August 23, 2016

The International Documentary Association and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Announce Lineup for Biennial Getting Real Conference

Los Angeles, CA (August 23, 2016) – The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced today the lineup and additional keynote presentations for Getting Real ‘16, a biennial filmmaker-tofilmmaker conference inaugurated by the IDA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2014. The three-day conference, to be held September 27-29, 2016 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study and other locations in Hollywood, will be stacked with keynotes, conversations with noted filmmakers, interactive presentations exploring the art and craft of documentary, exclusive Here’s What Really Happened sessions going behind the scenes into the making and distribution of recent documentaries and more. The goal of this unprecedented event is to focus on the critical issues facing the documentary community, catalyze change, and celebrate the vibrant art of documentary.

Keynote speakers include highly acclaimed filmmakers Ava DuVernay and Shola Lynch in conversation and renowned filmmaker, Steve James, on September 27, and president and co-founder of Firelight Media, Marcia Smith, on September 28. Additional highlights will include a conversation with filmmaker Ezra Edelman and a conversation between Oscar®-winner Roger Ross Williams, recently elected to the Academy Board of Governors, and award-winning producer Julie Goldman. Programming for the Getting Real ‘16 has continued to evolve from its inception in 2014 with filmmaker feedback driving the current programming themes. This year’s conference includes a much greater international focus and includes new offerings such as creative case studies on the evolving craft of documentary film to be held at the NeueHouse in Hollywood, a VR Doc Summit bringing together VR makers and thinkers in this burgeoning creative field, as well as one-on-one mentorship meetings between filmmakers and industry mentors.

"Getting Real represents the coming together of a diverse and dynamic community, not just to celebrate individual films, but to strengthen the connections within the field,” says Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director of IDA. “While passion for the truth through documentary storytelling drives many of us, it is only through building community and strengthening infrastructure can we forge an industry that thrives."

The Conference, once again co-presented by the Academy, will feature three additional special events open to the public:

  • Monday, September 26, 7:30pm - Digital Diaspora Family Reunion with Thomas Allen Harris
  • Wednesday, September 28, 7pm - Adventures and Discoveries in Early Documentaries: Kukan (1941) & Aloha Wanderwell Baker
  • Thursday, September 29, 7:30pm - StoryWorks: The Overnighters – An original storytelling experience exploring the intersection of documentary film, investigative journalism and live performance.

“The Academy is thrilled to be teaming up with the International Documentary Association for the second time on their Getting Real conference. The conference helps bring together documentary filmmakers from around the world to share ideas, discuss the critical issues facing the field and develop a sense of community. The Academy is committed to these same goals, and through this partnership, we hope to strengthen the ties within the international documentary community,” said Academy Documentary Governors Kate Amend, Rory Kennedy and Roger Ross Williams.

Getting Real ’16 is made possible thanks, in part, to funders Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, POV, The Wyncote Foundation, A&E Indie Films, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Catapult Film Fund, ITVS, Ford Foundation – Just Films, Discovery, Firstcom Music, LEF Foundation, The Filmmaker Fund, Vulcan Productions, Archibald Family Charitable Foundation, WORLD Channel, Sundance Institute, Arclight Cinemas, and American Film Showcase.

A partial lineup of events, speakers, and panels is available on and conference passes are available for purchase on Tickets for all evening events hosted by the Academy are available for purchase here.

Contact Information

Chet Mehta

Alana Yankowitz

PR DEPT for IDA - (323) 556-3100