IDA Awards: Documentary Feature and Shorts Shortlists Announced

The International Documentary Association on Thursday unveiled its awards shortlists, including presumptive Oscar frontrunners such as Netflix's 'American Factory,' Neon's 'Apollo 11' and HBO's 'Diego Maradona.'
Telluride Film Festival
'Lost and Found'

The International Documentary Association's IDA Awards, one of the stronger harbingers of Oscar success in the categories of best documentary feature and best documentary short, on Thursday announced its own shortlists for those categories — 30 documentary features from 375 submissions and 21 documentary shorts from 153 submissions.

Features advancing to the next round include Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar's American Factory, an exploration into the culture clash when a Chinese company opens a factory in Ohio; Apollo 11, Todd Douglas Miller's assemblage of found footage capturing the lunar launch and landing on its 50th anniversary; and from Asif Kapadia, the Oscar-winning director of the doc Amy, a profile of another tragic figure, this time from the world of soccer, Diego Maradona.

Notably missing from the feature shortlist were Showtime's The Kingmaker, Netflix's Knock Down the House and Sony Classics' Maiden. (Knock director Rachel Lears was, however, announced earlier this week as this year's recipient of the IDA's Emerging Doc Filmmaker Award.)

Members will pick up to 10 nominees from each shortlist for the 35th IDA Awards, to be announced on Oct. 23. IDA members will then begin the final round of voting on Nov. 4, and winners will be announced at the IDA Awards ceremony, held on the Paramount Studios lot, on Dec. 7.

Shorts that made the cut this year include National Geographic's Lost and Found, from the Oscar-winning director Orlando von Einsiedel, and Alexander A. Mora's The Nightcrawlers; MTV Documentary Films' St. Louis Superman, Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra's portrait of a Ferguson activist; and Easter Snap, the latest project of RaMell Ross, who was Oscar-nominated earlier this year for his doc feature Hale County This Morning, This Evening.

Netflix's highly touted Fire in Paradise, directed by Zack Canepari and Drea Cooper, came up, well, short, but the streamer did land a spot for Nadia Hallgren's After Maria.

This year's IDA Awards will honor documentary work across 15 categories, including best feature, best short and, for the first time, best director. The other 12 categories are: best curated series, best episodic series, best multi-part documentary, best short form series, best audio documentary, best music documentary, best cinematography, best editing, best writing, best music score, the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award and the Pare Lorentz Award.

For the first time, nominees in craft categories will be selected exclusively by cinematographers, editors, writers and composers.

"The feature and short documentaries on this year’s IDA shortlists represent a remarkable breadth of work," Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the IDA, said in a statement. "These films are urgent clarion calls for action, they are exposing injustice and inhumanity, they are love stories and offer great hope — and they contain the full breadth of the human experience. They have all earned deserved attention."

The full shortlists can be found below.

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Features shortlist

Advocate (Israel, Canada, Switzerland. Directors and Producers: Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche. Producers: Paul Cadieux and Joelle Bertossa)

Amazing Grace (USA / NEON. Producers: Alan Elliot, Tirrell D. Whittley, Sabrina V. Owens, Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Spike Lee, Angie Seegers and Joseph Woolf)

American Factory (USA / Netflix. Directors and Producers: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. Producers: Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello)

The Apollo (USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Roger Ross Williams. Producers: Lisa Cortés, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann)

Apollo 11 (USA / NEON and CNN Films. Director and Producer: Todd Douglas Miller. Producers: Thomas Petersen and Evan Strauss)

Aquarela (U.K., Germany, Denmark / Sony Pictures Classics. Director: Victor Kossakovsky. Producers: Aimara Reques, Heino Deckert and Sigrid Dyekjær)

The Biggest Little Farm (USA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Director and Producer: John Chester. Producer: Sandra Keats)

Black Mother (USA / Grasshopper Film. Director and Producer: Khalik Allah. Producer: Leah Giblin)

The Cave (USA, Syria, Denmark / National Geographic. Director: Feras Fayyad. Producers: Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjaer)

Cunningham (USA, Germany / Magnolia Pictures. Director and Producer: Alla Kovgan. Producers: Helge Albers, Ilann Girard, Elizabeth Delude-Dix, Kelly Gilpatrick and Derrick Tseng)

Dark Suns (Canada / Dogwoof. Director and Producer: Julien Elie)

Diego Maradona (U.K. / HBO. Director: Asif Kapadia. Producers: James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin)

EARTH (Austria / KimStim. Director and Producer: Nikolaus Geyrhalter. Producers: Michael Kitzberger, Markus Glaser and Wolfgang Widerhofer)

The Edge of Democracy (USA, Brazil / Netflix. Director and Producer: Petra Costa. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan)

The Feeling of Being Watched (USA / POV. Director: Assia Boundaoui. Producer: Jessica Devaney)

For Sama (U.K., Syria / PBS Distribution, FRONTLINE. Director and Producer: Waad al-Kateab. Director: Edward Watts)

Hail Satan? (USA, Sweden / Magnolia Pictures. Director: Penny Lane. Producer: Gabriel Sedgwick)

Honeyland (Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevska. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev)

The Hottest August (USA, Canada / Grasshopper Film. Director and Producer: Brett Story. Producer: Danielle Varga)

Kabul, City in the Wind (Netherlands, Afghanistan, Germany. Director: Aboozar Amini. Producer: Jia Zhao)

Lemebel (Chile, Colombia / Compañía de Cine. Director and Producer: Joanna Reposi Garibaldi. Producer: Paula Sáenz-Laguna)

Midnight Family (Mexico, USA / 1091. Director and Producer: Luke Lorentzen. Producers: Kellen Quinn, Daniela Alatorre and Elena Fortes)

Midnight Traveler (USA, U.K., Qatar / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Director: Hassan Fazili. Producers: Su Kim and Emelie Coleman Mahdavian)

One Child Nation (USA / Amazon Studios. Directors and Producers: Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang. Producers: Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements and Carolyn Hepburn)

Our Time Machine (China / POV, Da Xiang. Directors and Producers: Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang)

Present.Perfect. (USA, Hong Kong / Burn The Film. Director: Shengze Zhu. Producer: Zhengfan Yang)

The Proposal (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Director: Jill Magid. Producers: Charlotte Cook, Laura Coxson and Jarred Alterman)

Roll Red Roll (USA / POV. Director and Producer: Nancy Schwartzman. Producers: Steven Lake and Jessica Devaney)

Sea of Shadows (USA, Austria / National Geographic. Director: Richard Ladkani. Producers: Walter Kohler and Wolfgang Knopfler)

This Is Not a Movie (Germany, Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Yung Chang. Producers: Anita Lee, Allyson Luchak, Nelofer Pazira and Ingmar Trost)

Shorts shortlist

30 for 30 Shorts: Mack Wrestles (USA / ESPN. Directors and Producers: Taylor Hess and Erin Sanger. Producers: Erin Leyden and Gentry Kirby)

A Love Song for Latasha (USA. Director and Producer: Sophia Nahli Allison. Producers: Janice Duncan and Fam Udeorji)

After Maria (USA / Netflix. Director: Nadia Hallgren. Producer: Lauren Cioffi)

All Inclusive (Switzerland / Some Shorts. Director: Corina Schwingruber Ilić. Producer: Stella Händler)

America (USA / Aubin Pictures. Director: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino and Catherine Gund)

Black to Techno (USA / Frieze. Director: Jenn Nkiru)

Easter Snap (USA. Director and Producer: RaMell Ross. Producers: Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim)

In the Absence (USA, Korea / Field of Vision. Director: Yi Seung-Jun. Producer: Gary Byung-Seok Kam)

La Bala de Sandoval (Ecuador / Vtape. Director and Producer: Jean-Jacques Martinod)

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl) (U.K., USA, Afghanistan / Lifetime Films, A&E IndieFilms. Director: Carol Dysinger. Producer: Elena Andreicheva)

The Love Bugs (USA. Directors and Producers: Allison Otto and Maria Clinton)

Lost and Found (USA, Myanmar / National Geographic. Director: Orlando von Einsiedel. Producers: Mark Bauch, Harri Grace and Dan Lin)

Marielle and Monica (Brazil, U.K. / The Guardian. Director: Fabio Erdos. Producer: Marina Costa)

The Nightcrawlers (USA, Philippines / National Geographic. Director: Alexander Mora. Producers: Joanna Natasekura, Doireann Maddock and Abigail Anketell-Jones)

Sam and the Plant Next Door (U.K. / The Guardian. Director and Producer: Omer Sami)

Scenes From a Dry City (USA / Field of Vision. Directors and Producers: Simon Wood and Francois Verster)

The Separated (USA / The Atlantic. Director and Producer: Jeremy Raff)

Show Me the Way (USA / Topic.com. Director and Producer: Kate Kunath)

St. Louis Superman (USA / MTV Documentary Films, Al Jazeera Witness and Meralta Films. Directors and Producers: Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan. Producer: Poh Si Teng)

The Unconditional (USA. Director and Producer: Dave Adams. Producers: Adam Soltis, Renee Woodruff Adams, Josie Swantek Heitz and Chris Tuss)

Valley of the Rulers (Serbia, Israel. Director: Efim Graboy. Producer: Dejan Petrovic)