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2006.01.04. – Brenda Brkusic

press release compiled from various press
interviews and IDA press releases surrounding the event

Top Documentaries of 2005 Nominated for 21st Annual

Documentary Association Awards

December 14, 2005— Finalists in the 21st Annual International
Documentary Association (IDA) Distinguished Documentary Achievement
Awards competition were announced in September, among them,
a feature documentary Freedom from Despair by 24 year old
filmmaker Brenda Brkusic. The winners were feted here at the
IDA Awards Benefit Gala on December 9, 2005, at the Directors
Guild of America Theatre.

2006_01_04_savage_brenda_2.jpg “All
of these films tell compelling stories about an important
subject in a memorable way,” says IDA Executive Director
Sandra Ruch. “They were chosen by a jury of peers out
of hundreds of artfully crafted films from every part of the
world. The purpose of the IDA Awards is to celebrate and recognize
their successful quests for excellence, and also to inspire
other filmmakers to strive to fulfill their dreams.”
Awards selection process began with peer group juries who
viewed all submissions to select nominees in each category
for final review by a blue-ribbon panel. All nominated films,
by virtue of its selection as a nominee, become a part of
the IDA/Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy
Film Archive.
is a great honor to be nominated by this most respected organization,”
said Brkusic of her nomination for a David L. Wolper Distinguished
Documentary Achievement Award. Brkusic was also invited by
the IDA board of directors to be considered for a Jacqueline
Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award. She said, “in
2004 I met Michael Moore at the IDA Awards when he was nominated
for Fahrenheit 9/11. I never imagined that the following year
I would be nominated. The IDA receives so many compelling,
professionally crafted films, and I am grateful that they
offered one of the coveted nominee slots to Freedom from Despair.
I am also excited that the film will now become a part of
the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences Film Archive.”

from Despair, which has won a myriad of international awards,
including the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award, was showcased
along side films by top industry professionals and films by
produced by CNN, the Discovery Channel and PBS. “The
teams that make up these films are amazing” said Brkusic,
"I was lucky to work with actors Michael York, John Savage,
Beata Pozniak and music composer Nenad Bach on Freedom from
Despair." Nenad Bach composed the score for two of the
films that we nominated this year, Brkusic’s Freedom from
Despair and Weapons of Mass Deception by Danny Schecter. "Freedom
from Despair is a story about my father’s escape from the
tyranny of Communist Yugoslavia and his people’s struggle
to attain freedom and human rights. It is a story which represents
millions of Croatians."

Kodak Company has sponsored the IDA Distinguished Documentary
Achievement Awards Gala since its inception in 1984. IDA is
a nonprofit, public interest organization. For more information
on the IDA, visit www.documentary.org
or call 213-534-3600.


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