Skip to main content

October 6, 2021

IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Announces 2021 Slate of Journalistic Film Grants Totaling $600,000 to Ten Projects

Collage of headshots overlaid with "IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund"

October 6, 2021 (Los Angeles, CA) - The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced today its latest cohort of 10 films receiving the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund production grants. The 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 $600,000 in funds. 

“As documentary films increasingly shape our understanding of the world,” says IDA Executive Director, Rick Pérez, ''we're proud to continue making major investments to support storytelling artists. Their work and perspectives will help forge a more complete and nuanced global nonfiction narrative.” 

“If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that there is a lot at stake for our communities. This year’s Enterprise grantees are helping us find the light in these very dark times through their bold and courageous films. It is an honor to support them in telling these urgent stories,” said Poh Si Teng, Director of IDA Funds and the Enterprise Program.

Since 2017, the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund, with major support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has awarded $4.5 million in filmmaker grants through its Enterprise programs. Previous awardees include Welcome to Chechnya, A Thousand Cuts, Knock Down the House and One Child Nation.

“MacArthur is proud to support the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund to continue the Foundation’s legacy of supporting social issue documentary films. The IDA’s choices in this round truly reflect the moment in which we are living. We hope to see these films and filmmakers catapulted to new heights by this investment,” said Kathy Im, director of the journalism and media program at MacArthur.

In addition to fiscal support, grantees will receive 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. 

The panelists on this year’s selection committee are: Abby Ellis, Director and Filmmaker-in-Residence at PBS FRONTLINE; Christopher Hastings, Executive Producer and Managing Editor at WORLD Channel GBH; Senain Kheshgi, Founding Partner and Director at Majority Film; Jose Rodriguez, Programmer at Tribeca Festival; Jeff Seelbach, Director of Non-Fiction Programming at Topic.

They wrote in a statement, “Even amid a pandemic that has upended our lives, documentary filmmakers remain committed to films that shed light on the vital stories of our time. These IDA Enterprise grantees grabbed us with their riveting stories, journalistic rigor, attention to ethics, and creative approaches to documentary filmmaking.”

Documentaries receiving IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund production grants are:

  • Another Body (Sophie Compton, director; Reuben Hamlyn, director; Elizabeth Woodward, producer)

  • Black Snow (Alina Simone, director; Kirstine Barfod, producer)

  • Fire Through Dry Grass (Alexis Neophytides, co-director/producer; Andres "Jay" Molina, co-director; Jennilie Brewster, producer)

  • Hidden Letters (Violet Du Feng, director/producer; Zhao Qing, co-director; Jean Tsien, producer; Metter Cheng Munthe-Kaas, producer; ​​Su Kim, producer; Tanja Georgieva-Waldhauer, co-producer)

  • Mija (Isabel Castro, director/producer; Tabs Breese, producer)

  • Seeds (Brittany Shyne, director/producer; Danielle Varga, producer)

  • The Untitled Baltimore Documentary Project (Gabriel Francis Paz Goodenough, director; Dawne Langford, producer)

  • Untitled Dwarfism Project (Julie Forrest Wyman, director/producer)

  • Untitled Sura Mallouh Project (Sura Mallouh, director/producer; Laura Poitras, producer; Yoni Golijov, producer)

  • Who Killed Alex Odeh? (Jason Osder, director/producer; William Youmans, director/producer)

Support for diverse makers is at the heart of IDA’s grantmaking programs. In this round of grants, nine of the 10 projects are directed and/or produced by a woman. And seven have a BIPOC director and/or producer. In addition, three directors and/or producers identify as LGBTQ and four identify as living with disabilities. They will be convening at the Double Exposure Film Festival from October 13 to 17. 

The application reviewers for this year’s Fund are Claire Aguilar, Todd Chandler, Kavitha Chekuru, Emily Cohen Ibañez, Amber Feras, Maria Fortiz Morse, Kristen Fitzpatrick, David France, Shayla Harris, Kristi Jacobson, David Osit, Nicole Salazar, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, Ranell Shubert, Kristal Sotomayor, Tsanavi Spoonhunter, Michèle Stephenson, Almudena Toral, Reveca Torres, Duy Linh Tu, and Eugene Yi.

The next application period for the Fund opens Winter 2022; for more information visit