New IDA head wants to raise the profile of docs

How do you plan to increase doc profile in the film community?
July 1, 2001

How do you plan to increase doc profile in the film community?

The genre itself has already taken on a tremendous amount more importance and awareness in this country. I think with HBO, Cinemax and reality TV, documentary has become a word that is more well known. The more we reach out to filmmakers – and that’s what this organization is about – the more we can build that presence. For August 2002, we’re planning a documentary congress on the globalization of the doc in collaboration with the Motion Picture Academy.

The IDA has placed emphasis on getting young people to understand docs. Why do people need to be educated?

The documentary has been in a category for the academic film world. It has never been considered a commercial genre. The frustration is, everyone sees the wonderful snippets at the Oscars and then ask where they can see the film. At that point, they’re lost. We’re going to try to increase the visibility of docs in the commercial world, on TV and on the internet.

You are charged with finding new sources of funding for the IDA.

I hope I find a lot of funding from the studio world, which has never really been approached to sponsor anything with the IDA. Also, the television world, in terms of reality television, and the news world. That’s an extremely rich area we can mine.

Do the issues facing doc-makers vary around the world?

It’s always the same issue, and that’s getting funding. We need to put producers in touch with each other, because coproduction between countries could be the answer for so many of these people.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.