Awards also go to Wild Wild Country and Matthew Heineman's The Trade
Bing Liu's Minding the Gap has claimed one of the biggest awards in documentary, winning Best Feature at the IDA Awards in Hollywood Saturday night. The coming-of-age film, about Liu and two friends who gravitate towards skateboarding to escape abusive homes, bested a field that included Free Solo and Won't You Be My Neighbor?, along with seven other films.
The film also won Best Editing, and Liu received the previously-announced Emerging Filmmaker Award. In his acceptance speech for the latter honor, Liu voiced the hope that his late stepfather had found the peace that eluded him in life. The documentary reveals that Liu suffered brutal treatment at the hands of his stepfather.
Minding the Gap previously won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Documentary. Combined with the IDA win, it moves deeper into awards season with considerable momentum.
The IDA Award for Best Documentary Short went to Zion, the story of wrestler Zion Clark who was born without legs. He was given up for adoption as a baby and endured abuse from a succession of foster parents. But in wrestling he found a sport that put him on a path to building self-esteem and confidence. The 11-minute-long film, directed by Floyd Russ, is now streaming on Netflix.
The Trade, Matthew Heineman's Showtime series that explores multiple angles in the opioid epidemic, won Best Episodic Series. Best Limited Series went to Wild Wild Country, the acclaimed Netflix multi-parter about the conflict that erupted in Oregon in the 1980s when the Rajneesh spiritual movement set up a huge compound in a rural part of the state.
Best Music Category, a new category at the IDA Awards this year, produced a tie between Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.--about the titular Sri Lankan pop star--and Mr. SOUL!, a documentary about African-American broadcaster Ellis Haizlip and the pioneering variety show he created int he 1960s, called Soul!
Ricki Lake, who produced he documentary Weed the People this year, hosted the ceremony, which was held on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood.
This is the full list of winners:
ABC News VideoSource Award: John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Pare Lorentz Award: The Silence of Others
Honorable Mention: The Distant Barking of Dogs
David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award: Circle
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.