International Documentary Association International Documentary Association

International Documentary Association

The International Documentary Association (IDA) is dedicated to building and meeting the needs of a thriving documentary culture through funding, project support, and inclusive programming for nonfiction filmmakers. 

Supporting the Vital Work of Artists, Activists, and Journalists Around the Globe

International Documentary Association

In 1982, Linda Buzzell founded the International Documentary Association to bring together like-minded film professionals with a shared mission of expanding the impact, scope, and reach of the documentary genre. Over the years, IDA's flagship programs — Docu-Day, Fiscal Sponsorship, and IDA Documentary Awards — have expanded their scope and breadth while remaining true to the organization's mission to move documentaries into the limelight and connect audiences with non-fiction films that enrich and deepen our culture. 

Today, the IDA is a dynamic presence in the documentary world, supporting films in all stages of production and assisting filmmakers through the crucial phrases of distribution, outreach, and engagement. Each year, the IDA awards millions of dollars in production and development grants to independent documentarians to help projects get funded, finished, and viewed by a wider community. Its extensive educational programming, workshops, and networking opportunities for filmmakers are designed to advance the vital and important work of documentary storytellers and foster a more connected and informed world. 

In 2021, the IDA served as a fiscal sponsor for the creation of a documentary film about American activist and nonviolence movement leader Reverend James Lawson Jr. Through Lawson's own words and interviews with family members and other activists, the film explores the work and legacy of the man that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as "the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world."

That same year, the IDA was a fiscal sponsor for a documentary short by GigaWatts Media about the Watts Happening Cultural Center. The film profiles the Watts community, the evolution of the Watts Happening Coffee House over the decades, and local community organizers called Friends at Mafundi, whose ongoing grassroots efforts to preserve and restore this landmark arts and cultural center in Watts will help to transform the community.

GRoW Support


Project - Reverend James Lawson Jr. Documentary Film 


Project - Reverend James Lawson Jr. Documentary Film

Project - Watts Happening Cultural Center Documentary Film