The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced nominations, creative recognition awards and the host for the 2015 IDA Documentary Awards today. This 31st edition of the world’s most esteemed awards for nonfiction filmmaking will be held on Saturday, December 5th in the Paramount Theatre at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles.

Grammy®-nominated comedian Tig Notaro will host the 2015 IDA Documentary Awards ceremony. She is the subject of Tig, the Netflix Original documentary chronicling her life after it famously fell apart and stars in her first HBO stand-up special, Boyish Girl Interrupted. Notaro has teamed up with Diablo Cody, Nicole Holofcener and Louis CK on a semi-autobiographical pilot for Amazon, in addition to Harper Collins releasing her upcoming memoir in 2016. Tig will also be returning for season 2 of the critically acclaimed TV series Transparent.   

The six films nominated in IDA’s Feature category are: AMY, Asif Kapadia’s moving film about six-time Grammy-winner Amy Winehouse; THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION, Stanley Nelson’s vibrant chronicle of the birth of the Black Panther Party and its significance to broader American culture; LISTEN TO ME MARLON, Stevan Riley’s fascinating self-portrait of Marlon Brando culled from his vast archive of personal audio and visual materials; THE LOOK OF SILENCE, Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar®-nominated The Act of Killing, which follows a family of survivors of the Indonesian genocide who discover how their son was murdered and the identities of the killers; THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER, Chad Gracia’s riveting examination of eccentric Ukranian artist Fedor Alexandrovich’s obsession with Duga – a massive, Soviet-constructed radio antenna near the Chernobyl site that remains shrouded in mystery; and WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?, Liz Garbus’s sensitive exploration of the legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.

The five nominated films in the Short category are BODY TEAM 12, David Darg’s film chronicling workers collecting the dead from the streets of the Ebola zone; CLAUDE LANZMANN: SPECTRES OF THE SHOAH, Adam Benzine’s look at the making of Lanzmann’s masterful documentary Shoah; Kitty Green’s THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL, the story of little girls from all over a war-torn Ukraine auditioning to play the role of gold medal-winning figure skater Oksana Baiul; Paulina Skibińska’s OBJECT, the creative image of an underwater search in the dimensions of two worlds – ice desert and underwater; and LAST DAY OF FREEDOM, Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman’s animated account of Bill Babbitt’s decision to support and help his brother in the face of war, crime and capital execution.

Winners in the Best Feature and Best Short categories are voted on by IDA’s international membership. Outside screening committees of industry professionals around the world including: New York City, Toronto, Sheffield, Washington, DC, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles determine the winners in the other award categories.

“Some of the documentary industry’s brightest and best talent released films alongside notable premieres from fledgling filmmakers making it one of the most exciting and difficult years for our nominating committees. The quality of the films vying for recognition left the IDA with an unprecedented six feature nominees,” said Marjan Safinia, IDA’s Board President. “The organization is also excited to announce that comedian Tig Notaro will host our awards ceremony. She continues to push the boundaries and evolve as an artist in a way that is very comparable to the filmmaking talent we are honoring that night.”

Matthew Heineman will receive the IDA’s Courage Under Fire Award, in recognition of conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth. This award is presented to documentary filmmakers by their peers for putting freedom of speech – represented in the crafts of documentary filmmaking and journalism – above all else, even their own personal safety. Heineman’s gripping film, CARTEL LAND, documents two modern-day vigilante movements – Dr. Joe Mireles’s citizen-led uprising against a violent drug cartel wreaking havoc in Mexico and the Arizona Border Recon led by Tim “Nailer” Foley, which is working to prevent Mexico’s drug wars from crossing into the United States. Previously, Heineman directed and produced the Emmy-nominated Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare and worked for two years with a team at HBO on the groundbreaking, Emmy-nominated series The Alzheimer’s Project. Previous recipients of the award include: Laura Poitras, Christiane Amanpour, Andrew Berends, Jonathan Stack and James Brabazon and Saira Shah.

The Pare Lorentz Award is given at the IDA Documentary Awards to recognize films that demonstrate exemplary filmmaking while focusing on environmental and social issues. This year’s Pare Lorentz Award recognizes the film HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, directed by Jerry Rothwell, the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement.

The IDA Creative Recognition Awards honor excellence in cinematography, composing, editing and writing in documentary feature films.  The recipients of these awards represent the highest achievements in their respective crafts, and highlight the importance of their work in compelling documentary storytelling.  At the IDA Documentary Awards ceremony, THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER (cinematography by Artem Ryzhykov) will be recognized with the award for Best Cinematography; KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK (edited by Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen) will receive the Best Editing award; BEST OF ENEMIES (original score by Jonathan Kirkscey) will be presented with the Best Music award, and LISTEN TO ME MARLON (written by Stevan Riley, co-writer Peter Ettedgui) will receive the Best Writing award.

Nominees for the ABC News VideoSource Award, which recognizes compelling use of news footage in documentary filmmaking, include: (T)ERROR (Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, directors), BEST OF ENEMIES (Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville, directors), DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL (John Pirozzi, director), NIGHT WILL FALL (André Singer, director) and WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE (Liz Garbus, director).

Five series are nominated for the Curated Series Award: 30 FOR 30 (ESPN), INDEPENDENT LENS (ITVS/PBS), POV (POV, PBS), STORYVILLE (BBC) and AMERICA REFRAMED (WORLD Channel). Limited Series nominees are: BLOOD BROTHERS (Vara Television (The Netherlands)), HARD EARNED (Al Jazeera, Kartemquin Films), THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST (HBO), LIFE STORY (Discovery) and REBEL ARCHITECTURE (Al Jazeera English). The nominees for the Episodic Series Award are: CHEF’S TABLE (Netflix), MORGAN SPURLOCK INSIDE MAN (CNN, Warrior Poets), NOVA (PBS), THE SEVENTIES (CNN, Playtone, Herzog & Company) and THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING (CNN, part2 pictures).

The series nominated for the Short Form Series Award include: DO NOT TRACK (National Film Board of Canada, Upian, Arte, BR), HIGHRISE: UNIVERSE WITHIN (National Film Board of Canada), THE NEW YORK TIMES OP-DOCS (The New York Times), POV INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARIES (POV, PBS) and WE THE ECONOMY: 20 SHORT FILMS YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO MISS (Vulcan Productions, Cinelan).

Five student films are nominated for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award: THE ARCHIPELAGO (Benjamin Huguet, director), THE BLUE WALL (Michael Milano, director), EL CACAO (Michelle Aguilar, director), IN ATTLA’S TRACKS (Catharine Axley, director) and LOOKING AT STARS, (Alexandre Peralta, director).

In addition to recognizing the year’s best in documentary filmmaking and nonfiction programming, the 2015 IDA Documentary Awards will honor Gordon Quinn with its Career Achievement Award. Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation ( will receive the IDA Amicus Award, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos will receive IDA’s Pioneer Award. (T)ERROR directors Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe will share the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award sponsored by the Archibald Family Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be honoring Gordon Quinn, Tony Tabatznik and Ted Sarandos – each of whom have had an enormous impact on nonfiction programming around the world. Likewise, to be recognizing the brave and bold work of filmmakers like Lyric Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe and Matthew Heineman illustrates that documentary film has an exciting and vibrant future ahead,” said Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director of the IDA.

The 31st Annual IDA Documentary Awards will take place on Saturday, December 5th at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets are on-sale now online at Tickets are priced at $500. IDA members will receive a 10% discount ($450).

Further information about tickets, sponsorship opportunities and membership can be found at

About the IDA Documentary Awards
For over thirty years, IDA has produced the annual IDA Documentary Awards, the world’s most prestigious award event solely dedicated to documentary film. In addition to honoring both individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements in documentary filmmaking and contributions to the field, the IDA Documentary Awards also recognize the best documentary films and nonfiction series of the year.

About the International Documentary Association
Founded in 1982, the International Documentary Association (IDA) is a nonprofit organization that champions documentary films and filmmakers and the impact they have on the world. The IDA provides grants to support film production; education through panel discussions, master classes, conferences, and other forums; fights for filmmaker rights through advocacy; and fosters a growing and enthusiastic documentary audience. Follow us at