‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Wins Courage Under Fire Award From International Documentary Association

Other winners at the IDA Documentary Awards will include directors Sam Pollard (“MLK/FBI”) and Garrett Bradley (“Time”)

Welcome to Chechnya
David Isteev in 'Welcome to Chechnya' / HBO

David France’s “Welcome to Chechnya,” a documentary about LGBTQ+ activists who risk their lives to smuggle gay men and women out of a country that is known to torture and kill homosexuals, will receive the Courage Under Fire Award at the International Documentary Associations’s 2020 IDA Documentary Awards, the IDA announced on Tuesday.

The award will go to France, the film team responsible for his movie, and activists David Isteev from the Russian LGBT Network and Olga Baranova from the Moscow Community Center for LGBT+ Initiatives, along with all those who work in those organizations.

Other honorees will include “MLK/FBI” director Sam Pollard, who will receive the Career Achievement Award for directing such films as “Slavery by Another Name,” “Sammy Davis Jr., I’ve Gotta Be Me,” “Two Trains Runnin’” and “August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand,” and for editing several of Spike Lee’s films and co-producing Lee documentaries like “When the Levees Broke” and “Four Little Girls.”

Director Garrett Bradley will receive the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award for her film “Time,” for which she won the best-director award in the U.S. Documentary Feature Competition at Sundance in January.

Regina Scully, the founder and CEO of Artemis Rising, will receive the Amicus Award, which goes to an organization or individual who supports nonfiction filmmaking.

Firelight Media, which the IDA describes as “the premier destination for nonfiction cinema by and about people of color,” will receive the Pioneer Award for advancing the nonfiction form.

Finally, the Truth to Power Award, which the IDA said was established last year to “recognize an individual or institution that has shown conspicuous fortitude, tenacity and resoluteness in holding those in power to account,” will go to Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa, whose Rappler news network is depicted in Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary “A Thousand Cuts.”

The awards will be presented in January at a virtual ceremony. Nominees in the competitive categories will be announced in late November.

From the International Documentary Association press release:

This year’s IDA Documentary Awards honorees are:
• Primetime Emmy®-winning and Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Sam Pollard (“MLK/FBI,” “Four Little Girls,” “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”) with the Career Achievement Award
• Filmmaker Garrett Bradley (“Time”) with the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award
• Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning, Academy Award®-nominated Producer Regina Scully with the Amicus Award
Firelight Media, which produces documentary films, supports emerging filmmakers of color and cultivates audiences for their work, with the Pioneer Award
Courage Under Fire Award goes to David France and the film team behind “Welcome to Chechnya” and activists David Isteev (The Russian LGBT Network) and Olga Baranova (Moscow Community Center for LGBT+ Initiatives)
• Journalist Maria Ressa and the Filipino news network Rappler with the Truth to Power Award featured in “A Thousand Cuts” by Ramona S. Diaz

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