Apollo 11, American Factory, The Biggest Little Farm, For Sama, Honeyland, One Child Nation and Sea of Shadows are among the high-profile films nominated for best feature by the International Documentary Association, which on Wednesday announced the nominees for its 2019 awards.
Advocate, The Edge of Democracy and Midnight Family round out the feature nominees.
The IDA also announced that it will present a best director award for the first time. All of the films up for this prize (Advocate, American Factory, Edge of Democracy, For Sama and Honeyland) have female helmers.
Additionally, For Sama director-producer Waad Al-Kateab has been named this year's Courage Under Fire honoree.
“Back in Aleppo, I had no option but to fight the fears and horrors of this war through filming my experience both as a mother and as a female filmmaker. And now to receive the Courage Under Fire Award, I am moved and honored and even more inspired to continue to tell these important stories," Al-Kataeb said in a statement. "This award means so much, and I hope it will serve as an inspiration to women around the world who are suffering from war or prejudice, so that they may find the strength to film their lives and to tell their truth. I would like to share this award with all of the brave filmmakers and citizen journalists behind the scenes whom you may never hear about and who have experienced these horrors together with us in Aleppo, Ghouta and now in Idleb. Thank you to the IDA and to all documentary filmmakers who are changing the world with their films.”
Among feature nominees up for other awards, Apollo 11 is also nominated in the editing and music score categories; American Factory is also up for best editing; Biggest Little Farm is also up for best music score; Edge of Democracy is also up for best writing; Honeyland is also up for best cinematography and will receive the Pare Lorentz Award; Midnight Family is also up for best cinematography and editing; and Sea of Shadows is also up for best music score.
Other high-profile projects that landed IDA noms include Netflix's Selena Gomez-executive-produced Living Undocumented (up for best episodic series), HBO's Michael Jackson doc Leaving Neverland, Amazon's Lorena Bobbitt series Lorena, Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries and Showtime's Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (all up for best multi-part documentary, with the Wu-Tang series also up for best music documentary); and Neon's Aretha Franklin doc Amazing Grace, Netflix's Beyoncé concert film Homecoming and HBO's The Apollo (all up for best music documentary).
Added IDA executive director Simon Kilmurry, “The IDA Documentary Awards recognizes excellence in nonfiction storytelling across a range of forms, and all of this year’s nominees and winners illustrate that documentary storytelling is one of the most vital art forms today. These features, shorts, series, and audio documentaries explore all parts of the human experience. They challenge us and entertain us. They speak to the need for a more compassionate world and illustrate the unlimited resilience and potential we have by sharing these stories with each other. They build bridges across continents and cultures.”
He continued: “With the addition of the best director award, the IDA is making an important statement. We felt the need to more clearly acknowledge the creativity and bold directorial vision that is behind many of the films we are privileged to consider. We hope that this award recognizes the fact that documentary directing is a vital and unique art form."
The 35th annual IDA Documentary Awards will be presented Dec. 7 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles.
A complete list of this year's nominees follows.