IDA Documentary Awards Shortlists Announced: ‘Fire of Love,’ ‘The Territory,’ ‘All That Breathes’, ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ Gain Traction

A handful of awards season frontrunners is starting to emerge with the announcement today of the IDA Documentary Awards Shortlists.

All That Breathes, directed by Shaunak Sen, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, from Laura Poitras, and The Territory, from Alex Pritz, made the 25-film shortlist of features, a day after securing nominations for the Gotham Awards. Three other strong contenders – Sara Dosa’s Fire of Love, Brett Morgen’s David Bowie doc Moonage Daydream, and Daniel Roher’s NAVALNY also made the IDA shortlist (those three missed out on Gotham nods, but made up for it with Best Feature nominations last week for the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards). See the complete features and shorts shortlists below.

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The shortlisted films will be culled to a maximum of 10 nominees for Best Documentary Feature and 10 max for Best Short Documentary. Nominees in those and a variety of additional categories – including Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best TV Documentary or Mini-Series, Best Music Documentary and Best Stand-Alone Audio Documentary – will be revealed on November 11. The 38th IDA Documentary Awards ceremony takes place December 10 in the Paramount Theater on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood.

As has been the case in recent years, the IDA’s features shortlist made room for a significant number of international documentaries that might otherwise be overlooked by awards voters. Recognition went to A House Made of Splinters, a film set in Ukraine directed by Danish filmmaker Simon Lereng Wilmont; Nelly & Nadine by Swedish director Magnus Gertten; No Simple Way Home, from South Sudanese director Akuol de Mabior; Sansón and Me, from Mexican-born, U.S.-based director Rodrigo Reyes, along with films from Portugal, Spain, Canada, Afghanistan, Libya, Israel and other countries.

“This year the IDA Documentary Awards shortlists and nominees are selected by independent committees of 310 documentary makers, curators, critics, and industry experts from 52 countries,” the IDA said in a statement. “IDA received 806 total submissions in all categories, 40 percent of which are internationally produced or co-produced projects from 86 countries.”

Kristal Sotomayor and Eddie Hustleby head the IDA’s awards competition team. “We are so proud to have made IDA Documentary Awards history with the highest number of submissions and the most international entries,” they said. “We also have the most globally diverse jurors in the history of the awards, and for the first time, submissions require closed captions as part of IDA’s accessibility priorities.”

Among the highlights from the IDA’s short documentary shortlists is MINK!, directed by Ben Proudfoot, who has been nominated for Oscars the past two years, winning earlier this year for The Queen of Basketball. Nuisance Bear, directed by Gabriela Osio Vanden and Jack Weisman — winner of more than a dozen international awards to date – also secured a spot on the IDA shorts shortlist.

“The 38th IDA Documentary Awards continues the tradition of celebrating the work of outstanding nonfiction media makers,” observed IDA Executive Director Rick Pérez. “This year’s Best Feature Documentary and Best Short Documentary shortlists reflect a growing awareness that multiple perspectives are necessary to better reflect the worldwide popularity of the form and to recognize the global community of artists working in the field.”

Of the shortlisted feature and short documentaries, six are distributed by The New Yorker, four by HBO Documentary Films/HBO Max, four by Netflix, three by The New York Times Op-Docs, and two each distributed by NEON, POV/POV Shorts, and National Geographic. 

Below are the shortlisted films in the feature and shorts categories. The IDA notes, “Following the nominees announcement on November 11, IDA members will have access to view each of the nominated films and to vote for Best Feature Documentary and Best Short Documentary starting November 18.”

Best Feature Documentary Shortlist

1341 Frames of Love and War (Israel, United States, United Kingdom | Yes Docu | Director/Producer: Ran Tal. | Producer: Sarig Peker)

After A Revolution (Libya, Italy, United Kingdom | EYESTEELFILM | Director/Producer: Giovanni Buccomino | Producers: Naziha Arebi, Alessandro Carroli)

All that Breathes (India, United States, United Kingdom | Sideshow and Submarine Deluxe, HBO Documentary Films | Director/Producer: Shaunak Sen | Producers: Aman Mann, Teddy Leifer)

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (United States | NEON, HBO | Director/Producer: Laura Poitras | Producers: Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov)

Delikado (United States, Philippines, Australia | POV | Director: Karl Malakunas | Producers: Marty Syjuco, Michael Collins, Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala)

Etilaat Roz (Afghanistan | Director/Producer: Abbas Rezaie | Producer: Zaki Daryabi)

Fire of Love (Canada, Japan | National Geographic | Director/Producer: Sara Dosa | Producers: Shane Boris, Ina Fichman)
Geographies of Solitude
 (Canada | Films We Like | Director/Producer: Jacquelyn Mills | Producer: Rosalie Chicoine Perreault)

Hidden Letters (United States, Norway, China | Independent Lens | Directors: Violet Feng, Qing Zhao | Producer: Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas)

A House Made of Splinters (Denmark, Finland, Ukraine | Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont | Producer: Monica Hellström)

Katrina Babies (United States | HBO Documentary Films, HBO Max | Director/Producer: Edward Buckles, Jr. | Producers: Audrey Rosenberg, Rebecca Teitel)

Lyra (United Kingdom | Cinephil | Director/Producer: Alison Millar | Producer: Jackie Doyle)

Mija (United States | Disney+ | Director: Isabel Castro | Producers: Tabitha Breese, Yesenia Tlahuel)

Moonage Daydream (United States | NEON, Universal | Director/Producer: Brett Morgen)

NAVALNY (United States, Germany, Russian Federation | Warner Bros Pictures, CNN Films, HBO Max | Director: Daniel Roher | Producers: Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris)

Nelly & Nadine (Sweden, Belgium, Norway | Wolfe Releasing | Director: Magnus Gertten | Producer: Ove Rishøj Jensen)

No Simple Way Home (United Kingdom, South Africa, South Sudan | Generation Africa – STEPS | Director: Akuol de Mabior | Producers: Sam Soko, Don Edkins, Tiny Mungwe)

The Pawnshop (Poland | Syndicado | Director/Producer: Lukasz Kowalski | Producer: Anna Mazerant)

Sansón and Me (Mexico, United States | Cinema Guild | Director: Rodrigo Reyes | Producer: Su Kim)

Singing on the Rooftops (Spain | Inicia Films | Director: Enric Ribes | Producer: Valérie Delpierre)

A Story of Bones (United Kingdom | Directors: Joseph Curran, Dominic Aubrey de Vere | Producer: Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo)

The Territory (Brazil, United States | National Geographic | Director/Producer: Alex Pritz | Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Sigrid Dyekjær, Will N. Miller, Gabriel Uchida, Lizzie Gillett)

Three Minutes – A Lengthening (Netherlands | SuperLTD | Director: Bianca Stitger | Producers: Floor Onrust, Steve Mcqueen)

Waters of Pastaza (Portugal | Syndicado | Director/Producer: Inês T. Alves | Producer: Ico Costa)

Young Plato (Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium | Autlook Film Sales | Directors: Neasa Ní Chianáin, Declan McGrath | Producers: David Rane, Hanne Phlypo, Céline Nusse, Jackie Doyle)

Best Short Documentary Shortlist

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught) (United States | Director: Brit Hensel | Producers: Taylor Hensel, Adam Mazo, Kavita Pillay, Tracy Rector)

And Then They Burn the Sea (Qatar | Square Eyes | Director: Majid Al-Remaihi | Producer: Basel Owies)

Angola Do You Hear Us? Voices From A Plantation Prison (United States | MTV Documentary Films | Director: Cinque Northern | Producer: Catherine Gund)

Beirut Dreams in Color (Lebanon, United States, United Kingdom | The Guardian | Director: Michael Collins | Producers: Marty Syjuco, James Costa, Sarah Kaskas)

The Benevolents (Canada | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director/Producer: Sarah Baril Gaudet)

Bounty (United States | Directors: Ben Pender-Cudlip, Dawn Neptune Adams, Maulian Dana | Directors/Producers: Adam Mazo, Tracy Rector | Producer: Ben Pender-Cudlip)

Coming Home (United States | POV Shorts | Directors/Producers: Naim Naif, Margot Bowman | Producer: Meghan Doherty)

The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (Australia, United States | Netflix | Directors/Producers: Maya Newell | Producers: Sophie Hyde, Matthew Bate, Lisa Sherrard)

The Elephant Whisperers (United States | Netflix | Director: Kartiki Gonsalves | Producers: Guneet Monga, Achin Jain)

Fatima In Kabul (Canada, Afghanistan | CBC – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/CBC Distribution | Director/Producer: Brishkay Ahmed)

Haulout (United Kingdom | Rise And Shine World Sales | Directors/Producers: Evgenia Arbugaeva, Maxim Arbugaev)

Heart Valley (United Kingdom | The New Yorker, Condé Nast | Director/Producer: Christian Cargill | Producers: Lily Wakeley, Kiran Sidhu)

Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive (United Kingdom, United States | Netflix | Director: Ian Derry. Producers: Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison, Steve Jamison)

Holding Moses (United States | The New Yorker | Directors/Producers: Rivkah Beth Medow, Jen Rainin)

Holy Cowboys (India, United States, United Kingdom | Director/Producer: Varun Chopra. Producer: Anna Hashmi)

I Am Trying to Remember (Czech Republic, Islamic Republic Of Iran | Europe Media Nest s.r.o. | Director: Pegah Ahangarani | Producer: Kaveh Farnam)

In Flow of Words (Netherlands | The New Yorker, Condé Nast | Director: Eliane Esther Bots | Producer: Manon Bovenkerk)

The Joys And Sorrows Of Young Yuguo (United States, United Kingdom | Netflix | Director: Ilinca Călugăreanu | Producer: Mara Adina)

Love, Barbara (United States | Director/Producer: Brydie O’Connor | Producer: Myriam Schroeter)

MINK! (United States | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director: Ben Proudfoot | Producer: Rachel Greenwald)

not even for a moment do things stand still (United States | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director/Producer: Jamie Meltzer | Producers: Annie Marr, Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg)

Nuisance Bear (Canada | The New Yorker | Director/Producer: Jack Weisman)

The Silent Shore (France | The New Yorker, Condé Nast Entertainment | Directors/Producers: Nathalie Giraud, Timothée Corteggiani | Producer: Anne Bruneau)

Two-Spirit (Colombia | The New Yorker | Director: Mónica Taboada-Tapia | Producer: Beto Rosero)

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