‘O.J.: Made in America,’ ‘Making a Murderer’ Win at 2016 IDA Awards

The International Documentary Assn. has named Ezra Edelman’s “O.J.: Made in America” as the top feature documentary of 2016.

Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” won the Best Limited Series TV Award for exec producers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi. Best Curated Series went to to DR TV’s “DR2 Dokumania” for exec producer Mette Hoffmann Meyer; Best Episodic Series Award to Netflix’s “Last Chance U” for exec producers Joe LaBracio, Dawn Ostroff, Lucas Smith, James Stern and Greg Whiteley; and Best Short Form Series Award to “Field of Vision” for exec producers Charlotte Cook, Laura Poitras and AJ Schnack.

“O.J.: Made in America,” an analysis of race and celebrity in America through the story of O.J. Simpson, topped  Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” “Cameraperson,” “Fire at Sea,” “I Am Not Your Negro”and “Weiner.” All six IDA nominees were included on the 15-title shortlist, unveiled Dec. 6, as finalists for the Best Documentary by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The eight-hour long “O.J.: Made in America” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last January 22 and was released in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles in May before being aired in five parts on ABC and ESPN. “The Look of Silence” won the IDA award last year, then lost out at the Oscars to “Amy.”

The IDA unveiled the winners in ceremonies Friday night at the Paramount lot in Hollywood with Vivica A. Fox hosting.

“The White Helmets,” directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, won the Best Short Award. The film centers on the volunteer workers who put their lives on the line to save civilians amidst Syria’s Civil War.

“The White Helmets” topped Kirsten Johnson’s “The Above”;  Maxim Pozdorovkin’s “Clinica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”; Dan Krauss’s “Extremis”; Amy Nicholson’s “Pickle”; and Billy Luther’s “Red Lake.”

Winners in the Best Feature and Best Short categories are voted on by IDA’s international membership.

Previously announced creative awards went to “Fire at Sea” (cinematography by Gianfranco Rosi) will be recognized with the award for Best Cinematography; “Cameraperson” (edited by Nels Bangerter) will receive the Best Editing award; “The Bad Kids” (original score by Jacaszek) will be presented with the Best Music award; and “I Am Not Your Negro” (written by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck) will receive the Best Writing award.

Previously announced awards included Lyn and Norman Lear for the Amicus Award for their work supporting documentary film and freedom of speech; Stanley Nelson for the Career Achievement Award for his extensive body of work on the African American experience; Ally Derks for the Pioneer Award in recognition of her work founding and building the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam; and director Nanfu Wang for the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.

The Pare Lorentz Award was given to “Starless Dreams,” directed by Mehrdad Oskouei, which tells the story of girls from a rehabilitation center for juvenile delinquents in Tehran and their desire to return to freedom.

Attendees included DuVernay, Peck, Vinnie Malhotra, Ron Yerxa, Amy Ziering, Julie Goldman, Moby, Troy Garity, Willie Garson, Annabeth Gish and Bijou Phillips.

The awards ceremony also included the announcement by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for a four-year, $5 million grant to establish the IDA Documentary/Journalism Project. The project is aimed at helping documentarians to report important stories more effectively; journalists to utilize film more artfully; and all who work in these fields to achieve their goals with greater safety and impact.

“The MacArthur Foundation supports independent inquiry and storytelling that helps to inform, engage and inspire the American public to think critically and deeply about the challenges we face as a nation,” said Kathy Im, Director of the Journalism and Media program at MacArthur, “Support for this new fund at IDA is an expression of the Foundation’s enduring commitment to independent media, and part of a broader set of investments aimed at building strong institutions in the fields of nonprofit journalism, nonfiction storytelling, and participatory civic media.”

The 2016 award winners selected by members of the International Documentary Association are as follows:

Best Feature Award

O.J.: Made in America
Director: Ezra Edelman
Producers: Deirdre Fenton, Libby Geist, Nina Krstic, Erin Leyden, Tamara Rosenberg, Connor Schell and Caroline Waterlow


Best Short Award

The White Helmets
Director: Orlando von Einsiedel
Producer: Joanna Natasegara


Best Curated Series Award

DR2 Dokumania
Executive Producer: Mette Hoffmann Meyer


Best Limited Series Award

Making a Murderer
Executive Producers: Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi


Best Episodic Series Award

Last Chance U
Executive Producers: Joe LaBracio, Dawn Ostroff, Lucas Smith, James Stern and Greg Whiteley


Best Short Form Series Award

Field of Vision
Executive Producers: Charlotte Cook, Laura Poitras and AJ Schnack


David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award

4.1 Miles
Director: Daphne Matziaraki


ABC News VideoSource Award

Director: Ava DuVernay


Pare Lorentz Award

Starless Dreams
Director: Mehrdad Oskouei



Best Cinematography

Fire at Sea
Cinematography by: Gianfranco Rosi


Best Editing

Edited by: Nels Bangerter


Best Writing

I Am Not Your Negro
James Baldwin material compiled and edited by Raoul Peck


Best Music

The Bad Kids
Original Score by: Jacaszek



Career Achievement Award

Stanley Nelson

Pioneer Award

Ally Derks

Amicus Award

Lyn and Norman Lear

Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award

Nanfu Wang

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