'Hoop' nets IDA's top spot

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The International Documentary Assn. has compiled a list of the 25 best documentaries, topped by the 1994 basketball docu "Hoop Dreams."

The 1988 justice-system classic "The Thin Blue Line" is second on the list, and Michael Moore's school-shooting docu "Bowling for Columbine" was ranked third. Moore and the directing team of Albert and David Maysles ("Salesman") figured in the most selections with three each.

Founded in 1982, the IDA is a nonprofit organization supporting nonfiction filmmakers and videomakers in the U.S. and abroad. The IDA created the "25 Best" list to celebrate the group's 25th anniversary.

"We hope (it) sparks discussion and rekindles a love of nonfiction film," said Judy Chaikin, who chaired a committee charged with overseeing the film selection process.

The IDA asked the 3,000 filmmakers, educators and others who are members of the organization to pick favorites from a list of 700 films. Members were given the opportunity to write in additional film choices.

In other IDA news, Buddy Squires will receive the organization's Outstanding Documentary Cinematography Award on Dec. 7 during the annual IDA Awards Gala Benefit. Squires, the principal cinematographer for PBS' "The War," has won 13 Emmys and one Oscar.
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