The International Documentary Association (IDA) has appointed Richard Ray Perez executive director to replace the outgoing Simon Kilmurry, who announced last year that he was stepping down.
Perez is a non-fiction film strategist and documentary filmmaker (Cesar’s Last Fast) who most recently served as director of acquisitions and distribution strategies at GBH | WORLD Channel where he curated and acquired documentaries for the platform’s three original series.
Prior to WORLD Channel, he was director of creative partnerships at Sundance Institute where he led artist-based filmmaking programmes including Stories of Change, a Sundance Institute partnership with the Skoll Foundation that supported 46 documentary, fiction, VR, and episodic storytelling projects.
He also designed and led the Institute’s Documentary Story and Edit Lab in Beijing.
IDA board president Brenda Robinson said, “We strongly believe that Rick is uniquely qualified to lead the IDA through these continued extraordinary times where our voice in the field, as well as the depth of resources we offer to the documentary community as a whole, will matter even more.
“We were all fortunate to have Simon Kilmurry with us during these past six very meaningful years, as his leadership has truly been transformative for the IDA. Simon has laid the groundwork for a solid foundation that all of us can continue to build upon. In that regard, he leaves a lasting legacy that truly changed the course of the IDA towards an even more promising future.”
“I am excited and honored to lead the IDA at this pivotal moment where the work of nonfiction filmmakers is increasingly vital to the health and wellbeing of societies,” said Perez. “I look forward to leading a talented team to support and advocate for documentary filmmakers and engaging partners and collaborators across the field to foster a vibrant, sustainable, and equitable industry responsive to these times.”
Through its funding programmes including the IDA Documentary Enterprise Fund, Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, IDA Netflix Global Emerging Filmmaker Awards, and recently announced IDA+XRM Media Incubator, the IDA provides more than $1m in annual grants to filmmakers alongside support services.
Another highlight of the calendar is the annual IDA Documentary Awards, which take place in