Norman and Lyn Lear Among International Documentary Association Honorees

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Norman Lear

Along with filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Nanfu Wang, they will be recognized at the Documentary Awards on Dec. 9.

Lyn and Norman Lear, Stanley Nelson, Ally Derks and Nanfu Wang will all be honored at The International Documentary Association’s 32nd Annual Documentary Awards, which are set to be held Dec. 9 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

"Our honorees this year include veteran and emerging filmmakers, illustrating how vital the documentary field is,” Simon Kilmurry, IDA executive director said Thursday in announcing the honors. “Stanley Nelson's body of work is unsurpassed and Nanfu Wang is a bold and brave emerging talent. Ally Derks had the vision to found the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, one of the oldest and certainly the largest documentary festival in the world, long before documentaries became cool. And Norman and Lyn Lear's ongoing support of filmmakers and free speech has allowed countless voices to be heard."

The Lears, whose Lear Family Foundation supports projects addressing issues like civil liberties, the environment, health and civic activism, will be presented with the Amicus Award. “Lyn and I are proud to accept IDA’s Amicus Award because we believe that documentary film can, and has, made so much change, especially in the areas of climate change, civil liberties, and civil rights,” said Norman Lear. “As strong supporters of the documentary film community we believe no other institution serves documentarians in the way IDA does, particularly when it comes to advocacy, educational opportunities, and introducing new audiences to the craft.”

Nelson, who will be the recipient of the Career Achievement Award, is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur Fellow and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, his eighth film, was released in 2015 after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

Derks, who is to receive the Pioneer Award, founded the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 1988 and became its director in 1989. It has since become the largest doc festival and market in the world.

The Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award will be presented to Wang, known for her work about marginalized or mistreated people, from Chinese blood donors stricken with HIV from used government-issued needles to the left-behind children of migrant laborers. Her short films have been distributed on many platforms and translated into several languages, and her feature debut Hooligan Sparrow has received support from Sundance Institute, IFP, IDA, and BRITDOC and has played at film festivals around the world.

Nominees for the Documentary Awards will be announced in early November.