IDA Awards Build Oscar Buzz with 2021 Shortlists for Best Documentary Feature and Short

IDA Awards Build Oscar Buzz with 2021 Shortlists for Best Documentary Feature and Short

The 2021 International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards has revealed the shortlists for the Best Feature and Best Short categories. In a year crowded with festival hits and critically hailed nonfiction (see the Critics Choice Documentary Awards nominations), with more debuts unspooling at the upcoming DOC NYC (November 10-18, 2021), every reputable nonfiction awards group helps to curate the sprawling list of eventual Oscar contenders, and the IDA is no exception.

A number of films, including “Summer of Soul,” “President,” “Ascension,” “Flee,” and “Faya Dayi,” keep turning up on early awards lists.

The IDA will bestow 16 awards this year, for Best Feature, Best Short, Best Curated Series, Best Episodic Series, Best Multi-Part Documentary, Best Short Form Series, Best Audio Documentary, 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.

The IDA will select up to 10 nominees from the feature and short shortlists (listed below), with nominees announced on Monday, November 15, 2021. Starting Monday, December 13, 2021, IDA members will be able to watch each of the feature and shorts nominees and then vote to decide the winners. The 2021 Awards will return to a live ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at Paramount Studios.

Independent committees made up of 228 documentarians, curators, critics, and industry experts from 44 countries select the shortlists and nominees. 51 percent of the committee identified as female, 59 percent as BIPOC, 20 percent as LGBTQ+, and 2 percent as disabled.

This year, the IDA processed 748 submissions, including 314 documentary features from 58 countries, and 137 documentary shorts from 33 countries. Fifty-two percent of directors and 55 percent of producers are women, 59 percent of directors and 41 percent identify as BIPOC. Fourteen percent of directors and 17 percent of producers are LGBTQ. Zero percent of directors and zero percent of producers are disabled.


“Summer of Soul”

The 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.)

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