The International Documentary Association, the only documentary group last year to have the good sense to ignore overrated documentary darling The Cove, surprised again this year by picking Lucy Walker’s Oscar doc shortlistee Waste Land over higher profile films Exit Through the Gift Shop and The Oath as this year’s Distinguished Feature Documentary.

Waste Land was also chosen for the IDA Pare Lorenz award earlier this week.

As of this writing, Waste Land is still in theaters. Hit LiC’s Now Playing page to see if it’s playing near you. Here’s the LiC blurb:

Lucy Walker, Karen Harley and Joao Jardim’s IDA Award winner follows artist Vik Muniz as he travels from Brooklyn to Brazil, home of the biggest garbage dump in the world. His plan is to photograph the people who support themselves by scavenging through the heap for recyclables, but this morphs into a larger project with the garbage pickers recreating photographs of themselves on a massive scale from the garbage they collect.

Hit Awards Daily for a full list of IDA Award winners and check out all the nominees here.

3 Responses to “Waste Land takes 2010 IDA Award”

  1. I saw this yesterday and I’m not surprised it got your #1 pick of the year. I might not rank it so high but it’s certainly a surprising, enlightening, and ultimately uplifting documentary. It seems like most advocacy docs made in the U.S. these days expend all their energy trying to get us angry over something we should already be angry over and few simply attempt to inform us through telling stories about everyday people doing extraordinary things. Waste Land is definitely in the latter category.

  2. I wouldn’t want to compare it to other #1 pics from previous years, but I think it says a lot about this year that it came out on top. Nothing really stood out as a clear favorite though I had a huge pile of films I really liked.

    It wasn’t a bad year for me, just not a year where I rally around a single film.

    Anyway, Waste Land thread the needle of exposing a problem, giving you hope for humanity without just letting us go on our marry way guilt free afterwards.

  3. I walked away from it thinking 99 is better than 100, so it definitely impacted my way of thinking (and if you have no idea what I mean, then please see this documentary). Only Exit Through the Gift Shop and The Tillman Story really impacted me in a similar way this year. I can’t think of a single fiction film that really enlightened or altered my perceptions of the real world, so I’m not surprised Waste Land rose to the top of your pile. It really wasn’t all that great a year, but thankfully we have documentaries.

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