IDA’s “Awards Spotlight” event at Netflix’s quarters in Beverly Hills, organized by Amy Jelenko , was an out of the ordinary “Netflix Night.” The spectacular staging was part and parcel of the panel’s presentation. While we listen to stories behind the scenes of four accomplished documentarians – Brian McGinn (Amanda Knox, Chef’s Table,) Ava Du Berney (13th,) Greg Whiteley (Last Chance U) and Ryan White (The Keepers) – moderated by IDA’s Executive Director, Simon Kilmurry, the eye wandered through a multitude of lights, sounds and shapes. The catering added delight to the senses.
Documentarians are an extraordinary mix of artists-journalists with a passion for the truth, no matter how bitter that may be. Quite frequently they risk their lives to get the footage, of which a small fraction is distilled through long days of editing. To observe a group like this in that atmosphere was strange, to say the least. It was surreal.