Prestigious awards will be presented December 5; comedian Tig Notaro to host
This is turning out to be the year of the celebrity documentary.
The International Documentary Association announced its nominees Wednesday and half of the contenders in the feature category are about famed artists: Amy, Asif Kapadia's documentary about the late Amy Winehouse; What Happened, Miss Simone? Liz Garbus' film about the legendary singer and Civil Rights activist Nina Simone, and Listen to Me Marlon, the Stevan Riley-directed doc about Marlon Brando.
The remaining three films competing in the feature category are The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson; The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheimer, and Chad Gracia's documentary The Russian Woodpecker, which follows eccentric Ukrainian artist Fedor Alexandrovich on his quixotic quest to figure out the hidden cause behind the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
"The quality of the films vying for recognition left the IDA with an unprecedented six feature nominees,” IDA Board President Marjan Safinia said in a news release accompanying the announcement.
In the documentary short category, five films will compete: Body Team 12 directed by David Darg [and executive-produced by Olivia Wilde and Paul Allen], about teams charged with collecting the bodies of Ebola victims in Liberia; Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, a documentary about the making of a documentary -- Lanzmann's acclaimed Shoah; The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul directed by Kitty Green; Paulina Skibińska’s short Object, and Last Day of Freedom directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman.
In addition to its nomination in the feature category, The Russian Woodpecker will be recognized for Best Cinematography.
Artem Ryzhykov is the cinematographer responsible for the remarkable imagery in Woodpecker.
Gracia told nonfictionfilm.com his DP used Soviet-era lenses to capture many of the stirring shots, which include a haunting image of an abandoned schoolroom near Chernobyl littered with child-sized gas masks. Ryzhykov used drones to catch the ghostly grandeur of the Duga, the gigantic radio antenna near Chernobyl that is key to Alexandrovich's theory about the real cause of the nuclear explosion.
Director Matthew Heineman, who embedded himself with narco-traffickers in Mexico for his documentary Cartel Land, will receive the IDA's Courage Under Fire Award "in recognition of conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth." The IDA added, "This award is presented to documentary filmmakers by their peers for putting freedom of speech – represented in the crafts of documentary filmmaking and journalism – above all else, even their own personal safety."
Shortly before the film's theatrical release in July, Heineman told Nonfictionfilm.com he witnessed gun battles, tense standoffs between Mexican authorities and heavily-armed so-called Autodefensas, as well as clandestine meth operations in the nine months he spent filming Cartel Land:
I think [my life] felt in danger at all times. I think it’d be crazy if I didn’t or I’d be inhuman. I’m not a war reporter. I’ve never been in situations like this before. So it’s a frightening film to me.
Armed members of the Autodefensas rally in Michoacán. Photo courtesy "Cartel Land a film by Matthew Heineman"
Comedian Tig Notaro, herself the subject of the recent documentary Tig, will host the IDA Awards. The ceremony will take place on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood.
Full list of nominees:
31st Annual IDA Awards NomineesBest Feature AwardAmy
Director: Asif Kapadia
Producer: James Gay-Rees
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Director: Stanley Nelson
Producer: Laurens Grant
Listen to Me Marlon
Director: Stevan Riley
Producers: John Battsek, R.J. Cutler, and George Chignell
SHOWTIME DOCUMENTARY FILMS
The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen
DRAFTHOUSE FILMS AND PARTICIPANT MEDIA
The Russian Woodpecker
Director: Chad Gracia
Producers: Ram Devineni and Mike Lerner
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Director: Liz Garbus
Producers: Amy Hobby, Jayson Jackson, and Justin Wilkes
Best Short AwardBody Team 12
Director: David Darg
Producer: Bryn Mooser
RYOT FILMS AND VULCAN PRODUCTIONS
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
Director: Adam Benzine
The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul
Director: Kitty Green
Producer: Philippa Campey
KURZFILMAGENTUR HAMBURG (GERMANY)
Last Day of Freedom
Directors: Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
Director: Paulina Skibińska
MUNK STUDIO AND POLISH FILMMAKERS ASSOCIATION
Best Curated Series Award30 for 30
Executive Producers John Dahl and Connor Schell
Executive Producers: Chris Hastings and Simon Kilmurry
Executive Producers: Sally Jo Fifer and Lois Vossen
Executive Producers: Simon Kilmurry and Chris White
Series Editor: Nick Fraser
Executive Producer: Kate Townsend
BBC TV, BBC WORLD NEWS
Best Limited Series AwardBlood Brothers
Executive Producers: Kees Schaap and Anja van Oostrom
VARA TELEVISION (THE NETHERLANDS)
Executive Producers: Steve James, Justine Nagan, and Gordon Quinn
Series Producer: Maggie Bowman
AL JAZEERA AMERICA AND KARTEMQUIN FILMS
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
Executive Producer: Jason Blum
Co-Executive Producer: Zac Stuart-Pontier
Produced by: Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling
Executive Producer: Mike Gunton
Executive Producer: Flora Gregory
Series Producer: Dan Davies
AL JAZEERA ENGLISH
Best Episodic Series AwardChef’s Table
Executive Producers: David Gelb, Andrew Fried, and Brian McGinn
Morgan Spurlock Inside Man
Executive Producers: Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin, and Morgan Spurlock
CNN AND WARRIOR POETS
Senior Executive Producer: Paula Apsell
Deputy Executive Producer: Julia Cort
Executive Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, and Mark Herzog
CNN, PLAYTONE, AND HERZOG & COMPANY
This is Life with Lisa Ling
Executive Producers: Amy Bucher, Lisa Ling, and David Shadrack Smith
CNN AND PART2 PICTURES
Best Short Form Series AwardDo Not Track
Executive Producer: Hugues Sweeney
NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA, UPIAN, ARTE, AND BR
Highrise: Universe Within
Executive Producers: Anita Lee and Silva Basmajian
NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA
The New York Times Op-Docs
Executive Producer: Jason Spingarn-Koff
THE NEW YORK TIMES
POV Interactive Documentaries
Executive Producer: Simon Kilmurry and Adnaan Wasey
POV AND PBS
WE THE ECONOMY: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss
Executive Producers: Paul G. Allen and Morgan Spurlock
VULCAN PRODUCTIONS AND CINELAN
David L. Wolper Student Documentary AwardThis award recognizes exceptional achievement in non-fiction film and video production at the university level and brings greater public and industry awareness to the work of students in the documentary field.
Director: Benjamin Huguet
THE NATIONAL FILM AND TELEVISION SCHOOL
The Blue Wall
Director: Michael Milano
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
Director: Michelle Aguilar
University of California Santa Cruz
In Attla’s Tracks
Director: Catharine Axley
Looking at the Stars
Director: Alexandre Peralta
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Pare Lorentz AwardThe Pare Lorentz Award recognizes films that demonstrate exemplary filmmaking while focusing on the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all and the illumination of pressing social problems.
How to Change the World
Director: Jerry Rothwell
ABC News VideoSource AwardThis award is given each year for the best use of news footage as an integral component in a documentary.
Directors: Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe
INDEPENDENT LENS ALONG WITH BBC
Best of Enemies
Directors: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville
MAGNOLIA PICTURES AND INDEPENDENT LENS
Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll
Director: John Pirozzi
Night Will Fall
Director: André Singer
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Director: Liz Garbus
Creative Recognition Award WinnersThe Creative Recognition category recognizes special achievement in cinematography, editing, music and writing in films entered in the Feature Category.
Best CinematographyThe Russian Woodpecker
Cinematography by: Artem Ryzhykov
Best EditingKurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Edited by: Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen
Best WritingListen to Me Marlon
Written by: Stevan Riley
Co-Writer: Peter Ettedgui
Best MusicBest of Enemies
Original Score by: Jonathan Kirkscey
Awards VotingIDA members decide the winners in the Best Feature category and in the Best Short category of the IDA Documentary Awards. Current IDA members who meet our judging requirements will be able to view the nominated films and cast their votes online from anywhere in the world. Begin the voting process now!
Not an IDA member? Join the IDA today.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.