2019 IDA Documentary Award Nominees Include ‘American Factory’, ‘Honeyland’, ‘One Child Nation’

American Factory


By Pat Mullen

The nominees for the 2019 International Documentary Association’s IDA Documentary Awards are a crowded field. The list, released today, reflects the strong year for documentary and a highly competitive Oscar race with no clear frontrunner in the feature documentary category. (Which might be a good thing after the fates that befell perceived frontrunners Jane and Won’t You Be My Neighbour?.) Most of the presumed contenders are present with American Factory, Apollo 11, Honeyland, and One Child Nation leading the field. Two notable absences include Martin Scorsese’s inventive Bob Dylan yarn Rolling Thunder Review, which was shut out entirely, and Rachel Lears’ hit Knock Down the House, which didn’t land any competitive nominations but was tapped for the emerging filmmaker award.

Other special honourees include For Sama director Waad Al-Kateab, who will receive the Courage Under Fire Award. Macedonian beekeeper doc Honeyland nabs the Pare Lorentz Award, while Jennifer Baichwal, Nick de Pencier, and Ed Burtynsky’s Anthropocene received a special mention.

The full is of IDA Award nominees is as follows:

Best Feature Documentary:

  • Advocate (Canada, Israel, Switzerland / Film Movement. Directors and Producers: Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche. Producers: Paul Cadieux and Joelle Bertossa)
  • American Factory (USA / Netflix. Directors and Producers: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. Producers: Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello)
  • Apollo 11 (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Director and Producer: Todd Douglas Miller. Producers: Thomas Petersen and Evan Strauss)
  • For Sama (Syria, UK / PBS Distribution, Channel 4, FRONTLINE. Director and Producer: Waad al-Kateab. Director: Edward Watts)
  • Honeyland (Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevska. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev)
  • Midnight Family (Mexico, USA / 1091. Director and Producer: Luke Lorentzen. Producers: Kellen Quinn, Daniela Alatorre and Elena Fortes)
  • One Child Nation (USA / Amazon Studios. Directors and Producers: Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang. Producers: Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements and Carolyn Hepburn)
  • Sea of Shadows (Austria, USA / National Geographic. Director: Richard Ladkani. Producers: Walter Kohler and Wolfgang Knopfler)
  • The Biggest Little Farm (USA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Director and Producer: John Chester. Producer: Sandra Keats)
  • The Edge of Democracy (Brazil, USA / Netflix. Director and Producer: Petra Costa. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Director Nominees

  • Petra Costa (The Edge of Democracy. Brazil, USA / Netflix)
  • Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche (Advocate. Canada, Israel, Switzerland / Film Movement)
  • Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (American Factory. USA / Netflix)
  • Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov (Honeyland. Macedonia / NEON)
  • Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts (For Sama. Syria, UK / PBS Distribution, Channel 4, FRONTLINE)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Short Nominees

  • 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)
  • America (USA / Aubin Pictures. Director: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino and Catherine Gund)
  • Black to Techno (USA / Frieze. Director: Jenn Nkiru. Producer: Jacqueline Edenbrow)
  • Easter Snap (USA. Director and Producer: RaMell Ross. Producers: Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim)
  • In the Absence (Korea, USA / Field of Vision. Director: Yi Seung-Jun. Producer: Gary Byung-Seok Kam)
  • Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl) (Afghanistan, UK, USA / Lifetime Films, A&E IndieFilms. Director: Carol Dysinger. Producer: Elena Andreicheva)
  • Sam and the Plant Next Door (UK / The Guardian. Director and Producer: Omer Sami)
  • The Nightcrawlers (Philippines, USA / National Geographic. Director: Alexander Mora. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Doireann Maddock and Abigail Anketell-Jones)
  • Valley of the Rulers (Israel, Serbia. Director: Efim Graboy. Producer: Dejan Petrovic)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Curated Series Nominees

  • American Experience (USA / PBS. Executive Producer: Mark Samels)
  • BBC Storyville (China, Hungary, UK / BBC. Executive Producer: Mandy Chang)
  • Dokumania (Denmark / Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Executive Producer: Anders Bruus)
  • POV (USA / PBS. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White)
  • AJE Witness (Qatar / AJE English. Executive Producer: Fiona Lawson-Baker)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Episodic Series Nominees

  • Abstract: The Art of Design (USA / Netflix. Executive Producers: Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville, Dave O’Connor, Justin Wilkes and Jon Kamen)
  • Finding Justice (USA / BET. Executive Producers: Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, David Leepson, Brian Gewirtz, dream hampton, Jackson Nguyen, Aaron Rice, Todd Crites, Hiram Garcia, Aaron Bowden and Stephanie Lydecker)
  • Kids Behind Bars: Life Or Parole (USA / A&E. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Peter LoGreco, Joshua Rofe, Devon Hammonds, Evan Lerner, Amy Savitsky and Elaine Frontain Bryant)
  • Living Undocumented (USA / Netflix. Directors and Executive Producers: Anna Chai and Aaron Saidman. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Sean O’Grady, Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey)
  • Our Planet (UK, USA / Netflix. Directors: Adam Chapman, Mandi Stark, Jeff Wilson, Sophie Lanfear, Hugh Pearson and Huw Cordey. Executive Producers: Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Multi-Part Documentary Nominees

  • Chasing the Moon (USA / PBS. Director and Producer: Robert Stone. Executive Producer: Mark Samels. Producers: Susan Bellows, Daniel Aegerter, Keith Haviland and Ray Rothrock)
  • Leaving Neverland (USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Dan Reed. Executive Producers: Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller)
  • Lorena (USA / Amazon. Director and Executive Producer: Joshua Rofé. Executive Producers: Jordan Peele, Steven J. Berger, Win Rosenfeld, Jenna Santoianni, Tom Lesinski and Andrea Harner. Producer: M. Elizabeth Hughes)
  • Surviving R. Kelly (USA / Lifetime. Executive Producers: Joel Karsberg, Dream Hampton, Tamra Simmons, Jesse Daniels and Brie Miranda Bryant)
  • Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (USA / Showtime. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Short Form Series Nominees

  • A Cure for Fear (USA / Topic.com. Director and Producer: Lana Wilson. Producer: Shrihari Sathe. Executive Producers: Anna Holmes, Jeff Seelbach and Diane L. Max)
  • A Moment in Mexico — The New York Times Op-Docs (Mexico, USA / New York Times. Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo. Coordinating Producer: Lindsay Crouse)
  • Guardian Documentaries (UK / The Guardian. Executive Producer: Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton and Jacqueline Edenbrow)
  • POV Shorts (USA / PBS. Producer: Chloe Gbai. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White)
  • The F Word (USA / Participant Media, SoulPancake. Director and Producer: Nicole Opper. Producer: Kristan Cassady)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Audio Documentary Nominees

  • Gladiator: The Aaron Hernandez Story (USA / The Boston Globe, Wondery. Reporters: Bob Hohler, Beth Healy, Sacha Pfieffer and Andrew Ryan. Producer: Amy Pedulla. Executive Producers: Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy and George Lavender)
  • Headlong: Running from COPS (USA / Stitcher Premium, Topic Studios. Host and Producer: Dan Taberski. Producers: Henry Molofsky, Courtney Harrell and Diane Hodson. Executive Producers: Max Linsky, Jenna Weiss-Berman, Lisa Leingang and Leital Molad)
  • Heavyweight — Episode: “Skye” (USA / Gimlet Media. Reporter and Executive Producer: Jonathan Goldstein. Producers: Kalila Holt, Stevie Lane, Peter Bresnan and Jorge Just)
  • Latino USA — Episode: “The Return” (USA / National Public Radio. Producer: Sayre Quevedo. Executive Producer: Maria Hinojosa)
  • A Sense of Quietness (UK / BBC Radio 4. Producer: Eleanor McDowall. Executive Producers: Alan Hall and Rachel Hooper)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Music Documentary Nominees

  • Amazing Grace (USA / NEON. Producers: Alan Elliot, Tirrell D. Whittley, Sabrina V. Owens, Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Spike Lee, Angie Seegers, Joseph Woolf)
  • Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (USA / Netflix. Director and Producer: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Director: Ed Burke. Producers: Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams)
  • The Apollo (USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Roger Ross Williams. Producers: Lisa Cortés, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann)
  • The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash (USA / YouTube. Director: Thom Zimny. Producers: Thom Zimny, Glen Zipper, Sean Stuart and Jillian Apfelbaum)
  • Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (USA / Showtime. Director: Sacha Jenkins. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra. Producers: Cary Graber, Vanessa Maruskin, Ghostface Killah, Robert F. Diggs, GZA, Lamont “UGod” Hawkins, Darryl Hill Sr., Jason Hunter, Icelene Jones, Method Man, E. Turner and Raekwon The Chef)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award Nominees

  • All That Remains (USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Eva Rendle)
  • Beyond the North Winds: A Post Nuclear Reverie (UK, Colombia / National Film & Television School (UK). Director and Producer: Natalie Cubides-Brady)
  • Brewed in Palestine (USA, Israel, Palestine / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Emma Schwartz)
  • Follow the Sun (USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: JoeBill Muñoz)
  • In the Wake (India, USA / Northwestern University. Director and Producer: Natasha Nair)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Cinematography Nominees

  • Dark Suns (Canada / Dogwoof. Cinematographers: Ernesto Pardo and François Messier-Rheault)
  • Gods of Molenbeek (Belgium, Finland, Germany / CAT&Docs. Cinematographer: Hannu Vitikainen)
  • Honeyland (Macedonia / NEON. Cinematographers: Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma)
  • Midnight Family (Mexico / 1091. Cinematographer: Luke Lorentzen)
  • When Lambs Become Lions (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Cinematographer: Jon Kasbe)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Editing Nominees

  • American Factory (USA / Netflix. Editor: Lindsay Utz)
  • Apollo 11 (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Editor: Todd Douglas Miller)
  • Diego Maradona (UK / HBO. Editor: Chris King)
  • Human Nature (USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Editor: Regina Sobel)
  • Midnight Family (Mexico, USA / 1091. Editor: Luke Lorentzen. Co-Editor: Paloma López Carrillo)
  • When Lambs Become Lions (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Editors: Jon Kasbe, Caitlyn Greene and Frederick Shanahan)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Music Score Nominees

  • Apollo 11 (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Composer: Matt Morton)
  • Human Nature (USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Composer: Keegan Dewitt)
  • Sea of Shadows (USA, Austria / National Geographic. Composer: H. Scott Salinas)
  • The Biggest Little Farm (USA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Composer: Jeff Beal)
  • The Raft (Denmark, Sweden, USA / Metrograph Pictures. Composer: Hans Appelqvist)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Writing Nominees

  • Always in Season (USA / ITVS. Writers: Jackie Olive and Don Bernier)
  • Dark Suns (Canada / Dogwoof. Writer: Julien Elie)
  • “The Cave“:http://povmagazine.com/articles/view/tiff-review-the-cave (Denmark, Syria, USA / National Geographic. Writers: Alisar Hasan, Feras Fayyad)
  • The Edge of Democracy (Brazil, USA / Netflix. Writer: Petra Costa)
  • The Great Hack (USA / Netflix. Writers: Pedro Kos, Erin Barnett and Karim Amer)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Pare Lorentz Award Winner

WINNER: Honeyland (Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevsk2a. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev)

HONORABLE MENTION: Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (Canada / Kino Lorber. Director: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky. Producer: Nadia Tavazzani)

2019 IDA Documentary Awards Honorary Awards

Amicus Award: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Career Achievement Award: Freida Lee Mock (Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, Anita)

Courage Under Fire Award: Waad Al-Kateab (For Sama)

Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award: Rachel Lears (Knock Down The House, The Hand That Feeds)

Pioneer Award: Cinereach