Female Directors Dominate in IDA Documentary Awards Nominations

Six of the 10 Best Feature nominees, and all of the films nominated in the new Best Director category, are directed or co-directed by women

Last Updated: October 23, 2019 @ 3:40 PM

Films directed or co-directed by women dominated the nominations for the 35th IDA Documentary Awards, which were announced on Wednesday by the International Documentary Association.

All five films nominated in the new Best Director category — “Advocate,” “American Factory,” “The Edge of Democracy,” “For Sama” and “Honeyland” — were directed or co-directed by women, as was “One Child Nation,” which joined those films in the Best Feature category.

Also nominated in the top category: “Apollo 11,” “Midnight Family,” “Sea of Shadows” and “The Biggest Little Farm.”

The nominations, which were made by committees assembled by the IDA, mean that “American Family,” “Apollo 11,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” “Honeyland” and “One Child Nation” are now the only nonfiction films to have received nominations by the IDA and the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards and included on DOC NYC’s list of the year’s 15 likeliest awards contenders.

With additional feature-film categories devoted to cinematography, editing, music and writing, five films received three IDA nominations each: “American Factory,” “Apollo 11,” “Honeyland,” “Midnight Family” and “The Edge of Democracy.”

“Honeyland” also won the Pare Lorentz Award, while the Courage Under Fire Award, which goes to a filmmaker displaying “conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth,” will be given to “For Sama” director Waad Al-Kataeb, who chronicled her life in embattled Syria with her young daughter.

Last year, four of the five Oscar nominees in the Best Documentary Feature category, all except “RBG,” were first nominated by the IDA.

Short-film nominees include “Easter Snap” from director RaMell Ross, who was nominated for an Oscar last year for the feature doc “Hale County This Morning, This Evening.”

Nominees in the television categories include “Finding Justice,” “Living Undocumented” and “Our Planet” for episodic series and “Leaving Neverland” and “Surviving R. Kelly” for multi-part documentary.

The 2019 IDA Documentary Awards will be presented on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Paramount Studios in Los Angeles.

Here are the nominees:

Best Feature
“Advocate” (Canada, Israel, Switzerland / Film Movement. Directors and Producers: Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche. Producers: Paul Cadieux and Joelle Bertossa)
“American Factory” (USA / Netflix. Directors and Producers: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. Producers: Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello)
“Apollo 11” (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Director and Producer: Todd Douglas Miller. Producers: Thomas Petersen and Evan Strauss)
“For Sama” (Syria, UK / PBS Distribution, Channel 4, FRONTLINE. Director and Producer: Waad al-Kateab. Director: Edward Watts)
“Honeyland” (Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevska. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev)
“Midnight Family” (Mexico, USA / 1091. Director and Producer: Luke Lorentzen. Producers: Kellen Quinn, Daniela Alatorre and Elena Fortes)
“One Child Nation” (USA / Amazon Studios. Directors and Producers: Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang. Producers: Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements and Carolyn Hepburn)
“Sea of Shadows” (Austria, USA / National Geographic. Director: Richard Ladkani. Producers: Walter Kohler and Wolfgang Knopfler)
“The Biggest Little Farm” (USA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Director and Producer: John Chester. Producer: Sandra Keats)
“The Edge of Democracy” (Brazil, USA / Netflix. Director and Producer: Petra Costa. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan)

Best Director
Petra Costa, “The Edge of Democracy” (Brazil, USA / Netflix)
Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche, “Advocate” (Canada, Israel, Switzerland / Film Movement)
Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, “American Factory” (USA / Netflix)
Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, “Honeyland” (Macedonia / NEON)
Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, “For Sama” (Syria, UK / PBS Distribution, Channel 4, FRONTLINE)

Best Short
“A Love Song for Latasha” (USA. Director and Producer: Sophia Nahli Allison. Producers: Janice Duncan and Fam Udeorji)
“After Maria” (USA / Netflix. Director: Nadia Hallgren. Producer: Lauren Cioffi)
“America” (USA / Aubin Pictures. Director: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino and Catherine Gund)
“Black to Techno” (USA / Frieze. Director: Jenn Nkiru. Producer: Jacqueline Edenbrow)
“Easter Snap” (USA. Director and Producer: RaMell Ross. Producers: Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim)
“In the Absence” (Korea, USA / Field of Vision. Director: Yi Seung-Jun. Producer: Gary Byung-Seok Kam)
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)” (Afghanistan, UK, USA / Lifetime Films, A&E IndieFilms. Director: Carol Dysinger. Producer: Elena Andreicheva)
“Sam and the Plant Next Door” (UK / The Guardian. Director and Producer: Omer Sami)
“The Nightcrawlers” (Philippines, USA / National Geographic. Director: Alexander Mora. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Doireann Maddock and Abigail Anketell-Jones)
“Valley of the Rulers” (Israel, Serbia. Director: Efim Graboy. Producer: Dejan Petrovic)
Best Curated Series
“American Experience” (USA / PBS. Executive Producer: Michael Kantor)
“BBC Storyville” (China, Hungary, UK / BBC. Executive Producer: Mandy Chang)
“Dokumania” (Denmark / Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Executive Producer: Anders Bruus)
“POV” (USA / PBS. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White)
“AJE Witness” (Qatar / AJE English. Executive Producer: Fiona Lawson-Baker)

Best Curated Series
“American Experience” (USA / PBS. Executive Producer: Mark Samels)
“BBC Storyville” (China, Hungary, UK / BBC. Executive Producer: Mandy Chang)
“Dokumania” (Denmark / Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Executive Producer: Anders Bruus)
“POV” (USA / PBS. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White)
“AJE Witness” (Qatar/AJE English. Executive Producer: Fiona Lawson-Baker)

Best Episodic Series
“Abstract: The Art of Design” (USA / Netflix. Executive Producers: Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville, Dave O’Connor, Justin Wilkes and Jon Kamen)
“Finding Justice” (USA / BET. Executive Producers: Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, David Leepson, Brian Gewirtz, dream hampton, Jackson Nguyen, Aaron Rice, Todd Crites, Hiram Garcia, Aaron Bowden and Stephanie Lydecker)
“Kids Behind Bars: Life Or Parole” (USA / A&E. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Peter LoGreco, Joshua Rofe, Devon Hammonds, Evan Lerner, Amy Savitsky and Elaine Frontain Bryant)
“Living Undocumented” (USA / Netflix. Directors and Executive Producers: Anna Chai and Aaron Saidman. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Sean O’Grady, Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey)
“Our Planet” (UK, USA / Netflix. Directors: Adam Chapman, Mandi Stark, Jeff Wilson, Sophie Lanfear, Hugh Pearson and Huw Cordey. Executive Producers: Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey)

Best Multi-Part Documentary
“Chasing the Moon” (USA / PBS. Director and Producer: Robert Stone. Executive Producer: Mark Samels. Producers: Susan Bellows, Daniel Aegerter, Keith Haviland and Ray Rothrock)
“Leaving Neverland” (USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Dan Reed. Executive Producers: Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller)
“Lorena” (USA / Amazon. Director and Executive Producer: Joshua Rofé. Executive Producers: Jordan Peele, Steven J. Berger, Win Rosenfeld, Jenna Santoianni, Tom Lesinski and Andrea Harner. Producer: M. Elizabeth Hughes)
“Surviving R. Kelly” (USA / Lifetime. Executive Producers: Joel Karsberg, Dream Hampton, Tamra Simmons, Jesse Daniels and Brie Miranda Bryant)
“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” (USA / Showtime. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra)

Best Short Form Series
“A Cure for Fear” (USA / Topic.com. Director and Producer: Lana Wilson. Producer: Shrihari Sathe. Executive Producers: Anna Holmes, Jeff Seelbach and Diane L. Max)
“A Moment in Mexico” — The New York Times Op-Docs (Mexico, USA / New York Times. Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo. Coordinating Producer: Lindsay Crouse)
“Guardian Documentaries” (UK / The Guardian. Executive Producer: Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton and Jacqueline Edenbrow)
“POV Shorts” (USA / PBS. Producer: Chloe Gbai. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White)
“The F Word” (USA / Participant Media, SoulPancake. Director and Producer: Nicole Opper. Producer: Kristan Cassady)

Best Audio Documentary
“Gladiator: The Aaron Hernandez Story” (USA / The Boston Globe, Wondery. Reporters: Bob Hohler, Beth Healy, Sacha Pfieffer and Andrew Ryan. Producer: Amy Pedulla. Executive Producers: Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy and George Lavender)
“Headlong: Running from COPS” (USA / Stitcher Premium, Topic Studios. Host and Producer: Dan Taberski. Producers: Henry Molofsky, Courtney Harrell and Diane Hodson. Executive Producers: Max Linsky, Jenna Weiss-Berman, Lisa Leingang and Leital Molad)
“Heavyweight” — Episode: “Skye” (USA / Gimlet Media. Reporter and Executive Producer: Jonathan Goldstein. Producers: Kalila Holt, Stevie Lane, Peter Bresnan and Jorge Just)
“Latino USA” — Episode: “The Return” (USA / National Public Radio. Producer: Sayre Quevedo. Executive Producer: Maria Hinojosa)
“A Sense of Quietness” (UK / BBC Radio 4. Producer: Eleanor McDowall. Executive Producers: Alan Hall and Rachel Hooper)

Best Music Documentary
“Amazing Grace” (USA / NEON. Producers: Alan Elliot, Tirrell D. Whittley, Sabrina V. Owens, Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Spike Lee, Angie Seegers, Joseph Woolf)
“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (USA / Netflix. Director and Producer: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Director: Ed Burke. Producers: Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams)
“The Apollo” (USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Roger Ross Williams. Producers: Lisa Cortés, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann)
“The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” (USA / YouTube. Director: Thom Zimny. Producers: Thom Zimny, Glen Zipper, Sean Stuart and Jillian Apfelbaum)
“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” (USA / Showtime. Director: Sacha Jenkins. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra. Producers: Cary Graber, Vanessa Maruskin, Ghostface Killah, Robert F. Diggs, GZA, Lamont “UGod” Hawkins, Darryl Hill Sr., Jason Hunter, Icelene Jones, Method Man, E. Turner and Raekwon The Chef)

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
“All That Remains” (USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Eva Rendle)
“Beyond the North Winds: A Post Nuclear Reverie” (UK, Colombia / National Film & Television School (UK). Director and Producer: Natalie Cubides-Brady)
“Brewed in Palestine” (USA, Israel, Palestine / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Emma Schwartz)
“Follow the Sun” (USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: JoeBill Muñoz)
“In the Wake” (India, USA / Northwestern University. Director and Producer: Natasha Nair)

Best Cinematography
“Dark Suns” (Canada / Dogwoof. Cinematographers: Ernesto Pardo and François Messier-Rheault)
“Gods of Molenbeek” (Belgium, Finland, Germany / CAT&Docs. Cinematographer: Hannu Vitikainen)
“Honeyland” (Macedonia / NEON. Cinematographers: Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma)
“Midnight Family” (Mexico / 1091. Cinematographer: Luke Lorentzen)
“When Lambs Become Lions” (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Cinematographer: Jon Kasbe)

Best Editing
“American Factory” (USA / Netflix. Editor: Lindsay Utz)
“Apollo 11” (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Editor: Todd Douglas Miller)
“Diego Maradona” (UK / HBO. Editor: Chris King)
“Human Nature” (USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Editor: Regina Sobel)
“Midnight Family” (Mexico, USA / 1091. Editor: Luke Lorentzen. Co-Editor: Paloma López Carrillo)
“When Lambs Become Lions” (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Editors: Jon Kasbe, Caitlyn Greene and Frederick Shanahan)

Best Music Score
“Apollo 11” (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Composer: Matt Morton)
“Human Nature” (USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Composer: Keegan Dewitt)
“Sea of Shadows” (USA, Austria / National Geographic. Composer: H. Scott Salinas)
“The Biggest Little Farm” (USA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Composer: Jeff Beal)
“The Raft” (Denmark, Sweden, USA / Metrograph Pictures. Composer: Hans Appelqvist)

Best Writing
“Always in Season” (USA / ITVS. Writers: Jackie Olive and Don Bernier)
“Dark Suns” (Canada / Dogwoof. Writer: Julien Elie)
“The Cave” (Denmark, Syria, USA / National Geographic. Writer: Feras Fayyad)
“The Edge of Democracy” (Brazil, USA / Netflix. Writer: Petra Costa)
“The Great Hack” (USA / Netflix. Writers: Pedro Kos, Erin Barnett and Karim Amer)

Pare Lorentz Award
WINNER: “Honeyland” (Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevsk2a. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev)
HONORABLE MENTION: “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” (Canada / Kino Lorber. Director: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky. Producer: Nadia Tavazzani)

Honorary Awards
Amicus Award: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Career Achievement Award: Freida Lee Mock (“Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision,” “Anita”)
Courage Under Fire Award: Waad Al-Kateab (“For Sama”)
Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award: Rachel Lears (“Knock Down The House,” “The Hand That Feeds”)
Pioneer Award: Cinereach

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