IDA is thrilled to present the Awards Campaign Access Initiative (ACAI), previously known as in-kind grants, for the 2022 events season. The initiative supports independent filmmakers from historically excluded communities currently pursuing a film awards campaign. Our goal is to minimize their financial burdens related to the campaign. During the 21-22 events season, we hosted screenings and provided advertising support to 10 independent filmmakers, and this year we will continue to provide that same support. Learn more about how we are changing our  Screening Series to reflect better our mission of building a more equitable documentary culture.

Nine films selected as a part of ACAI this year to participate in the 2022 IDA Screening Series are:

  • Beba | Dir. Rebeca Huntt | Prod: Sofia Geld, Rebeca Huntt  
  • Hidden Letters | Dir. Violet Du Feng, Zhao Qing | Prod: Violet Du Feng, Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas, Jean Tsien, Su Kim
  • I Didn't See You There | Dir. Reid Davenport | Prod: Keith Wilson
  • Lakota Nation vs. United States | Dir: Jesse Short Bull, Laura Tomaselli | Prod: Benjamin Hedin
  • Let the Little Light Shine | Dir. Kevin Shaw | Prod: Kevin Shaw, Rachel Dickson
  • Punch 9 for Harold Washington | Dir. Joe Winston | Prod: Joe Winston, Raymond Lambert, Sonya Jackson
  • Sansón and Me | Dir. Rodrigo Reyes | Prod: Su Kim, Rodrigo Reyes 
  • Sirens | Dir. Rita Baghdadi | Prod: Rita Baghdadi, Camilla Hall
  • What We Leave Behind | Dir. Iliana Sosa | Prod: Emma D. Miller, Iliana Sosa

Award Amount

IDA will provide ten filmmakers with an in-kind awards campaign package valued at $15,000 each. Each grant provides the following services and support: 

  • One IDA Documentary Screening Series virtual screening event with moderated Q&A

  • Complimentary IDA digital and print advertising in Documentary magazine 

  • One complimentary annual individual-level membership 

Application Evaluation

IDA staff and a committee that may include journalists, filmmakers, scholars, and industry professionals will review application materials through a confidential process. 

Applicant Eligibility

ACAI applications are open to directors or producers from historically excluded communities (including but not limited to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, D/deaf, and disabled filmmakers). International filmmakers are welcome to apply. 

Film Eligibility 

  • Oscar-qualifying or Oscar-qualified documentary features or shorts for the 2022-2023 awards season. See the 95th Academy Awards rules here.

  • To be eligible for 95th Academy Awards consideration, a documentary feature must complete a theatrical release for seven consecutive days in one of the six qualifying U.S. metro areas: Los Angeles County; City of New York [five boroughs]; the Bay Area [counties of San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo, and Contra Costa]; Chicago [Cook County, Illinois]; Miami [MiamiDade County, Florida]; and Atlanta [Fulton County, Georgia], during the eligibility period. OR

  • The film must have won a qualifying award at a competitive film festival, as specified in the Documentary Feature Film Qualifying Festival List, regardless of any prior public exhibition or distribution by nontheatrical means. OR

  • The film must have been submitted in the International Feature Film category as its country’s official selection for the 95th Academy Awards.

  • The eligibility period for documentary features begins on January 1, 2022, and ends on December 31, 2022.

  • Films must demonstrate significant financial need (films without distribution or with a self-financed awards campaign)