Four docus make the IDA cut


The International Documentary Assn. will present special awards to "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," "Sputnik Mania," "This American Life" and "The Supreme Court."

Director Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" will receive the IDA's Pare Lorentz Award, which is given to the film that best represents the activist spirit and lyrical vision of filmmaker Lorentz. The film is an intimate portrait of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the floods. The HBO documentary tells the personal stories of those who endured the ordeal and survived to share tragic and triumphant tales.

The continuing series winner, Showtime's "American Life," was created by Ira Glass and Chicago Public Radio and directed by Chris Wilcha. Inspired by the Chicago public radio show of the same name, the 30-minute program looks at stories culled from all over the country.

The limited series winner, "Supreme Court," was directed by Thomas Lennon, produced by Mark Zwonitzer and executive produced by Jody Sheff. The four-part PBS series focuses on the history, impact and drama of America's highest court.

The IDA ABCNews VideoSource Award winner is given to the documentary that best utilizes television news footage. "Sputnik Mania" tells the story of the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik 50 years ago and what happened in America in the year that followed. The film was directed by David Hoffman, produced by Eric Reid and executive produced by Jay Walker.

The winners will be feted Dec. 7 during the IDA Awards gala benefit at the DGA Theatre in Los Angeles.