her master’s degree in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. As a journalist and documentarian, she works to amplify narratives that integrate systems of power while bringing forth the humanity of those marginalized by those systems. Ashley has worked at The New York Times, PBS, Refinery 29 and Starfish Media.

  • Kristal Sotomayor, a bilingual Latinx freelance journalist, documentary filmmaker and festival programmer based in Philadelphia. Kristal aims to decolonize documentary by practicing transformative filmmaking that humanizes and validates the lived experiences of underrepresented communities. Kristal serves as Programming Director for the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival (PHLAFF) and Communications and Outreach Coordinator at Scribe Video Center, and has written for ITVS, WHYY and Submittable.

  • Reveca Torres is the co-director of ReelAbilities Film Festival Chicago and a curator of photography and art exhibitions that showcase the work of people with disabilities and bring awareness to disability rights. She has earned fellowships from Kartemquin Films’ Diverse Voices in Docs program, University of Illinois Chicago 3Arts, Santa Fe Art Institute and Vermont Studio Center; and has written for New Mobility Magazine and Huffington Post.