Poh Si Teng, producer of Oscar-nominated documentary short “St. Louis Superman,” has joined the International Documentary Association (IDA) as the new director of the IDA Funds and Enterprise program.
Poh will oversee and build IDA’s grants portfolio and serve as a key liaison with the documentary field in the U.S. and globally, working with IDA’s program officer Dana Merwin.
Poh succeeds Carrie Lozano who joined the Sundance Institute as director of the documentary film program in fall 2020.
Prior to joining IDA, Poh oversaw the U.S., Canada and Latin America as documentary commissioner and senior producer for Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand, “Witness.” She was previously a journalist with The New York Times, where she received an Emmy nomination and other awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists and the NPPA for her work.
Originally from Penang, Malaysia, Poh has also had a stint as a reporter covering India for the Times, the Wall Street Journal and Agence France-Presse. As an independent filmmaker, Poh has collaborated with filmmakers from a variety of racial, ethnic, socio-economic and religious backgrounds across a range of nationalities. Her film producing credits also include “Dead Woman’s Pass,” “Halima: Somali American Model” and “Flirting with the Islamic State.”
“Poh brings a wealth of documentary experience as a commissioning editor, producer and journalist to IDA,” said Simon Kilmurry, IDA’s executive director. “Her vision will be essential as IDA continues to build its support of documentary makers both nationally and internationally.”
“The confluence of the pandemic, deep racial inequities in our society and continued marginalization of voices in documentary has led to a point where there has never been a greater need to support a diverse set of filmmakers to further their films and careers,” said Poh. “I look forward to building on IDA’s grants program so that we can advance the cause of equity in our documentary industry, and our society more broadly.”
The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund was established in 2017 to serve documentary projects taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. Since then, the fund has awarded $4 million in development and production grants to over 65 projects. Recipients include four films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival: “Users” by Natalia Almada, “President” by Camilla Nielsson, “Philly D.A.” by Ted Passon and Yoni Brook, and “At the Ready” by Maisie Crow.