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 (IDA) 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 but have remained true to the IDA's mission to move documentaries into the limelight, and connect audiences with non-fiction films that enrich and deepen our culture.    
Today, IDA is a dynamic presence in the documentary world, supporting films in all stages of production and assisting filmmakers through the crucial phases of distribution, outreach, and engagement. Each year, 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 of filmmakers and film-lovers. Their extensive educational programming, workshops, and networking opportunities for filmmakers are all designed to advance the vital and important work of documentary storytellers and foster a more connected and informed world.

In 2021, 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 a combination of Reverend Lawson Jr.'s own words and interviews with family members and other activists, the film explores the work and legacy of the man Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as "the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world." 

In the Fall of 2021, the IDA was again a fiscal sponsor for the creation of a short documentary film by GigaWatts Media about the Watts Happening Cultural Center. Born out of a commitment to the Watts community, 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 precious arts and cultural center in Watts will transform the community.   

GRoW Support


Project - Reverend James Lawson Jr. Documentary Film

Project - Watts Happening Cultural Center Documentary Film