The International Documentary Association (IDA) has put out the call for entries for the 26th IDA Documentary Awards, announcing changes to the rules and eligibility in an effort to support filmmakers whose distribution plans have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the changes, the IDA will allow a project to be submitted if it had been planned to be released at festivals or theatrically in 2020 but the release has been disrupted.
Projects can also be withdrawn from the competition up to the shortlist announcement on Oct. 6, 2020, and be automatically rolled over to next year, should distribution plans fall through.
The IDA is also extending submission-fee discounts and waivers to filmmakers experiencing financial hardship.
Call for entries opens today (May 18) at 1 p.m. ET/PT. The early deadline is June 16, and the regular deadline is July 7.
The late submission request deadline is set for July 7, and the extended deadline is July 14.
“Filmmakers’ distribution plans have been thrown up in the air,” said Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the IDA, in a statement. “So, we have tried to revise our rules to give filmmakers as much flexibility as possible in submitting to this year’s awards. Documentary stories shine a light of truth on issues, and that feels especially important right now in this time of social distancing and disinformation.”
The IDA Documentary Awards are scheduled to take place in December. The organization stated it will announced plans for the 2020 ceremony at a later date given the “current uncertainty over when and whether larger public events can take place.”Previous winners in the Best Feature Documentary category include For Sama (2019), Minding the Gap (2018), Dina (2017) and O.J.: Made in America (2016).