Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the International Documentary Association since 2015, will step down in mid-2021, the organization said. The IDA Board of Directors has launched a committee chaired by co-VPs James Costa and Lauren Lexton to search for a replacement following the move, which was announced Monday.
Kilmurry had been executive director of American Documentary and executive producer of the PBS series’ POV and America ReFramed when he took the IDA job. Since then, the organization has increased its grantmaking to more than $1.3 million annually, with recent grantees including Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham (Crip Camp) and Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang (One Child Nation) among others. In addition, IDA’s membership grew by 300% and its annual budget increased 175%.
The group’s IDA Awards has also become a bellwether during the film awards season, with this year’s shortlist for Best Feature and Best Short categories revealed last month. The 36th annual IDA Documentary Awards will take place virtually sometime in January.
“The IDA will continue to be a leader in the field because of the legacy that Simon Kilmurry leaves behind for us to carry forward. Simon has been transformative for this organization and has positioned the IDA to thrive for many more years to come” IDA board president Brenda Robinson said today in a release announcing the news. “Our board of directors will always have tremendous gratitude, not only for the impact that his work has had on our organization, but also for the impact that his presence has had on each of us personally who have all had the honor of working with him during this important moment in the history of the organization.”
Said Kilmurry: “I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished over the past five-plus years. IDA’s reach and impact has grown exponentially thanks to the incredible contributions of my colleagues and the board of directors. I’m happy to leave IDA as a more vital and stronger organization on every measure and know it will continue to have an immense impact on our field.”
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