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May 10, 2021

IDA and XRM Media Launch New Incubator for Short Verite Documentaries; IDA Awards $150,000 in Development Grants to Ten Projects

Los Angeles, CA (May 10, 2021) - The International Documentary Association (IDA) and XRM Media announced the launch of a new international fund to support short vérité documentaries with an emphasis on emerging filmmakers. The IDA+XRM Media Incubator will provide three filmmakers with $25,000 each. In addition, each grantee will be paired with an award-winning director who will serve as a mentor. They are Academy award-nominated directors Skye Fitzgerald (Hunger Ward) and Smriti Mundhra (St. Louis Superman), and Emmy award-nominated director Nadia Hallgren (Becoming).

Left to right: Skye Fitzgerald is a middle-aged white male wearing glasses and a blue windbreaker; and Smriti Mundhra is an Indian-American woman with long black hair, wearing glasses and a scarf, Nadia Hallgren is a Black and Puerto Rican woman with curly brown hair, wearing a patterned blouse.

Applications for the IDA+XRM Media Incubator will open on Monday, July 5th. The final submission deadline is Monday, August 2. Visit for more information.

“IDA is thrilled to partner with XRM Media to support filmmakers making short documentaries,” said Simon Kilmurry, IDA’s executive director. “XRM Media’s commitment to filmmakers aligns very well with IDA’s mission, and by joining forces we can ensure that filmmakers receive all the resources they need to make high-impact films.”

Michael Y. Chow, Chief Instigator at XRM Media commented, "XRM Media has long respected and valued what Simon Kilmurry and the entire IDA team have brought to the documentary filmmaking community and are thrilled to announce our partnership and support of the new IDA+XRM Media Incubator fund to support short vérité documentaries. We believe in the magic of short films and are excited to see what can come from supporting documentary filmmakers in a meaningful way."

XRM Media is an award-winning entertainment and media technology company dedicated to supporting, producing and financing diversity-driven, BIPOC content across all mediums with its global partners. XRM Media's interests vary across all stages of the development, production, and distribution processes, including but not limited to, equity financing, co-financing, financial modeling and fund management. XRM Media also recently announced a partnership with the Sundance Institute to present Sundance Film Festival: Asia, taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The IDA also announced grants totaling $150,000 to documentaries in development through its Enterprise Documentary Fund. Ten documentary projects have been selected to receive $15,000 each. All of them have BIPOC directors and/or producers, five projects have directors and/or producers who identify as LGBTQ+, seven are directed and/or produced by women, and one has a producer who identifies as non-binary.

The IDA Enterprise Documentary 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. Since 2017, IDA has provided over $4.5 million in grants through its documentary funds. 

“In the face of near existential challenges to individuals, our communities and the environment, the range of filmmakers and films is a testament to IDA’s continued commitment to diversity in storytelling,” said Poh Si Teng, Director of IDA Funds and Enterprise Program. “We are incredibly excited for these filmmakers and look forward to seeing the world through their eyes.”

Documentaries receiving the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund development grants are:

Previously, the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund has given development support to 2020 Oscar-nominee Life Overtakes Me by Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas; as well as Users by Natalia Almada, Josh Penn and Elizabeth Lodge Stepp; At the Ready by Maisie Crow, Hillary Pierce, and Abbie Perrault; and President by Camilla Nielsson, Signe Byrge Sørensen, and Joslyn Barnes, all premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.