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Canadian Filmmakers Land on IDA Awards Shortlists

Nominees to be announced November 15

9 mins read

Several Canadian filmmakers and projects are among on the shortlists for this year’s International Documentary Association IDA Awards. The IDA released shortlists for Best Feature Documentary and Best Short Doc today. Among the contenders is Yung Chang’s COVID-19 doc Wuhan Wuhan, which won the Director’s Guild of Canada Award for Best Documentary Feature over the weekend. Also on the feature list is Jacinta, produced by Canuck Nimisha Mukerji. Jacinta has its Canadian premiere in Toronto this week at Rendezvous with Madness. Similarly, Canadian-Pakistani filmmaker Anam Abbas’s This Stained Dawn hits the shortlist just in time for its home premiere. The film has its North American debut at Reel Asian in November.

Two Canadian shorts docs are on the IDA Awards shortlist: Joe Buffalo, directed by Amar Chebib, and Ain’t No Time for Women, directed by Sarra El Abed. The former is a portrait of actor Joe Buffalo and his road to recovery as skateboarding provided an outlet to heal from the trauma of Canada’s residential school system. Ain’t No Time for Women features an engaged conversation between women in a Tunisian hair salon on the eve of the country’s election. Both docs have won numerous awards on the festival circuit, while Joe Buffalo recently debuted online via The New Yorker.

On the international front, the IDA Awards features shortlist includes many Oscar frontrunners and Sundance favourites. The list includes Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated doc Flee, which Denmark just submitted in the Oscar race for Best International Feature. Also on the list are Questlove’s Summer of Soul and fellow Sundance favourites Ailey, In the Same Breath, Taming the Garden and Writing with Fire. Notably absent from the list is The Rescue, which many pundits have tipped as a frontrunner for the Best Documentary Oscar.

IDA Award nominees will be revealed on November 15 with the winners announced on February 5.


The IDA Award shortlists are as follows:


IDA Documentary Awards 2021 Features Shortlist:


Ailey (USA / NEON. Director: Jamila Wignot. Producer: Lauren DeFilippo.)

Apenas el sol (Nothing but the Sun) (Switzerland, Paraguay/ Film republic. Director/Producer: Arami Ullón. Producer: Pascal Trächslin.)

Ascension (USA. Director/Producer: Jessica Kingdon. Producers: Kira Simon-Kennedy, Nathan Truesdell.)

Black Power: A British Story of Resistance (United Kingdom / Amazon Studios. Director: George Amponsah. Producer: Helen Bart.)

Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters (USA / Kino Lorber. Director: Tom Hurwitz. Director/Producer: Rosalynde LeBlanc. Producer: Duana C. Butler.)

Charm Circle (USA. Director/Producer: Nira Burstein. Producer: Betsy Laikin.)

Convergence: Courage in a Crisis (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel. Producers: Dan Cogan, Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby, Laura McNaught.)

Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground (USA / HBO Max. Director: Sophia Nahli Allison.)

Faya Dayi (Ethiopia, USA, Qatar / Janus Films. Director/Producer: Jessica Beshir.)

Flee (Denmark, France, Norway / NEON. Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen. Producers: Monica Hellstrӧm,Signe Byrge Sørensen.)

Fruits of Labor (USA / Grasshopper Films, POV. Director/Producer: Emily Cohen Ibañez.)

In the Same Breath (USA, China / HBO, HBO Max. Director/Producer: Nanfu Wang. Producers: Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn.)

Jacinta (USA / Hulu, ABC News. Director: Jessica Earnshaw. Producers: Jessica Earnshaw, Holly Meehl, Nimisha Mukerji.)

Life of Crime 1984-2020 (USA / HBO, HBO Max. Director/Producer: Jon Alpert. Producers: Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller.)

Miguel’s War (Lebanon, Germany, Spain. Director/Producer: Eliane Raheb.)

North By Current (USA / POV. Director/Producer: Angelo Madsen Minax. Producer: Felix Endara.)

Not Going Quietly (USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Director: Nicholas Bruckman. Producer: Amanda Roddy.)

President (Denmark, USA, Norway. Director: Camilla Nielsson. Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joslyn Barnes.)

Rebel Hearts (USA / discovery+. Director: Pedro Kos. Producers: Kira Carstensen, Shawnee Isaac-Smith, Judy Korin.)

So Late So Soon (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Director: Daniel Hymanson. Producers: Trace Henderson, Josh Penn, Kellen Quinn, Noah Stahl.)

Storm Lake (USA / Independent Lens. Director: Beth Levison, Jerry Risius. Producer: Beth Levison.)

Summer of Soul (USA / Hulu, Searchlight Pictures. Director: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. Producers: Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, David Dinerstein.)

Taming the Garden (Switzerland, Germany, Georgia. Director/Producer: Salomé Jashi. Producers: Vadim Jendreyko, Erik Winker, Martin Roelly.)

This Stained Dawn (Pakistan, Canada. Director/Producer: Anam Abbas.)

Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre (USA / History. Director/Producers: Stanley Nelson, Marco Williams. Producer: Julie Sisson.)

Who Are You, Charlie Brown? (USA / Apple TV+. Director: Michael Bonfiglio. Producers: Kimberly Small, Marcella Steingart.)

Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker (USA / Kino Lorber. Director: Chris McKim. Producers: Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey.)

Writing With Fire (India / ITVS, Music Box. Director/Producers: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh.)

Wuhan Wuhan (USA / Starlight Media Inc., SA Inc., Kartemquin Films. Director: Yung Chang. Producers: Peter Luo, Donna Gigliotti, Diane Quon.)


IDA Documentary Awards 2021 Shorts Shortlist:

A Broken House (USA, Lebanon / Condé Nast Entertainment, The New Yorker, POV. Director/Producer: Jimmy Goldblum. Producers: Matt Weaver, Harrison Nalevansky.)

Águilas (USA / The New Yorker. Director/Producers: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Maite Zubiaurre.)

Ain’t No Time For Women (Canada / Travelling. Director: Sarra El Abed. Producer: Isabelle Grignon-Francke)

Day of Rage: How Trump Supporters Took the U.S. Capitol (USA / The New York Times. Directors: Malachy Browne, David Botti. Producers: Haley Willis, Christiaan Triebert, Evan Hill, Cora Engelbrecht, Stella Cooper.)

E14 (United Kingdom / Fifth Season LTD. Director: Peiman Zekavat. Producer: Sanam Jehanfard.)

Joe Buffalo (Canada / Condé Nast Entertainment, The New Yorker. Director/Producer: Amar Chebib. Producers: Hayley Morin, Mack Stannard)

Joychild (USA / The New Yorker, Stanford University. Director/Producer: Aurora Brachman)

Kalsubai (India / Film and Television Institute of India. Director: Yudhajit Basu)

Open Shutters (USA, Republic of Korea / Field of Vision. Director/Producer: Do Youjin.)

Red Taxi  (USA, Hong Kong / Field of Vision. Director/Producer: Anonymous)

same/different/both/neither (Brazil / Photogram Films Distribution. Director/Producer: Adriana Barbosa, Fernanda Pessoa.)

Senior Prom (USA / PBS, Independent Lens. Director/Producer: Luisa Conlon. Producer: Jessica Chermayeff.)

Since you arrived, my heart stopped belonging to me (Desde que llegaste, mi corazón dejó de pertenecerme) (USA / The New Yorker. Director/Producer: Erin Semine Kökdil)

Status Pending (USA / Al Jazeera English – Witness. Director: Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz. Producer: Laura Reich.)

Takeover (USA. Director: Emma Francis-Snyder. Producer: Tony Gerber.)

The Last Cruise (USA / HBO Max. Director/Producer: Hannah Olson. Producers: Shane Boris, Joe Beshenkovsky, James A Smith.)

The Seeker (USA / Topic. Director: Lance Edmands. Producers: Kyle Martin, Sarah Tihany.)

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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