Joe Berlinger joins Int’l Documentary Association board

The multiple award-winning filmmaker (pictured) sees his IDA role as an opportunity to grow the organization and help documentarians navigate risky waters as they dive further into investigative reporting.
August 26, 2016

Academy-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger has joined the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) board of directors.

“Joe has fought in the trenches as a filmmaker, is a fearless, outspoken advocate and a tremendously gifted storyteller. I’m delighted he will be bringing his talent, wisdom and leadership to his new role at IDA,” said IDA board president Marjan Safinia in a Aug. 25 statement confirming the appointment.

Berlinger’s films include the documentaries Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper, the Paradise Lost trilogy (which earned the filmmaker an Academy nod in 2012 for best feature doc, and helped lead to the recent release of “West Memphis Three”), and rockumentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.

His Paul Simon doc, Under African Skies, scored an Emmy in 2012 in the category of sound mixing for non-fiction programming. The film was also nominated for outstanding non-fiction special, one of three Emmy nominations for Berlinger that year.

In all, he’s received seven Emmy noms, as well as a Peabody, multiple awards from the Directors Guild of America, the National Board of review and the Independent Spirit Awards.

Beyond film, Berlinger’s career has also seen him create, direct and produce countless hours of television, including the critically acclaimed Sundance series Iconoclasts.

His latest feature doc, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, featuring renowned business strategist and best-­selling author, Tony Robbins, was recently released worldwide by Netflix.

Safinia said the conversation between Berlinger and the IDA began in 2014, shortly after the filmmaker publicly acknowledged at the Getting Real documentary conference the association and its members for the support he received as he dealt with law suits from Chevron in response to his 2009 doc, Crude.

“Having witnessed first-­hand the impact and value of an organization and community that supported him in his hour of need, Joe told the conference audience that he was motivated to give back,” said Safinia.

Berlinger, who will also be featured at the upcoming Getting Real conference in Los Angeles Sept. 27-29, echoed that sentiment, noting he sees his role on the board as an opportunity to grow an organization that helps filmmakers do their work.

“With the explosion of platforms, there has never been more opportunities for documentarians; but, with documentarians doing much of the investigative reporting today, the risks have also never been greater,” he said in a statement.

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.