The IDA Documentary Awards is the world's most significant recognition of the best nonfiction films and programs of the year. To see winners and nominees from past years go to documentary.org//awards.

IDA aims to be supportive of the I in International! to that end we invite non US filmmakers and non-US productions to consider submitting.

But wait there's more! To inquire about submission in categories other than Features and Shorts (we recognize Series categories as well!) to the IDA Awards, please contact awards@documentary.org

Awards & Prizes

FEATURE
Individual, stand-alone documentary, more than 40 minutes in length.

SHORT
Individual, stand-alone documentary, less than or equal to 40 minutes in length.

---------------------------------

SPONSORED AWARDS
Sponsored awards recognize films that have specific characteristics. Finalists are selected based on certain criteria and are drawn from main award categories. Direct submission to a sponsored award is not required or accepted.

ABC NEWS VIDEOSOURCE AWARD - Sponsored
Submissions in the Feature category are considered for this award.

For the best use of news footage as an integral component in a documentary. "News footage" is defined here as factual footage, contemporary or historical, shot for use in context such as newsreels, news specials, magazines or nightly news. "Integral component" is defined here as footage which is central to the structure, meaning and impact of the work. Entries in the Feature category are eligible for this award.

Award recipients: Award is given to the person(s) credited onscreen as Director and limited to a total of two persons.

PRIZE: $5,000 cash honorarium and research time at the ABCNEWS VideoSource facility in New York. If there is more than one award recipient, the cash prize will be split equally between them.

PARE LORENTZ AWARD - Sponsored
Submissions in the Feature and Short categories are considered for this award.

Given to a film that reflects the spirit and tradition of Pare Lorentz’s work. A successful candidate for the Pare Lorentz Award will demonstrate one or more of Lorentz's central concerns (the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all, and the illumination of pressing social problems) presented as a compelling story by skillful filmmaking. A Pare Lorentz Award exhibits the highest production values and artistry in its directing, writing, music composition, camera work, editing and research, and exemplifies the spirit and tradition of Pare Lorentz’s work - his passion for people and the land and his quest for a more fruitful coexistence between the two. Entries in the Feature and Short categories are eligible for this award.

Award recipients: Award is given to the person(s) credited onscreen as Director, and limited to a total of two persons.

PRIZE: $2,500 cash honorarium. If there is more than one award recipient, the cash prize will be split equally between them.

FEATURE FILM CREATIVE RECOGNITION AWARDS
Submissions in the Feature category are considered for these awards.

Awards will recognize special achievement in Cinematography, Editing, Music and Writing in films entered in the Feature Category.

Submissions that meet the criteria for a Creative Recognition Award are considered for that award. Direct submission to a Creative Recognition Award is not required or accepted. Onscreen credit must be given for a film to be eligible for a Creative Recognition Award. For example, a film without a credited writer is not eligible for the Best Writing award.

---------------------------------------

Additionally - the IDA recognizes work in the following categories. Contact awards@documentary.org to inquire about submission.

EPISODIC SERIES
An ongoing documentary series that is comprised of episodes each more than 20 minutes in length, produced with a continuity of production supervision and unified through a topic, approach, characters, or narrative. Programs that consist primarily of news reporting, and news magazine style programs, are not eligible.

CURATED SERIES
An ongoing documentary or non-fiction series or strand, comprised of unique episodes, each more than 20 minutes in length, that have been created by different producing teams and can stand alone as a complete entity in their own right, and are unified solely by a high level theme (e.g. DR2 Dokumania; POV). The series is created without an end in sight, and can return indefinitely season after season.

LIMITED SERIES
A documentary series comprised of multiple episodes, each more than 20 minutes in length. The series is conceived and constructed with a beginning and an end, and all the episodes viewed in order create a complete story and/or support a complete theme (i.e. Making a Murderer; The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth). This category is not meant for the first season of a series that is anticipated or pitched to continue indefinitely in subsequent seasons.

SHORT FORM SERIES
A non-fiction series that is comprised of episodes each 20 minutes or less in length. Series in this category may be available exclusively online (including branded content) and/or have been produced specifically for a web portal (e.g. Field Of Vision; The New York Times Op-Docs). Series that have been produced as companion pieces to broadcast programming may also be submitted. The series may form a total package and tell a complete story, or may be intended to continue indefinitely.

DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY AWARD
A short or feature length film or video, produced by registered, degree-seeking student(s). 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. Screening committees will review only one version of a submitted film. Films must be completed within the eligibility window Eligibility window for the 2017 IDA Documentary Awards is July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017.

PRIZE: $1,000 cash honorarium

Rules & Terms

FEATURE
Individual, stand-alone documentary, more than 40 minutes in length. Must be subtitled in English if the dialogue is in a language other than English.

Award recipients: Limited to two persons, one of whom must be the credited Director who exercised directorial control, and the other of whom must have a Producer or Director credit. The Award recipients(s) are the recognized nominee(s) for the project.

SHORT
Individual, stand-alone documentary, less than or equal to 40 minutes in length. Must be subtitled in English if the dialogue is in a language other than English.

Award recipients: Limited to two persons, one of whom must be the credited Director who exercised directorial control, and the other of whom must have a Producer or Director credit. The Award recipients(s) are the recognized nominee(s) for the project.

EPISODIC SERIES
An ongoing documentary series that is comprised of episodes each more than 20 minutes in length, produced with a continuity of production supervision and unified through a topic, approach, characters, or narrative (e.g. Last Chance U; United Shades of America). The episodes are conceived and produced as part of the series, not as stand alone entities. The series is created without an end in sight, and can return season after season. Influence by the producer(s) on the story is limited to setting up an initial situation (i.e. deciding on a character’s storyline to follow or location or event to go to) and observing the action that ensues (e.g. Beyond Scared Straight). Programs that consist primarily of news reporting, and news magazine style programs, are not eligible.

Episodic Series entries are eligible for the awards year in which the majority of its episodes were broadcast. Eligibility window for the 2017 IDA Documentary Awards is July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Entries are evaluated on a submission of up to four episodes from the eligible season.

Award recipients: Limited to two persons, both whom must have an Executive Producer credit. Recognized nominees must have an Executive Producer credit.

CURATED SERIES
An ongoing documentary or non-fiction series or strand, comprised of unique episodes, each more than 20 minutes in length, that have been created by different producing teams and can stand alone as a complete entity in their own right, and are unified solely by a high level theme (e.g. DR2 Dokumania; POV). The series is created without an end in sight, and can return indefinitely season after season.

Curated Series entries are eligible for the awards year in which the majority of its episodes were broadcast. Eligibility window for the 2017 IDA Documentary Awards is July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Entries are evaluated on a submission of up to four episodes from the eligible season.

Award recipients: Limited to two persons. While co-production partners may be credited, only the Executive Producer(s) will be presented with the award.

LIMITED SERIES
A documentary series comprised of multiple episodes, each more than 20 minutes in length. The series is conceived and constructed with a beginning and an end, and all the episodes viewed in order create a complete story and/or support a complete theme (i.e. Making a Murderer; The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth). This category is not meant for the first season of a series that is anticipated or pitched to continue indefinitely in subsequent seasons.

All episodes must have been broadcast within the eligibility window July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. A review copy of all episodes must be provided.

Award recipients: Limited to two persons, both of whom must have an Executive Producer credit. Recognized nominees are those with Executive Producer credit.

SHORT FORM SERIES
A non-fiction series that is comprised of episodes each 20 minutes or less in length. Series in this category may be available exclusively online (including branded content) and/or have been produced specifically for a web portal (e.g. Field Of Vision; The New York Times Op-Docs). Series that have been produced as companion pieces to broadcast programming may also be submitted. The series may form a total package and tell a complete story, or may be intended to continue indefinitely.

If there is a defined season, a majority of the episodes must have been first uploaded or aired within the eligibility window July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Entries are evaluated on a submission of up to four episodes. Entries are evaluated on a submission of up to four episodes. All submitted episodes must have been first uploaded or aired within the eligibility window.

Award recipients: Limited to two persons, both of whom must have an Executive Producer credit. Recognized nominees are those with Executive Producer credit.

DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY AWARD
A short or feature length film or video, produced by registered, degree-seeking student(s). 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. Screening committees will review only one version of a submitted film. Films must be completed within the eligibility window Eligibility window for the 2017 IDA Documentary Awards is July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017.

Award recipients: Limited to two persons, one of whom must be the credited Director who exercised directorial control, and the other of whom must have a Producer or Director credit.

PRIZE: $1,000 cash honorarium

SPONSORED AWARDS
Sponsored awards recognize films that have specific characteristics. Finalists are selected based on certain criteria and are drawn from main award categories. Direct submission to a sponsored award is not required or accepted.

ABC NEWS VIDEOSOURCE AWARD - Sponsored
For the best use of news footage as an integral component in a documentary. "News footage" is defined here as factual footage, contemporary or historical, shot for use in context such as newsreels, news specials, magazines or nightly news. "Integral component" is defined here as footage which is central to the structure, meaning and impact of the work. Entries in the Feature category are eligible for this award.

Award recipients: Award is given to the person(s) credited onscreen as Director and limited to a total of two persons.

PRIZE: $5,000 cash honorarium and research time at the ABCNEWS VideoSource facility in New York. If there is more than one award recipient, the cash prize will be split equally between them.

PARE LORENTZ AWARD - Sponsored
Given to a film that reflects the spirit and tradition of Pare Lorentz’s work. A successful candidate for the Pare Lorentz Award will demonstrate one or more of Lorentz's central concerns (the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all, and the illumination of pressing social problems) presented as a compelling story by skillful filmmaking. A Pare Lorentz Award exhibits the highest production values and artistry in its directing, writing, music composition, camera work, editing and research, and exemplifies the spirit and tradition of Pare Lorentz’s work - his passion for people and the land and his quest for a more fruitful coexistence between the two. Entries in the Feature and Short categories are eligible for this award.

Award recipients: Award is given to the person(s) credited onscreen as Director, and limited to a total of two persons.

PRIZE: $2,500 cash honorarium. If there is more than one award recipient, the cash prize will be split equally between them.

FEATURE FILM CREATIVE RECOGNITION AWARDS
Awards will recognize special achievement in Cinematography, Editing, Music and Writing in films entered in the Feature Category.

Submissions that meet the criteria for a Creative Recognition Award are considered for that award. Direct submission to a Creative Recognition Award is not required or accepted. Onscreen credit must be given for a film to be eligible for a Creative Recognition Award. For example, a film without a credited writer is not eligible for the Best Writing award.

Submission
Projects may be entered into only one of the main categories. Single episodes of a series may also be submitted to the Feature or Short category if the individual episode complies with those eligibility requirements.

Submission must be made online. Multiple projects may be submitted, however each submission must be made separately. All non-English language entries must be in their original language and subtitled in English.

Final eligibility is determined by IDA staff based on eligibility and submission requirements in the IDA Awards rules. Non-payment of the entry fee will result in submission ineligibility. Payment may be made by credit card online at time of submission or you may send a check to the IDA office. Entry fees will not be refunded. All payments must be in US Dollars. Payment must be postmarked by the submission deadline of July 7, 2017.

If your submission is NOMINATED, you agree to provide the following:
Short biographies of director and producer
Director and producer headshots as jpegs at 300 dpi (suitable for print reproduction)
Film still(s) (textless) as jpegs at 300 dpi (suitable for print reproduction)
30 word synopsis
Final credit block
Materials needed to create nominee clip reel. A clip from each nominated project will be created by IDA for inclusion in the nominee clip reel to be played during the awards show. If your submission is nominated, you agree to provide:
Access to the master for clip selects
Access to split music/dialogue/effects tracks
Textless version of the trailer delivered as a high resolution Quicktime file.
Title treatment
Permission to use all delivered materials during the event and for any publicity and promotional purposes related to the IDA Awards.
Entrants in the Feature and Short categories agree, if their film is nominated, to provide a copy of their film to be uploaded to IDA’s secure server for viewing by the IDA members in voting for winners of Best Feature and Best Short.

To be considered for the 33rd Annual IDA Documentary Awards, all submissions must be completed by 11:59PM PST and postmarked on July 7, 2017.

Mailing address for check payment and DVD screeners:

International Documentary Association
3470 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 980
Los Angeles CA 90010
ATTN: IDA AWARDS
213 232-1660

Please contact awards@documentary.org with any questions.

Judging
Judging of the IDA Documentary Awards is based on overall creative excellence. Committees of filmmaking and industry professionals screen all entries and select all nominees. Award winners in the Feature and Short categories are selected by IDA members from the nominees. For all other awards, blue ribbon panels select award winners from the nominees.

Final voting - Best Feature and Best Short
Nominees for Best Feature and Best Short agree to provide a copy of their film to be uploaded to IDA’s secure server for viewing by the IDA members in voting for winners of Best Feature and Best Short.

Entry in this competition grants IDA, its sponsors, and media partners, the right to use clips, photographs, and biographical data from submitted and nominated films for publicity and promotional purposes on all existing and future media platforms throughout the universe, including but not limited to websites, online, streaming, for broadcast, cable, and satellite, in perpetuity.

Acceptance of rules
Your digital entry form constitutes full acceptance of the IDA Documentary Awards rules and regulations detailed here. The person listed as submitter in the submission form warrants that they are the owners of, or are authorized representatives of the owners of, the submitted production, including the copyright therein, that they have the right to grant IDA the use of the submitted production in each and all of the rights herein granted; that they have or will obtain all required authorizations, consents and releases from others, including but not limited to those who appear recognizable in the submitted production or who rendered services in connection therewith; and that IDA’s use of the submitted production as provided herein will not violate the rights of another person. IDA reserves the right to resolve all questions not specifically addressed here. Any disputes that may arise concerning the IDA Documentary Awards shall be determined according to the laws of the State of California. Failure to comply with these rules will render the entry ineligible. Entry fees will not be refunded.

About the IDA
Founded in 1982, the International Documentary Association (IDA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that supports nonfiction filmmaking and filmmakers through four key pillars: funding, education, advocacy, and fostering enthusiastic audiences.

Visit and follow us at: documentary.org | Twitter | Facebook

Join the IDA today to receive discounts on your entry fees and other valuable benefits
www.documentary.org/membership