‘Bobi Wine: The People’s President’ Wins Top Prize at IDA Documentary Awards

The International Documentary Association also crowned “The Mother of All Lies,” “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” and “Four Daughters” on Tuesday

Bobi Wine The People's President
Bobi Wine: The People's President (CREDIT: National Geographic)

“Bobi Wine: The People’s President” has been named the best nonfiction film of 2023 at the International Documentary Association’s IDA Documentary Awards, which were handed out in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday.

The film, directors Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp’s look at Ugandan politician, singer, actor and activist Bobi Wine, won in a heavily international category that included “Apolonia, Apolonia,” “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” “In the Rearview” and “The Mother of All Lies.” Among the high-profile documentaries that were not nominated for the top IDA award: “American Symphony,” “20 Days in Mariupol,” “The Deepest Breath,” “The Eternal Memory,” “Beyond Utopia,” “Kokomo City” and “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie.”

Other winning films came from Morocco, Estonia, Chile, Germany, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. The only American films to win were the short, “Incident” and the music documentary “Max Roach: The Drummer Also Waltzes.” (U.S. TV productions also won.)

Three of the winners are also entered in the Oscars Best International Feature Film category: “The Mother of All Lies,” which won for directing (Asmae El Moudir); “Four Daughters,” which took the award for writing (Kaouther Ben Hania) and “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood,” which won for cinematography (Ants Tammik).  

TV awards went to “POV” for Best Curated Series, “Our Planet II” for Best Episodic Series and “Dear Mama” for Best Multi-Part Documentary.

The IDA winner has gone on on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature five times in the 13 years from 2004 (“Born Into Brothels”) to 2016 (“O.J.: Made in America”), but it has not won since then.

The full list of winners:

Best Feature Documentary
Winner: Bobi Wine: The People’s President (Uganda | National Geographic Documentary Films | Directors: Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp | Producers: Christopher Sharp, John Battsek)

Best Short Documentary
Winner: Incident  (United States | Hypnotic Pictures | Director: Bill Morrison | Producers: Bill Morrison, Jamie Kalven)

Best Director
Winner: Asmae El Moudir, The Mother of All Lies (Arizona Distribution | Morocco)

Best Cinematography
Winner: Ants Tammik, Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (Greenwich Entertainment | Estonia, France, Iceland)

Best Editing
Winner: Carolina Siraqyan, The Eternal Memory (MTV Documentary Films | Chile, USA)

Best Original Music Score
Winner: Leonard Küssner, Anselm (Sideshow and Janus Films | Germany)

Best Writing
Winner: Kaouther Ben Hania, Four Daughters (Kino Lorber | France, Tunisia, Germany)

Best TV Feature Documentary or Mini-Series
Winner: Mariupol: The People’s Story (BBC | UK | Director: Robin Barnwell | EP: Darren Kemp, Tom Stone | Producer: Hilary Andersson)

Best Curated Series
Winner: POV (PBS | USA | EP: Erika Dilday, Chris White)

Best Episodic Series
Winner: Our Planet II (Netflix | USA, UK | EP: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey)

Best Music Documentary
Winner: Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes (PBS, American Masters | USA | Directors/Producers: Ben Shapiro, Sam Pollard)

Best Multi-Part Documentary
Winner: Dear Mama (FX | USA | Director: Allen Hughes | EP: Lasse Järvi, Quincy “QD3” Jones III, Staci Robinson, Nelson George, Charles King, Peter Nelson, Adel “Future” Nur, Jamal Joseph, Ted Skillman, Allen Hughes, Steve Berman, Marc Cimino, Jody Gerson, John Nanick, Nicholas Ferrall, Nigel Sinclair)

Best Short-Form Series
Winner: POV Shorts (PBS | USA | EP: Opal H. Bennett, Erika Dilday, Chris White)

Best Standalone Audio Documentary
Winner: This Coal Life (South Africa | Host: Lesedi Mogoatlhe | Reporter: Siyabonga Mokoena | Producer: Dhashen Moodley)

Best Multi-Part Audio Documentary or Series
Winner: You Didn’t See Nothin (USA | The Invisible Institute, USG Audio | Host: Yohance Lacour | Producers: Bill Healy, Erisa Apantaku, Dana Brozost-Kelleher, Sarah Geis)

David L. Wolper Student Documentary
Winner: Lettre à Elie (Letter to Elie) (National Film and Television School | UK | Director/Producer: Alexis Grigorieff)

Pare Lorentz Award
In the Rearview (Poland | Cinephil | Director: Maciek Hamela | Producers: Maciek Hamela, Piotr Grawender)

ABC News VideoSource Award
Storming Caesars Palace (USA | Independent Lens, PBS | Director: Hazel Gurland-Pooler | Producers: Hazel Gurland-Pooler, Nazenet Habtezghi)

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