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Firelight Media, WME execs join Int’l Documentary Association board

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has appointed five new members to its board of directors. Newly appointed members include Hallee Adelman (pictured, bottom left), author, documentary producer and educator; Grace Lee (top ...
November 6, 2020

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has appointed five new members to its board of directors.

Newly appointed members include Hallee Adelman (pictured, bottom left), author, documentary producer and educator; Grace Lee (top right), an independent filmmaker; Al Perry (top left), media executive; Amir Shahkhalili (bottom right), partner at William Morris Endeavor; and Marcia Smith (center), president and co-founder, Firelight Media.

Departing the IDA Board after having completed their terms are: producer Stephen Nemeth; agent and former IDA board president Kevin Iwashina; and Jack Lerner, clinical professor of law and director, Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic at UC Irvine.

Lerner will transition to the newly created, non-board position of IDA advocacy counsel.

Adelman is the co-founder of World of Ha Productions, and has served as an executive producer on documentary films including The Social Dilemma and US Kids.

Lee, meanwhile, is a Peabody-award winning filmmaker whose credits include American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, docuseries And She Could be Next and Asian Americans, and The Grace Lee Project.

Based in Los Angeles, she is a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and co-founder of Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc).

Formerly a Wall Street lawyer, Los Angeles-based Perry works in operations at a media company.

Shahkhalili is a partner in the Television department at William Morris Endeavor. He represents directors such as Allen Hughes, Seth Gordon, and Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering.

At Firelight Media, which produces documentary films and provides artistic and financial support to emerging filmmakers of color, Smith serves alongside co-founder Stanley Nelson.

Under her leadership, Firelight Media was honored with a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Firelight Media’s flagship Documentary Lab program has supported more than 100 emerging filmmakers over the past decade, who have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, and gone on to earn numerous festival, Peabody, and Emmy awards.

“I am very excited to welcome our new board members who each bring unique talents, experiences and perspectives to the IDA Board. They will help guide IDA as we strive to support documentary storytellers during these tumultuous times,” Simon Kilmurry, IDA executive director, said in a statement. “I also want to thank Stephen, Kevin and Jack for their many years of service. It’s a testament to their commitment and hard work that they leave IDA a much stronger organization than the one they found.”

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