IDA Documentary Award Nominations Unveiled

Courtesy of A24 Films

Tig Notaro will host the 2015 ceremony, set for Dec. 5.

The International Documentary Association has unveiled the nominees for its 2015 awards for nonfiction filmmaking.

The following six films are nominated in IDA's feature category: Asif Kapadia's Amy, about Amy Winehouse; The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution; Marlon Brando doc Listen to Me Marlon; Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence, the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing; The Russian Woodpecker, about Ukranian artist Fedor Alexandrovich's obsession with a Soviet-constructed radio antenna near Chernobyl; and Liz Garbus' Nina Simone doc, What Happened, Miss Simone?

In IDA's short category, the nominees are Body Team 12, Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah; The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul; Object and Last Day of Freedom.

“Some of the documentary industry’s brightest and best talent released films alongside notable premieres from fledgling filmmakers making it one of the most exciting and difficult years for our nominating committees. The quality of the films vying for recognition left the IDA with an unprecedented six feature nominees,” said Marjan Safinia, IDA’s board president.

Winners in both categories are voted on by IDA's international membership. Outside screening committees of industry professionals around the world determine the winners in other categories.

Nominees for the ABC News VideoSource Award, which recognizes compelling use of news footage in documentary filmmaking, include: (T)error (Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, directors); Best of Enemies (Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville, directors); Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll (John Pirozzi, director); Night Will Fall (Andre Singer, director); and What Happened, Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus, director).

Five series are nominated for the curated series award: 30 for 30 (ESPN), Independent Lens (ITVS/PBS), POV (POV, PBS), Storyville (BBC) and America Reframed (WORLD Channel).

Limited series nominees are: Blood Brothers (Vara Television (The Netherlands)); Hard Earned (Al Jazeera America, Kartemquin Films); The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (HBO); Life Story (Discovery) and Rebel Architecture (Al Jazeera English).

The nominees for the episodic series award are: Chef's Table (Netflix); Morgan Spurlock Inside Man (CNN, Warrior Poets); NOVA (PBS); The Seventies (CNN, Playtone, Herzog & Company); and This is Life With Lisa Ling (CNN, part2 pictures).

The series nominated for the short form series award include: Do Not Track (National Film Board of Canada, Upian, Arte, BR); Highrise: Universe Within (National Film Board of Canada); The New York Times Op-Docs (The New York Times); POV Interactive Documentaries (POV, PBS); and We The Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss (Vulcan Productions, Cinelan).

Five student films are nominated for the David L. Wolper student documentary award: The Archipelago (Benjamin Huguet, director); The Blue Wall (Michael Milano, director); El Cacao (Michelle Aguilar, director); In Attla's Tracks (Catharine Axley, director); and Looking at Stars (Alexandre Peralta, director).

IDA also announced that Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman will receive its "Courage Under Fire" award, in recognition of conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth. The award is presented to documentary filmmakers by their peers for putting freedom of speech above all else, even their own personal safety. Cartel Land documents two vigilante movements: Dr. Joe Mireles' citizen-led uprising against a violent Mexican drug cartel and the Arizona Border Recon, led by Tim Foley, which works to prevent Mexico's drug wars from crossing into the U.S. Previous recipients of this award include Laura Poitras, Christiane Amanpour, Andrew Berends, Jonathan Stack and James Brabazon and Saira Shah.

The Pare Lorentz award, which recognizes films about environmental and social issues, will be given to How to Change the World, directed by Jerry Rothwell, about the founders of Greenpeace.

The IDA also announced the feature-film recipients of its creative recognition awards. The Russian Woodpecker (cinematography by Artem Ryzhykov) has been awarded best cinematography; Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (edited by Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen) will receive the best editing award; Best of Enemies will get the award for best music for its original score by Jonathan Kirkscey; and Listen to Me Marlon, written by Stevan Riley and Peter Ettedgui, will receive the best writing award.

The 31st IDA Documentary Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5 in the Paramount Theatre at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. Grammy-nominated comedian Tig Notaro, the subject of the Netflix Original documentary chronicling her life, will host the show.

Safinia said of Notaro: "She continues to push the boundaries and evolve as an artist in a way that is very comparable to the filmmaking talent we are honoring that night.”