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IDA Announces 2004 Award Winners

Born Into Brothels and Fahrenheit 9/11 take top honors (November 18, 2004)

The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced today that BORN INTO BROTHELS, FAHRENHEIT 9/11, MIGHTY TIMES VOL. 2: THE CHILDREN'S MARCH, THE NEW AMERICANS, AMERICAN MASTERS, OIL ON ICE, and IMELDA took top honors in the 20th annual IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards competition. The award presentations will be made on December 10 during the IDA Awards Gala Benefit at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theatre in Hollywood.

"These documentaries were chosen by a jury of peers out of hundreds of films from every part of the world," says IDA Executive Director Sandra Ruch. "Each of them tells an important story that makes a deep and indelible impression. The producers and everyone else involved in creating these films have earned the respect and admiration of their peers in IDA."

BORN INTO BROTHELS and FAHRENHEIT 9/11 shared top honors in the Feature competition. BORN INTO BROTHELS follows a group of resilient children from Calcutta's red light district trying to escape a doomed future. They embark on a transformational journey with New York-based photographer Zana Briski. The film was co-directed by Briski and Ross Kauffman.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 is director-producer Michael Moore's portrait of America prior, during and in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, in New York, and the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C. Moore also explores how the war in Iraq has affected the lives of American soldiers and their families. During its opening weekend, FAHRENHEIT 9/11 became the highest-grossing documentary to date.

MIGHTY TIMES VOLUME 2: THE CHILDREN'S MARCH took top honors in the Short category (films under 40-minutes). This film was co-directed and co-produced by Robert Hudson and Bobby Houston. It revisits 1963 when intense intimidation by civic authorities in Birmingham, Alabama left the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King floundering until thousands of children and students joined the fight and turned the tide.

THE NEW AMERICANS, executive produced by Steve James and Gordon Quinn, won the Limited Series competition for segments of a series with a specific continuing theme or subject. This ITVS/Independent Lens/PBS series follows immigrants and refugees from Nigeria, India, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Israeli-occupied West Bank through their first tumultuous years in America.

AMERICAN MASTERS won the Continuing Series competition for documentaries that are part of an ongoing series. Launched in 1984 by executive producer Susan Lacy, this Thirteen/WNET, PBS series explores the lives and journeys of America's most enduring writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, dramatists and filmmakers. The series has included profiles of Gore Vidal, Judy Garland, Norman Mailer, Julia Child, and Billie Holliday, among many others.

OIL ON ICE, from directors-producers Bo Boudart and Dale Djerassi, earned the 2004 Pare Lorentz Award. The award is presented by the Pare Lorentz Foundation to one or more individuals whose work best represents the democratic sensibility, activist spirit and lyrical vision of the legendary documentarian. OIL ON ICE examines the battle over oil development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and how it affects the Gwich'in Athabascan Indians and Inupiat Eskimos who rely on wildlife in this area for subsistence.

IMELDA took top honors in the IDA/ABCNEWS VideoSource competition. The award recognizes documentarians who make the best use of historic news footage to tell a non-fiction story. In IMELDA, director-producer Ramona S. Diaz explores the complex persona of former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos, and her rise to power and fall from grace.

This is the second year the IDA will present the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award to an individual who has made at least one documentary and shows great promise. The jury selected both Jonathan Caouette and Jehane Noujaim as recipients this year. Caouette was selected for his debut feature TARNATION. He has been documenting his life since he was 11 years old. In TARNATION, he weaves snapshots, Super 8 home movies, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of '80s pop culture and dramatic reenactments to create a portrait of a dysfunctional American family.

Noujaim began her career, working in the MTV News and Documentary division as a segment producer. She went on to produce and direct the award-winning STARTUP.COM. Noujaim has since worked in both the Middle East and the U.S. as a director and cinematographer on various documentaries, including BORN RICH, ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE, DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN, and CONTROL ROOM.

Honorable mentions were presented to CONTROL ROOM in the Feature category, THE LIFE OF KEVIN CARTER in the Short category, and CNN PRESENTS in the Continuing Series category.

Kodak has sponsored the IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards since their inception in 1984. The company also hosts DocuFest, where all of the award winning films will be presented followed by discussions with the filmmakers. DocuFest will be held at the Kodak screening room at 6700 Santa Monica Blvd., in Hollywood, on December 11 from 9:00 a.m.-midnight.

Sundance Channel, a Gala Sponsor, will produce an original television program that takes a look back at the watershed year in documentary filmmaking that was 2004. The piece features some of the 2004 IDA award-winning films including CONTROL ROOM and FAHRENHEIT 9/11. The program will air on February 21, 2005 at 8:00 pm as part of DOCday, Sundance Channel's weekly destination devoted to documentary film.

IDA has some 3,000 members in 50 countries today. For more information about the 2004 IDA Distinguished Achievement Awards and DocuFest, or to purchase tickets, visit or call 213-534-3600, ext 0. #

For additional information about Kodak, visit the website at


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