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International Documentary Association to Honor Filmmakers for Syrian Work

The International Documentary Association will give its Courage Under Fire Award to filmmakers and subjects involved with documentaries about the war in Syria.

The organization will present the award Dec. 9 at its 33rd Annual Documentary Awards at the Paramount Studios backlot in Los Angeles. Abigail Disney will receive the Amicus Award; Lourdes Portillo will receive the Career Achievement Award; and Yance Ford will receive the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.

The Courage Under Fire Award— given from time to time to a filmmaker who demonstrates “extraordinary courage” in pursuit of the truth —  will honor both the people who shared their stories in the films and the filmmaking teams behind “City of Ghosts,” “Cries From Syria,” “Hell on Earth,” and “Last Men in Aleppo.”

Awards will also be given in several categories including Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, Best Limited Series, and more.

Simon Kilmurry, IDA’s Executive Director, said, “Filmmakers take incredible risks in bringing us these stories,” but we often forget that the people who share their stories with us also take incredible risks. This year’s Courage Under Fire award honors not only the filmmakers but those who have taken on the burden of sharing their experiences of a brutal war in Syria, those who have died while doing so, and those who continue to live with its consequences.”

Disney is the CEO and president of Fork Films. Her films and series include “Pray The Devil Back to Hell” and “The Armor of Light.”

Portillo made “After the Earthquake/ Despues del Terremoto” in 1979. Her 1986 film “Las Madres/The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo” was nominated for an Academy Award. Portillo is the curator of “From Latin America to Hollywood: Latino Film Culture in Los Angeles, 1967-2017.”

IDA will also honor emerging documentary filmmaker Ford, whose cinematic memoir “Strong Island” opens in theaters and launches globally on Netflix on Sept. 15. Ford, who is transgender, is a recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellowship, and was among Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2011.

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