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‘Minding the Gap’ Wins Top Honor at IDA Documentary Awards

Bing Liu’s doc about skateboarders grappling with histories of violence takes three awards; ”Wild Wild Country,“ ”The Trade“ and ”John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls“ also win


“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu’s film about working-class Illinois skateboarders whose raucous lifestyle hides brutal family stories, has been named the best nonfiction film of 2018 at the International Documentary Association’s IDA Documentary Awards, which took place on the Paramount Studios lot on Saturday night.

Liu also received the Emerging Filmmaker Award, and he and Joshua Altman won the award for best editing.

Other craft awards went to “Distant Constellation” cinematographer Shevaun Mizrahi, “The Other Side of Everything” writer Mila Turajlić and, in a tie, “Bisbee ’17” composer Keegan DeWitt and “Hale Country This Morning, This Evening” composers Scott Alario, Forest Kelley and Alex Somers.

The award for the best music documentary also ended in a tie, between Steve Loveridge’s “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” and Melissa Haizlip’s “Mr. Soul!”

In its first year, the Best Audio Documentary category was won by the New York Times’ “Caliphate.”

Floyd Russ’ “Zion,” a character study of a high school wrestler born without legs, won the award as the year’s best documentary short.

In the television categories, “POV” won for curated series, “The Trade” for episodic series, “Wild Wild Country” for limited series and “MEL Films” for short-form series.

The ABC News VideoSource Award, which goes to a feature that makes good use of archival news footage, was given to the HBO doc “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The Pare Lorentz Award, which is given to films that demonstrate “exemplary filmmaking while focusing on environmental and social issues,” was given to Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s “The Silence of Others,” with honorable mention to Simon Lereng Wilmont’s “The Distant Barking of Dogs.”

Jayisha Patel’s “Circle” won the award as the best student documentary.

Chicken & Egg Pictures,  a Brooklyn-based company that has given more than $6 million in grants to women nonfiction filmmakers in the last 12 years, received the Amicus Award, which is given for support to the doc community. Pioneering feminist filmmaker Julia Reichert received the Career Achievement Award.

The ceremony, one of the top awards given to documentary films, was hosted by Ricki Lake. Presenters included director Barry Jenkins, actresses Kathy Bates and Emily Deschanel and director and cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, many of whom spoke about the value of nonfiction films in creating empathy.

2018 IDA Documentary Awards winners:

Best Feature: “Minding the Gap”
Best Short: “Zion”

Best Curated Series: “POV”
Best Episodic Series: “The Trade”
Best Limited Series: “Wild Wild Country”
Best Short Form Series: “MEL Films”

Best Music Documentary: (TIE) “MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.” and “Mr. SOUL!”
Best Audio Documentary: “Caliphate”

Creative Recognition Awards
Best Cinematography: “Distant Constellation,” Shevaun Mizrahi
Best Editing: “Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu and Joshua Altman
Best Writing: “The Other Side of Everything,” Mila Turajlić
Best Music Score: (TIE) “Bisbee ’17,” Keegan DeWitt and “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” Scott Alario, Forest Kelley and Alex Somers

Sponsored Special Awards
ABC News VideoSource Award: “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls”
Pare Lorentz Award: “The Silence of Others”
   Honorable Mention: “The Distant Barking of Dogs”
David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award: “Circle”