October 19, 2020

IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Announces 2020 Slate of Journalistic Docs Grants Totaling $850,000 to Thirteen Projects

Washington, D.C. (Monday, October 19, 2020) - The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced today its latest cohort of 13 films receiving its Enterprise Documentary Fund production grants at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival in Washington, D.C. With major support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund supports feature-length documentary films telling urgent, revelatory stories underpinned by rigorous journalistic approaches and exemplary artistic achievement. 

Selected from over 300 applications, the films are to receive a total of $850,000 in funds. In addition, grantees will receive additional resources and expertise through IDA and its partners Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the UCLA Documentary Film Legal Clinic, and Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors. Since 2017, IDA has awarded $3.9 million in filmmaker grants through its Enterprise granting programs.

In addition, Nausheen Dadabhoy and Jialing Zhang were named as recipients of the Logan Elevate Grants of $25,000 each. Supported by The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Logan Elevate Grants support emerging women filmmakers of color. Prior recipients include Loira Limbal (Through the Night) and Jacqueline Olive (Always in Season). 

“With unique vision and voice, these grantees confront us with complicated truths about our pasts, presents and futures, recalling for me Maya Angelou's famous quote: Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better,” says Carrie Lozano, “This slate of films urges us—with passion, craft, dignity and diligence—to know and to do better.”  (Lozano served as Director of the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund from 2017-2020 and recently joined Sundance as director of the Sundance Documentary Film Program).

“The Enterprise Fund carries on the legacy of the MacArthur Foundation’s four-decade-long history of supporting independently produced documentary films,” says Kathy Im, Director of the Journalism and Media program at MacArthur. “In an era of soundbites, clickbait, polarization, and disinformation, documentaries ask us to slow down, lean in, interrogate our assumptions and prejudices, and recognize our common humanity.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled than to support these incredible filmmakers,” said Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director of IDA. “Carrie Lozano’s lasting legacy IDA can be seen through the work of these visionary filmmakers and the others we have supported over the past four years. We look forward to building on that legacy as we move forward.”

Documentaries receiving Enterprise funding are:

  • After Sherman (Jon-Sesrie Goff, director/producer; blair dorosh-walther, producer; Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, producer)

  • Aftershock (Paula Eiselt, director/producer; Tonya Lewis Lee, director/producer)

  • Body Parts (Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, director; Helen Hood Scheer, producer)

  • DRIVER (Nesa Azimi, director/producer)

  • Free Renty: Lanier v. Harvard (David Grubin, director/producer; Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, director/producer)

  • Hossain (Taimi Arvidson, director; Brette Ragland, producer; Mohamed "Micho" El Manasterly, producer; Ali Ahsan, producer)

  • Magic & Monsters (working title) (Norah Shapiro, director/producer; Mark Steele, producer; Elizabeth Foy Larsen, producer)

  • Razing Liberty Square (Katja Esson, director/producer; Ann Bennett, producer)

  • Riotsville, USA (Sierra Pettengill, director; Sara Archambault, producer; Jamila Wignot, producer)

  • Testament (working title) (Meena Nanji, co-director/co-producer; Zippy Kimundu, co-director/co-producer)

  • Untitled Amazon Documentary (Alex Pritz, director; Will Miller, producer) 

  • Untitled Free Speech Project (Julia Bacha, director; Suhad Babaa, producer; Daniel J. Chalfen, producer)

  • Untitled Stasi (Gabriel Silverman, director/producer; Jamie Coughlin, producer/director)

Logan Elevate Grantees:

  • Nausheen Dadabhoy - Curent production: An Act of Worship follows a new generation of Muslim-American women activists who have been galvanized into action while anti-Muslim sentiments are on the rise.

  • Jialing Zhang - Two projects in production, including “Untitled Chinese in Africa Project” which offers an insider look at a powerful Chinese industrial zone in West Africa, and the profound and complex challenges facing the local community.

Support for diverse makers is at the heart of IDA’s grantmaking programs. In this round of grants, all 15 projects are directed and/or produced by a woman. And 13 of the 15 projects have a BIPOC director and/or producer. In addition, 5 directors and/or producers identify as LGBTQ and 2 identify as disabled. 

For more information, please visit: documentary.org/enterprise

Contact Information

The 2050 Group
Adam J. Segal
(212) 642-4317