IDA Documentary Awards: 'City of Ghosts,' 'L.A. 92' and 'Strong Island' Among Best Feature Nominees

12:36 PM 11/1/2017

by THR Staff

The International Documentary Association also unveiled the nominations for best short and its creative recognition award winners.

'City of Ghosts'
'City of Ghosts'
Courtesy of Sundance

The IDA Documentary Awards on Wednesday unveiled its nominees in the categories of best feature and best short and the recipients of its creative recognition awards.

The best feature nominees are City of Ghosts, L.A. 92, Strong Island, Dina and Faces Places. The winners in that category and the best short category are decided by International Documentary Association members. L.A. 92 also scored a nomination in the ABC News VideoSource award category, where it is competing against CNN Films' Elian, Netflix's Icarus and Blood on the Mountain (co-distributed by Virgil Films) and Kino Lorber's Obit.

“The diverse array of films nominated this year underscore the vibrancy and elasticity of documentary form,” IDA executive director Simon Kilmurry said in a statement. “These films address the most urgent contemporary global matters — and the most intimate emotional territory. All of them demonstrate the courage and ingenuity of nonfiction media makers.”

In terms of the creative recognition award winners, Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva won for best cinematography for his work on Machines; Bill Morrison won for best editing for his work on Dawson City: Frozen Time; Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin won for best music for their original score for Brimstone and Glory; and Chico Pereira, Manuel Pereira and Gabriel Molera won for best writing for Donkeyote.

The IDA also will honor director Marcel Mettelsiefen's Watani: My Homeland with the Pare Lorentz Award, with Joe Berlinger's Intent to Destroy receiving a special mention in that category.

The best limited series nominees are HBO's The Defiant Ones; Netflix's The Keepers; Ken Burns' The Vietnam War for PBS; Spike's Time: The Kalief Browder Story, executive produced by Jay-Z; and Daughters of Destiny.

The best episodic series nominees are CNN's Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown; Netflix's Chef's Table; A&E's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath; National Geographic's Mars; and BBC America's Planet Earth II.

The 33rd annual IDA Awards will take place Saturday, Dec. 9, at Los Angeles' Paramount Theatre.

A full list of nominees follows.

  • Pare Lorentz Award

    Watani: My Homeland

    Director: Marcel Mettelsiefen

    Intent to Destroy
    (Special Mention)

    Director: Joe Berlinger

  • ABC News VideoSource Award

    Blood On The Mountain
Directors: Mari-Lynn Evans and Jordan Freeman
Virgil Films/Netflix


Directors: Tim Golden and Ross McDonnell

Gravitas Ventures, CNN Films


Director: Bryan Fogel


LA 92

Directors: Dan Lindsay & TJ Martin

National Geographic


Director: Vanessa Gould

Kino Lorber

  • Best Curated Series

    American Experience
Executive Producer: Mark Samels


Executive Producer: Anders Bruus


Independent Lens

Executive Producers: Lois Vossen and Sally Jo Fifer



Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White



Executive Producers: Rachel Raney and Amy Shumaker

UNC-TV, South Carolina ETV, NETA and WORLD

  • Best Limited Series

    Daughters of Destiny
Executive Producer: Vanessa Roth


    The Defiant Ones
Executive Producers: Allen Hughes, Doug Pray, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Gene Kirkwood, and Jerry Longarzo


    The Keepers
Executive Producers: Ryan White and Jessica Hargrave

    The Vietnam War
Executive Producer: Ken Burns


    TIME: The Kalief Browder Story
Executive Producers: Jenner Furst, Nick Sandow, Julia Willoughby Nason, Michael Gasparro, Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Sharon Levy, Chachi Senior

  • Best Episodic Series

    Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Executive Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia and Sandra Zweig


    Chef’s Table

    Executive Producers: David Gelb, Matthew Weaver, Brian McGinn, Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard and Matthew Hilliard


    Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
Executive Producers: Leah Remini, Aaron Saidman, Alex Weresow, Devon-Graham-Hammonds, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Amy Savitsky

Executive Producers: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Michael Rosenberg, Dave O’Connor, Jon Kamen, Tommy Turtle, David Sirulnick, Jonathan Silberberg, Lorenzo Mieli, Everardo Gout, Justin Wilkes, Tim Pastore, Matt Renner, Robert Palumbo, and David Sirulneck
National Geographic

    Planet Earth II

    Executive Producer: Michael Gunton

  • Best Short Form Series

    Field of Vision

    Executive Producers: Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook

Field of Vision

    Shorts on Time

Executive Producer: Julie Parker Benello


    The Guardian documentaries

Executive Producers: Charlie Phillips and Lindsay Poulton

    The Guardian

    The New York Times Op-Docs

Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo

    The New York Times

    The Secret Life of Muslims

    Executive Producers: Joshua Seftel and Reza Aslan


  • David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award

    Director: Ray Whitehouse
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Director: Maayan Arad
 of National Film and Television School (United Kingdom)

    How To Make A Pearl

    Director: Jason Hanasik
 of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

    Man on Fire

    Director: Joel Fendelman
University of Texas, Austin

    Room 140
    Director: Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz
 oof Stanford University

  • Best Feature

    City of Ghosts
    Director/Producer: Matthew Heineman
    Amazon Studios

    Directors/Producers: Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles
    The Orchard

    Faces Places
    Directors: Agnès Varda and JR
    Cohen Media Group

    LA 92
    Directors: Dan Lindsay & TJ Martin
    Producers: Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Tim Pastore, Matt Renner and Sarah Gibson
    National Geographic

    Strong Island
    Director/Producer: Yance Ford
    Producer Joslyn Barnes

  • Best Short

    Director: Laura Checkoway
    Producer: Thomas Lee Wright
    Kartemquin Films

    The Fight
    Directors/Producers: Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw
    The Guardian

    Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405
    Director/Producer: Frank Stiefel

    Long Shot
    Director: Jacob LaMendola
    Producers: Jacob LaMendola, Mary Beth Minthorn, Milos S. Silber and Todd Wiseman Jr.

    Mr. Connolly Has ALS
    Director/Producer: Dan Habib
    Impact Media Partners

    The Rabbit Hunt Director: Patrick Bresnan
    Producer: Ivete Lucas
    Topic Studios

  • Creative Recognition Award Winners

    Best Cinematography
    Cinematography by: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva
    Kino Lorber

    Best Editing
    Dawson City: Frozen Time
    Edited by: Bill Morrison
    Kino Lorber

    Best Music
    Brimstone & Glory
    Original Score by: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin
    Oscilloscope Laboratories

    Best Writing
    Written by: Chico Pereira, Manuel Pereira and Gabriel Molera
    Scottish Documentary Institute