- Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
- HOLLYWOOD, Calif.
Dina, which tells an unconventional love story between two people who have autism spectrum disorder, won Best Feature distinction from the International Documentary Association during an awards ceremony on Saturday evening at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood. Directed by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini--aka Dan & Antonio--Dina introduces us to a neurodiverse couple consisting of a free spirit named Dina and a Walmart door greater some 20 years her junior, Scott.
Last year the IDA Documentary Award winner for Best Feature--Ezra Edelman’s O.J.: Made in America--went on to win the Oscar. That will not happen this year around as Dina did not make the recently unveiled Oscar short list of 15 films that advanced in the voting process for the 90th Academy Awards. At the IDA Documentary Awards, Dina topped four other nominees, all of which made that Oscar shortlist: City of Ghosts, FacesPlaces, LA 92 and Strong Island.
Dan & Antonio, who are represented by Moxie Pictures (one of the producers of Dina) for commercials and branded content--were named as emerging filmmakers to watch earlier this year as they were part of SHOOT’s Up-and-Coming Directors spring collection of talent. At that time Sickles told SHOOT that he had known Dina since she was a kid. Sickles’ father, a special education teacher, taught Dina, and started a neurodiverse group which brought many people together. “I’ve known Dina and other characters in the film pretty much my entire life,” recalled Sickles whose dad passed away about four years ago. “Antonio first met Dina at my dad’s funeral.”
From that meeting, Dan & Antonio sprung into action to breathe life into an idea that had been lingering in Dan’s mind for some time—that the neurodiverse community and specifically Dina were worth exploring in a film. “We learned that Dina was getting married and from that, a film about Dina and that relationship started to take hold,” related Sickles who’s long admired Dina, noting that she taught herself to read when teachers gave up on her in the third grade.
Dan & Antonio treated Dina as the star of a movie about her own life. Antonio said of the documentary, “It’s almost a romantic comedy about her—the kind of rom-com film she watches and loves,” said Santini.
Best Short, Courage Under Fire honorees
Among other winners at the 33rd IDA Documentary Awards was the short film Edith+Eddie--the story of America’s oldest interracial newlyweds--directed by Laura Checkoway. Edith+Eddie is one of the 10 films on the current Oscar shortlist for Best Short Subject Documentary.
Also at the IDA ceremony, the Courage Under Fire Award went to multiple recipients. Over the years, the Courage Under Fire honor has been presented to a documentarian for “displaying conspicuous bravery in pursuit of the truth.” This year the traumatic conflict in Syria which has been documented by several teams of extraordinarily brave filmmakers, and in light of their contributions to the documentary field IDA has decided to honor four filmmaking teams along with the subjects of their films for bringing audiences the stories of the Syrian war. The filmmaking teams and the subjects who are being honored with the 2017 IDA Courage Under Fire Awards are: Cries from Syria, Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, Last Men in Aleppo, and City of Ghosts.
Here’s a rundown of IDA Documentary Award winners:
Directors/Producers: Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles
Director: Laura Checkoway
Producer: Thomas Lee Wright
Cinematography by: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva
Dawson City: Frozen Time
Edited by: Bill Morrison
Brimstone & Glory
Original Score by: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin
Written by: Chico Pereira, Manuel Pereira and Gabriel Molera
Scottish Documentary Institute
Pare Lorentz Award
THE PARE LORENTZ AWARD RECOGNIZES FILMS THAT DEMONSTRATE EXEMPLARY FILMMAKING WHILE FOCUSING ON THE APPROPRIATE USE OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, JUSTICE FOR ALL AND THE ILLUMINATION OF PRESSING SOCIAL PROBLEMS.
Watani: My Homeland (Recipient)
Director: Marcel Mettelsiefen
Intent to Destroy (Special Mention)
Director: Joe Berlinger
ABC News VideoSource Award
THIS AWARD IS GIVEN EACH YEAR FOR THE BEST USE OF NEWS FOOTAGE AS AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT IN A DOCUMENTARY.
Directors: Dan Lindsay & TJ Martin
Best Curated Series Award
Executive Producers: Lois Vossen and Sally Jo Fifer
Best Limited Series
The Defiant Ones
Executive Producers: Allen Hughes, Doug Pray, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Jerry Longarzo, Michael Lombardo, and Gene Kirkwood
Best Episodic Series Award
Planet Earth II
Executive Producer: Michael Gunton
BBC AMERICA/BBC Worldwide
Best Short Form Series Award
The New York Times Op-Docs
Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo
The New York Times
David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
THIS AWARD RECOGNIZES EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT IN NON-FICTION FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL AND BRINGS GREATER PUBLIC AND INDUSTRY AWARENESS TO THE WORK OF STUDENTS IN THE DOCUMENTARY FIELD.
Man on Fire
Director: Joel Fendelman
Producer: James Chase Sanchez
University of Texas, Austin
Career Achievement Award
Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award
Courage Under Fire Award
The filmmaking teams and subjects of:
City of Ghosts
Cries from Syria
Hell on Earth: The Fal of Syria and the Rise of ISIS
Last Men in Aleppo