By Ray Pride

Int’l Documentary Association Makes Statement About Terrorism

A Message from the IDA
As documentary storytellers, artists, activists, and journalists, we believe in the power of images, and also of words. We believe it is important to identify the acts of racist violence committed in Charlottesville last weekend by white supremacists not merely as examples of extremism, but as terrorism.

The International Documentary Association decries this brutal violence and takes a stand against domestic terrorism, and all forms of white extremism, bigotry, and racism. We express our support to the victims and families of this horrific attack, and our deepest gratitude to all those courageously supporting the fight against white supremacy and the continued struggle for racial equality.

We send our love and solidarity to all individuals targeted by the terrorist acts in Charlottesville, and to all Americans targeted by racist hatred and bigotry, especially those within Black, Jewish, Muslim, immigrant and queer communities. We encourage the documentary community and our colleagues in the journalistic community who are reporting on issues of white extremism and national security to pursue accuracy and balance when covering acts of white-perpetrated violence.

As a media organization, we vow to double our efforts to increase and expand opportunities for filmmakers and journalists of color, and to pursue meaningful strategies and concrete actions in support of greater racial equity.

The stories we tell, and the tellers who share them, must accurately reflect the society in which they exist. We salute the vital contributions being made by citizen journalists, in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Oakland, and so many other cities. We recognize the continued need to celebrate and defend their efforts to expose racism and inequality in our society. We also acknowledge the enormous efforts and sacrifices made by social justice advocates, activists, and journalists throughout our country’s history in the fight for civil and human rights, and pledge to honor them by continuing to defend those rights.

Below is a list of organizations working to promote racial justice, either through journalism, film, law, or social action. We strongly encourage all community members, and members of the broader public, to support these organizations:

dedicated to building and serving the needs of a thriving documentary culture

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch