“Dina,” Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles’ film about a romance between two people on the autism spectrum, was named the best nonfiction feature of 2017 at the 33rd Annual IDA Documentary Awards, which took place on Saturday night on the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles.
The film had to be considered a real underdog going into the awards ceremony, because it was the only nominee in the Best Feature category with no shot at an Oscar doc nomination. The other four nominees in the category — “City of Ghosts,” “Faces Places,” “LA 92” and “Strong Island” — all made the 15-film Oscar shortlist in the documentary feature category, but “Dina” did not.
Three of those films, though, were honored elsewhere in the IDA ceremony. Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s “LA 92,” which uses archival footage to tell the story of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, won the ABC News VideoSource Award, which goes to the best use of news footage in a documentary. Matthew Heineman’s “City of Ghosts” was one of four Syrian-set films that shared the Courage Under Fire Award, the others being “Cries From Syria,” “Hell on Earth” and “Last Men in Aleppo.” And Yance Ford’s “Strong Island,” the filmmaker’s examination into the shooting of his brother, won its director the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.
Remarkably, the only nominee in the category to go home empty-handed was “Faces Places,” the widely celebrated collaboration between legendary French director Agnès Varda and street artist JR.
Laura Checkoway’s “Edith+Eddie,” about the oldest interracial newlyweds in the U.S., won the award for the best documentary short. It recently made the Oscar shortlist in that category.
In the television categories, “Independent Lens” was named Best Curated Series, “The Defiant Ones” took the prize for Best Limited Series and “Planet Earth II” won for Best Episodic Series. The New York Times’ Op Doc series was named Best Short Form Series.
Previously announced creative recognition awards went to the cinematography of “Machines,” the editing of “Dawson City: Frozen Time,” the music of “Brimstone & Glory” and the writing of “Donkeyote.”
Honorary awards went to Lourdes Portillo and Abigail Disney.
The show took place in the Paramount Theatre and was hosted by comedian and actor Maz Jobrani.
The IDA Documentary Awards winners:
Best Feature: “Dina”
Directors/Producers: Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles
Best Short: “Edith+Eddie”
Director: Laura Checkoway
Producer: Thomas Lee Wright
ABC News VideoSource Award: “LA 92”
Directors: Dan Lindsay & TJ Martin
Best Curated Series Award: “Independent Lens”
Executive Producers: Lois Vossen and Sally Jo Fifer
Best Limited Series: “The Defiant Ones”
Executive Producers: Allen Hughes, Doug Pray, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Jerry Longarzo, Michael Lombardo, and Gene Kirkwood
Best Episodic Series Award: “Planet Earth II”
Executive Producer: Michael Gunton
Best Short Form Series Award: “The New York Times Op-Docs”
Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo
Creative Recognition Award Winners
Best Cinematography: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva, “Machines”
Best Editing: Bill Morrison, “Dawson City: Frozen Time”
Best Music: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, “Brimstone & Glory”
Best Writing: Chico Pereira, Manuel Pereira and Gabriel Molera, “Donkeyote”
Pare Lorentz Award: “Watani: My Homeland”
Director: Marcel Mettelsiefen
Special Mention: “Intent to Destroy”
Director: Joe Berlinger
Courage Under Fire Award: “City of Ghosts,” “Cries From Syria,” “Hell on Earth” and “Last Men in Aleppo”
David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award: “Man on Fire”
Director: Joel Fendelman
Producer: James Chase Sanchez
University of Texas, Austin
Career Achievement Award: Lourdes Portillo
Amicus Award: Abigail Disney
Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award: Yance Ford