Robert Redford to Receive Career Achievement Honor at IDA Awards

Documentary prize will salute Redford’s founding of the Sundance Institute; director Rithy Panh, producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato also receive awards

Robert Redford
Sundance Founder Robert Redford (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Robert Redford will receive the 2014 Career Achievement Award at this year’s IDA Documentary Awards, the International Documentary Association announced on Thursday.

The ceremony will take place on Friday, Dec. 5 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, with additional honorary awards going to World of Wonder Productions founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (the Pioneer Award) and Cambodian director Rithy Panh (the Preservation and Scholarship Award).

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Redford has been involved in the production of a number of documentaries, including the short “The Solar Film” and the features “Incident at Ogala” and “The Unforeseen,” but his primary contribution to non-fiction filmmaking came with his founding of the Sundance Institute. The Sundance Film Festival is one of the most important showcases for documentaries on the festival calendar, while the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program has nurtured and supported a huge number of non-fiction filmmakers.

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While the Career Achievement Award is normally given to a filmmaker with a long and distinguished body of work, including Errol Morris, Werner Herzog and Alex Gibney, it also goes on occasion to a person whose support of the field comes in other ways, with HBO Documentary chief Sheila Nevins another past honoree.

The Pioneer Award is given for advancing the documentary form and providing vision and leadership to the doc community. Bailey and Barbato founded their World of Wonder production company in 1991, and have produced films that include “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “Inside Deep Throat,” “Monica in Black and White,” “Becoming Chaz,” “Million Dollar Listing” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

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Panh, who directed 2013’s Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, “The Missing Picture,” was voted the Preservation and Scholarship Award. The award was given both for his film, an animated doc about the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, and for his founding of the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center in Phnom Penh. The center collects audio and visual material about Cambodia and offers the public free access, as well as providing vocational training in film and media.

Nominees for the competitive IDA Awards will be announced in late October.