Alex Gibney, who makes more films each year than some directors do in a lifetime (his latest to premiere was The Armstrong Lie), will receive this year’s Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association. Surely there will be a joke about him deserving at least a few of them. The organization announced this special honoree, recognized for “the impact his work has had on the documentary genre,” along with two others for its 29th annual awards ceremony — filmmaker Laura Poitras (The Oath) was named for the 2013 Courage Under Fire Award and producer Geralyn Dreyfous (The Invisible War) will receive this year’s Amicus Award.
That last honor is not necessarily for people who work in documentary (Steven Spielberg is one of three former recipients), and for Dreyfous it’s an acknowledgment of the ways she contributes through Impact Partners Film Fund in particular, financing docs focused on social change. Seeing Poitras’s name in the bunch is trigging the most satisfaction from the doc community, as she’s being celebrated mostly for her involvement in breaking the story of Edward Snowden. Her award was actually decided upon by her peers and is in recognition of her bravery in “putting freedom of speech — represented in the crafts of documentary filmmaking and journalism — above all else, even [her] own personal safety.”
Nominations for the rest of the IDA Documentary Awards will be announced on October 29th. Winners in the competitive categories are voted on by IDA members, and you have until October 30 to join the organization to take part. The awards ceremony will be held on December 6th.