2020 IDA Documentary Honorary Awards Laud Filmmakers Sam Pollard, Garrett Bradley, and David France

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has today announced the recipients of its 36th Annual IDA Documentary Awards honorary awards. The shortlists for Best Feature and Best Short categories were released in late October, and the nominees for all categories will be revealed on Tuesday, November 24. The 2020 Awards will be presented in a digital ceremony in January 2021.

There is some crossover in today’s listing of honorees, including “Time” filmmaker Garrett Bradley (features shortlist) and “Welcome to Chechnya” filmmaker David France (features shortlist), though the newly minted honorees also include films and filmmakers that didn’t make the initial cut, including lauded documentarian and newly minted Career Achievement Award winner Sam Pollard (who made 2020’s “MLK/FBI”) and films like Ramona S. Diaz’s “A Thousand Cuts,” which didn’t land on the shortlist but did notch a win for its subject Maria Ressa.

This year’s IDA Documentary Awards honorees are:

  • Primetime Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Pollard (“MLK/FBI,” “Four Little Girls,” “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”) with the Career Achievement Award

  • Filmmaker Garrett Bradley (“Time”) with the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award

  • Emmy and Peabody Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated producer Regina Scully with the Amicus Award

  • Firelight Media, which produces documentary films, supports emerging filmmakers of color and cultivates audiences for their work, with the Pioneer Award

  • Courage Under Fire Award goes to David France and the film team behind “Welcome to Chechnya” and activists David Isteev (The Russian LGBT Network and Olga Baranova (Moscow Community Center for LGBT+ Initiatives)

  • Journalist Maria Ressa and the Filipino news network Rappler with the Truth to Power Award featured in “A Thousand Cuts” by Ramona S. Diaz

“If we have learned anything from this tumultuous year it is the fundamental and critical importance of speaking the truth,” IDA’s executive director Simon Kilmurry said in a statement. “Without that, democracies are undermined, the corrupt thrive and the marginalized are crushed. All of this year’s honorees are dedicated to speaking the truth and nurturing and supporting the brave filmmakers and activists who continue to shine a light into the darkest corners. We thank them for their work.”

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