New York Times Tops Shortlists for IDA Documentary Awards

The 39th International Documentary Awards have announced their shortlists for the best nonfiction entries of the year, with a ceremony to take place during the week of Dec. 11 in Los Angeles in a venue to be named. The films were selected by independent committees comprised of 280 documentary makers, curators, critics, and industry experts from 40 countries. IDA received 669 total submissions in all categories from 48 countries.

New York Times Op-Docs dominated the Documentary Short category with seven mentions, including entries from the Netherlands (“Neighbour Abdi”), Mexico (“Victoria”) and Hungary (“Away”) among the shortlisted selections. The Documentary Feature category appeared to favor less-buzzy international titles this season.

What is surprising about the IDA shortlist is how many of the year’s presumed top contenders are not included. Of the 21 nonfiction films that have been nominated by the Critics Choice Documentary Awards or placed on the DOC NYC shortlist of likely awards titles, only four – “Bobi Wine: The People’s President,” “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” “The Mother of All Lies” and “While We Watched” – made the IDA shortlist.

Films that are missing from the IDA’s list include “American Symphony,” “20 Days in Mariupol,” “The Eternal Memory,” “Stamped From the Beginning,” “Beyond Utopia,” “The Deepest Breath,” “Kokomo City,” “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” “The Pigeon Tunnel,” “Silver Dollar Road” and “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” among many others.

In addition to the 17 main feature and 25 short entries covering 21 countries, IDA voters will consider the following categories: Best Curated Series, Best Episodic Series, Best Multi-Part Documentary, Best TV Feature Documentary or Mini-Series, Best Short Form Series, Best Stand-Alone Audio Documentary, Best Multi-Part Audio Documentary or Series, David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, Best Music Documentary, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Writing, Best Music Score, ABC News VideoSource Award, and the Pare Lorentz Award.

Below is a full list of nominees for the 39th IDAs:

Best Feature Documentary Shortlist

Against the Tide” (India | BBC Storyville | Director: Sarvnik Kaur | Producer: Koval Bhatia, Sarvnik Kaur)

ANHELL69″ (Colombia | Square Eyes | Director: Theo Montoya | Producers: Bianca Oana, David Hurst, Theo Montoya, Juan Pablo Castrillon, Balthasar Busmann, Maximilian Haslberger)

Anonymous Sister” (United States | Long Shot Factory | Director: Jamie Boyle | Producers: Marilyn Ness, Elizabeth Westrate, Jamie Boyle)

Apolonia, Apolonia” (Denmark | HBO Max | Director: Lea Glob | Producer: Sidsel Lønvig Siersted)

Bobi Wine: The People’s President” (Uganda | National Geographic Documentary Films | Directors: Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp | Producers:  Christopher Sharp, John Battsek)

De Humani Corporis Fabrica” (France | Grasshopper Film | Directors: Verena Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor | Producers: Valentina Novati, Charles Gillibert, Pauline Gygax, Max Karli, Verena Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor)

“Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project” (United States | HBO Documentary Films | Directors: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster | Producers: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Tommy Oliver)

“In The Rearview” (Poland | Cinephil | Director: Maciek Hamela | Producer: Maciek Hamela, Piotr Grawender)

Milisuthando” (South Africa | Director: Milisuthando Bongela | Producer: Marion Isaacs, Viviana Gomez, Sonia Barrera, Milisuthando Bongela, Hankyeol Lee)

Motherland” (Sweden | Lightdox | Director: Alexander Mihalkovich & Hanna Badziaka | Producer: Mario Adamson, Ashley J. Smith, Alexander Mihalkovich, Anita Norfolk)

Nathan-ism” (United States | Director: Elan Golod | Producer: Elan Golod, Melanie Vi Levy)

Q” (United States | Director: Jude Chehab | Producer: Jude Chehab, Fahd Ahmed)

Rewind & Play” (France | Grasshopper Film | Director: Alain Gomis | Producers: Anouk Khélifa, Arnaud Dommerc)

“The Mother of All Lies” (Morocco | Arizona Distribution | Director: Asmae El Moudir | Producer: Asmae El Moudir)

Twice Colonized” (Canada | EyeSteelFilm | Director: Lin Alluna | Producers: Aaju Peter, Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok Macdonald, Bob Moore)

unseen” (United States | POV | Director: Set Hernandez | Producers: Set Hernandez, Day Al-Mohamed, Félix Endara, Dorian Gomez-Pestaña)

While We Watched” (United Kingdom, India | POV, BRITDOC Films | Director: Vinay Shukla | Producers: Vinay Shukla, Khushboo Ranka, Luke W Moody)

Best Short Documentary Shortlist

Away” (Hungary | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director/Producer: Ruslan Fedotov)

Belle River” (Canada | Spira, The New Yorker | Director: Guillaume Fournier | Producers: Samuel Matteau, Yannick Nolin)

Between Earth & Sky” (United States | POV Shorts | Director: Andrew Nadkarni | Producers: Andrew Nadkarni, Swetha Regunathan, Katie Schiller)

Birdsong” (Lao People’s Democratic Republic | The Guardian | Director: Omi Zola Gupta, Sparsh Ahuja | Producers: Sparsh Ahuja, Omi Zola Gupta, Dorn Bouttasing)

Clean” (United Kingdom | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director: Miranda Stern | Producer: Reece Cargan)

“Eat Flowers” (United States | Reluminati Media | Director: River Finlay | Producer: River Finlay, Sashka Rothchild)

Ebony” (United States | Director/Producer: Sean-Josahi Brown)

Freshwater” (United States | The New York Times Op-Docs, POV Shorts | Director: Dream Hampton | Producers: Ill Weaver, Dream Hampton)

Hardly Working” (Austria | The New York Times Op-Docs | Directors: Total Refusal, Susanna Flock, Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf | Producers: Total Refusal, Susanna Flock, Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf)

How to Carry Water” (United States | Multitude Films | Director: Sasha Wortzel | Producers: Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous)

How We Get Free” (United States | HBO Documentary Films, The New York Times | Directors: Geeta Gandbhir, Samantha Knowles | Producers: Kathleen Lingo, Sweta Vohra, Jess Devaney)

Incident” (United States | Hypnotic Pictures | Director: Bill Morrison | Producers: Bill Morrison, Jamie Kalven)

Jack and Sam” (United States | Blue Bus Productions | Director: Jordan Matthew Horowitz | Producers: Jordan Matthew Horowitz, Andrew Carlberg)

Liturgy of Anti-Tank Obstacles” (United States | The New Yorker, Condé Nast Entertainment | Director: Dmytro Sukholytkyy Sobchuk | Producer: Daniel Lombroso)

Mãri hi – The Tree of Dream” (Brazil | Aruac Filmes | Director: Morzaniel Ɨramari | Producers: Eryk Rocha, Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha)

Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black)” (Australia | Other Pictures | Directors: Derik Lynch, Matthew Thorne | Producers: Matthew Thorne, Patrick Graham)

Mighty Penguins” (United States | It Was All a Dream Productions | Directors: Louis Myles, Ahmed Twaij | Producers: Louis Myles, Ahmed Twaij)

Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma)” (United States | Director: Sean Wang | Producer: Sean Wang, Sam Davis)

Neighbour Abdi” (The Netherlands | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director: Douwe Dijkstra | Producer: Richard Valk)

Raat: Night Time in Small Town India” (India | The Third Eye | Directors: Arti Ahirwar, Ashraf Hussain, Rajkumari Ahirwar, Vikas Khatri, Tabassum Ansari, Kulsum Khatoon, Khushi Bano, Parmeshwar Mandrawaliya, Santra Chaurthiya, Rajkumari Prajapati, Manisha Chanda, Anita Sen, Rani Devi, Ajfarul Shaikh | Producers: Rima Dairi Morris, Chris Collins, Jaden Pan)

“Suddenly TV” (Sudan | Gisa Productions | Director/Producer: Roopa Gogineni)

The Script” (United States | Multitude Films | Directors: Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus | Producers: Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney)

The Unicorn in Snowpants Suddenly Ran Off” (Germany | Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg | Director: Philipp Schaeffer | Producer: Fabian Leonhardt)

The Veiled City” (United Kingdom | JSH Films | Director: Natalie Cubides-Brady | Producer: Jacob Swan Hyam)

Victoria” (Mexico | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director: Eloisa Diez | Producer: Suleica Pineda)

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