Hooligan Sparrow director Nanfu Wang, and head of IDFA are set for honors too
Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson will soon add another honor to his impressive list of accomplishments.
The International Documentary Association has announced it will present the director with a career achievement award at the IDA's 32nd annual Documentary Awards in December. Nelson's most recent film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution aired on public television this year after a successful theatrical run. He and producer Laurens Grant won Emmys for their earlier documentary, Freedom Riders.
Nelson will be joined by some distinguished fellow honorees: Lyn and Norman Lear, IDFA founder Ally Derks and young Chinese-born filmmaker Nanfu Wang.
Lear, who turned 94 in July, and his wife Lyn will receive the IDA's Amicus Award. In announcing the honor the IDA noted the couple's wide-ranging philanthropic work, which includes the Lear Family Foundation. In 1981 Lear founded People for the American Way, an influential liberal advocacy group.
Lear is one of the executive producers of the Epix channel documentary series America Divided, along with Shonda Rimes and Common. And he is the subject of the documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. It will debut October 25 on the PBS series American Masters.
Derks, who launched the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam [IDFA] in 1988, will be honored with the IDA's Pioneer Award. IDFA ranks as the biggest documentary film festival in the world, attracting three thousand participants a year. IDFA 2016 takes place November 16-27.
Wang, who hails from a small village in China, is set to receive the IDA's Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award. Her latest film, Hooligan Sparrow, documents Ye Haiyan, a courageous advocate for sexually-abused children, women's rights and sex workers who has regularly clashed with Chinese authorities. Wang herself risked imprisonment by filming Ye's activities.
The IDA Awards will be presented December 9 in Los Angeles.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.