58 – The Importance of IDA for the Doc Filmmaker with Simon Kilmurry

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has been nurturing, guiding, and contributing to the projects and lives of documentary filmmakers since its inception in 1982.  In the organisation’s words “Documentary storytelling expands our understanding of shared human experience, fostering an informed, compassionate, and connected world. The International Documentary Association (IDA) is dedicated to building and serving the needs of a thriving documentary culture.”

However, for many of us doc filmmakers who are not really connected to IDA, it can seem like a daunting or even elite organisation if we don’t feel like we have access to its many tools & resources or we don’t live in Los Angles, California (where they are headquartered).  But I am here to tell you that it’s all a common misconception, this idea that IDA is for the really big name doc filmmakers or only for those who are working in the industry.  In fact, that’s kind of the opposite of who IDA is or who they are for.

But don’t take it from me.  Take it from the man himself: Simon Kilmurry, the current executive director of IDA.


Podcast Conversation

  • why IDA is for you, #DocLifer
  • all that a membership to IDA will get you and why you should really consider becoming an IDA member
  • what newer programs like Doc U online or the Docu Club screenings are
  • IDA fiscal sponsorship and grants
  • how IDA’s mission is meant to be for all doc filmmakers, not just NY or LA docos


Related Resources



A work-in-progress screening series.


Doc U Online

Visit IDA’s signature filmmaker development program


Getting Real Conference



Consider heading out to Los Angeles for this biennial conference on documentary media. This three-day conference will attract over 800 participants and is the only gathering of its kind in North America. The 2018 edition will take place September 25-27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.



Dangerous Docs


You can read and/or download the Center for Media & Social Impact‘s Dangerous Documentaries document here.





Top Resources



Learn how to plan, fund and share your documentary film




#DocLand The Documentary Life‘s very own flagship filmmaking community which offers you step-by-step tutorials, industry expert webinars, private Facebook group, industry-standard templates and extensive resources, to assist you in the planning, funding and sharing of your documentary film.

Visit #Docland to learn more.


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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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