People’s President’ won IDA’s best feature

„Bobby Wine: The People’s President” won first prize for best feature in an international documentary. Awards on Tuesday.

Directed by Christopher Sharp and Moses Pwayo and produced by Sharp and Oscar-winner John Patchek, the doc follows musician Bobby Wine’s quest to overthrow the oppressive regime of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Following its premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, the film was acquired by National Geographic.

In his acceptance speech, Bwayo said, „The awareness this film brought to a global audience now keeps Bobby Wine alive and out of prison.”

The document is one of the 10 nominees in the Best Features category.

Over the past five years, IDA best feature winners „All That Breathes,” „Flee,” „Crip Camp,” „For Sam” and „Minding the Gap” have received Oscar nominations. The last two Oscar-winning documentaries — “Navalny” and “Summer of Soul” — were nominated in the IDA’s Best Feature category.

During their opening remarks, IDA Board of Directors Co-Chairs Grace Lee and Chris Perez said, “Speaking from Los Angeles, our thoughts are with people around the world living in the midst of war. The loss of life, of friendship, of not being able to hear is heartbreaking. And yet, as a society, we are storytellers of the world we live in, knowing that our work cannot capture history, but can change minds. To the thousands of IDA members living in 76 countries, thank you for investing your time and your inspiring choices in voting for the winners of the Best Feature and Best Short Documentary categories.”

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Moroccan director Azme El Moudir won the IDA Best Director Award for “The Mother of All Lies,” a hybrid documentary about the lies of El Moudir’s childhood in Casablanca. The film had its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

Karolina Chiragyan won Best Editing for her work on MTV Documentary’s “The Eternal Memory,” while Andes Tammik won Best Cinematography for “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood.” Both films debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Leonard Gusner took the Best Original Score kudo for three-time Academy Award-nominated director Wim Wenders’ 3D documentary „Anselm.” In addition, Gouthar Ben Hania won the IDA Award for Best Writing for her work on „Four Daughters,” a hybrid documentary that tells the story of a Tunisian mother whose two oldest daughters join ISIS. Both „Anselm” and „Four Daughters” had their world premieres at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2018, „Incident,” which reconstructs a Chicago police shooting, won the Best Short Documentary Award. POV and POV Shorts won Best Curated Series and Best Short Form Series, respectively. This is the second year in a row that both PBS series have received their respective honors.

All IDA presented awards in 18 categories. This year’s IDA Documentary Awards shortlists and nominees were selected by an independent panel of 280 documentary filmmakers, curators, critics and industry experts from 40 countries. IDA received a total of 669 submissions across all categories from 48 countries.

Dominic Asmal Wilston, IDA’s new Executive Director, who will start on January 8, 2024, gave closing remarks at the event and said, „In the coming years, in everything IDA does, our mission is to become as international as we can.”

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The 39th annual event was hosted by comedian Jenny Yang and streamed live on IDA’s YouTube channel.


Feature: “Bobby Win: The People’s President” (Uganda | National Geographic Documentaries | Directors: Moses Bweyo, Christopher Sharp | Producers: Christopher Sharp, John Patchek

Director: Azme El Moudir, „The Mother of All Lies” (Arizona Distribution | Morocco)

Short: “Incident” (United States

TV Feature Documentary or Mini Series: “Mariupol: The People’s Story” (BBC | UK

Compiled Series: POV (PBS | USA | EP: Erika Dilday, Chris White)

Episodic Series: „Our Planet II” (Netflix | US, UK

A multi-part documentary: “Dear Uncle” (FX Alan Hughes, Steve Berman, Mark Cimino, Jody Gerson, John Nannick, Nicholas Ferrell, Nigel Sinclair)

Short Form Series: POV Shorts (PBS | USA | EP: Opal H. Bennett, Erika Dilday, Chris White)

Stand-Alone Audio Documentary: “This Cole Life” (South Africa

A multi-part audio documentary or series: “You See Nothing” (USA

Music Documentary: „Max Roach: The Drum’s Waltz” (PBS, American Masters | USA | Directors/Producers: Ben Shapiro, Sam Pollard)

Cinematography: Ants Tammik, “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” (Greenwich Entertainment | Estonia, France, Iceland)

Editing: Carolina Chiragyan, „The Eternal Memory” (MTV Documentaries | Chile, USA)

Musical Score: Leonard Gusner, “Anselm” (Sideshow and Janus Films | Germany)

Writing: Gouthar Ben Hania, „Four Daughters” (Kino Lorber | France, Tunisia, Germany)

ABC News Videosource Award: „Storming Caesar’s Palace” (USA

David L. Wolber Student Documentary Award: „Letter A Mouse” (National Film and Television School | UK | Director/Producer: Alexis Grigoriev)

Barre Lorenz Award: Winner: “In the Rearview” (Poland | Cinephile | Director: Masiek Hamila

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