UPDATED with quotes from winners and IDA’s incoming executive director. Bobi Wine: The People’s President earned the top award at the 39th IDA Documentary Awards, presented in a virtual ceremony tonight.

The film directed by Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp was named Best Feature Documentary, winning over nine other Oscar-contending documentaries, a list that included Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project, In the Rearview, The Mother of All Lies, and Apolonia, Apolonia. Scroll for the complete winners list.

Bobi Wine: The People’s President tells the story of the titular Ugandan pop singer-turned politician, who dared to challenge his country’s dictator for leadership of Uganda.

Ugandan opposition politician Bobi Wine.

Lookman Kampala/National Geographic

“The awareness this film has brought to world audiences has arguably kept Bobi Wine alive and out of prison for now,” Bwayo commented in his acceptance speech. “This film is a testament to the courage and determination of Bobi Wine, his wife, Barbie, and the people of Uganda, and all those brave opposition leaders of the world. This recognition is immensely gratifying.”

Sharp commented, “Since the film came out, the dictatorship in Uganda has been increasingly restrained. If there was ever a case of a documentary making a difference, this is it. The film might play a part in liberating a nation from 38 years of tyranny, your support means more than you can possibly imagine.”

 The documentary premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to win prizes at Hamptons International Film Festival, and Independent Film Festival of Boston. It is nominated in three competitive categories at next month’s Cinema Eye Honors.

Last year, Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes won Best Feature Documentary at the IDA Awards and went on to earn an Oscar nomination. Sen won the IDA’s Best Director prize last year as well.

In the directing and craft categories, the 39th IDA Awards were split between a number of leading films:

Asmae El Moudir won Best Director for her work on The Mother of All Lies. Her film, selected to represent Morocco in the Oscars’ Best International Film category, examines her family history and a shattering event for Morocco: the 1981 Bread Riots, in which hundreds of people may have been killed (the government put the death toll at 66).

Best Cinematography went to Ants Tammik, director of photography on Smoke Sauna Sisterhood. Carolina Siraqyan won the Best Editing prize for her work on The Eternal Memory. The Best Writing Award was claimed by Kaouther Ben Hania for her documentary Four Daughters, which she also directed.

Leonard Küssner won Best Original Music Score for Anselm, the documentary about artist Anselm Kiefer directed by Wim Wenders.

Best Documentary Short went to Incident, directed by Bill Morrison. The film examines the killing of Harith Augustus, who was shot to death by police in Chicago in 2018. The narrative crafted by authorities of how the incident went down came apart upon analysis.

This is the full list of winners at the 39th IDA Documentary Awards:

Best Feature Documentary Nominees

Winner: Bobi Wine: The People’s President (Uganda | National Geographic Documentary Films | Directors: Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp | Producers: Christopher Sharp, John Battsek)


Against the Tide (India | BBC Storyville | Director: Sarvnik Kaur | Producers: Koval Bhatia, Sarvnik Kaur)

ANHELL69 (Colombia | Square Eyes | Director: Theo Montoya | Producers: Bianca Oana, David Hurst, Theo Montoya, Juan Pablo Castrillon, Balthasar Busmann, Maximilian Haslberger) 

Apolonia, Apolonia (Denmark, Poland, France | HBO | Max | Director: Lea Glob | Producer: Sidsel Lønvig Siersted)

Bobi Wine: The People’s President (Uganda | National Geographic Documentary Films | Directors: Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp | Producers: Christopher Sharp, John Battsek)

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (United States | HBO Documentary Films | Directors: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster | Producers: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Tommy Oliver)

In the Rearview (Poland | Cinephil | Director: Maciek Hamela | Producers: Maciek Hamela, Piotr Grawender)

Milisuthando (South Africa | Director: Milisuthando Bongela | Producers: Marion Isaacs, Viviana Gomez, Sonia Barrera, Milisuthando Bongela, Hankyeol Lee)

Q (United States | Chehab Films | Director: Jude Chehab | Producers: Jude Chehab, Fahd Ahmed)

The Mother of All Lies (Morocco | Arizona Distribution | Director/Producer: Asmae El Moudir)

While We Watched (United Kingdom, India | POV, BRITDOC Films | Director: Vinay Shukla | Producers: Vinay Shukla, Khushboo Ranka, Luke W Moody)

Best Short Documentary Nominees

Winner: Incident (United States | Hypnotic Pictures | Director: Bill Morrison | Producers: Bill Morrison, Jamie Kalven)


How to Carry Water (United States | Multitude Films | Director: Sasha Wortzel | Producers: Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous)

Liturgy of Anti-Tank Obstacles (United States | The New Yorker, Condé Nast Entertainment | Director: Dmytro Sukholytkyy Sobchuk | Producer: Daniel Lombroso)

Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black) (Australia | Other Pictures & Switch Productions | Directors: Derik Lynch, Matthew Thorne | Producers: Matthew Thorne, Patrick Graham)

Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma) (United States | Director: Sean Wang | Producers: Sean Wang, Sam Davis, Malcolm Pullinger)

Neighbour Abdi (The Netherlands | The New York Times Op-Docs | Director: Douwe Dijkstra | Producer: Richard Valk)

Raat: Night Time in Small Town India (India | The Third Eye Learning Lab | Directors: Arti Ahirwar, Ashraf Hussain, Rajkumari Ahirwar, Vikas Khatri, Tabassum Ansari, Kulsum Khatoon, Khushi Bano, Parmeshwar Mandrawaliya, Santra Chaurthiya, Rajkumari Prajapati, Manisha Chanda, Anita Sen, Rani Devi, Ajfarul Shaikh | Producers: Ruchika Negi, Dipta Bhog, Shabani Hassanwalia, Shivam Rastogi)

Suddenly TV (Sudan | Gisa Productions | Director/Producer: Roopa Gogineni)

The Unicorn in Snowpants Suddenly Ran Off (Germany | The New Yorker, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg | Director: Philipp Schaeffer | Producer: Fabian Leonhardt)

The Veiled City (United Kingdom | JSH Films | Director: Natalie Cubides-Brady | Producer: Jacob Swan Hyam)

Best Director

Winner: Asmae El Moudir, The Mother of All Lies (Arizona Distribution | Morocco)


Milisuthando Bongela, Milisuthando (South Africa)

Sarvnik Kaur, Against the Tide (BBC Storyville | India)

Theo Montoya, ANHELL69 (Square Eyes | Colombia)

Lea Glob, Apolonia, Apolonia (HBO | Max | Denmark, Poland, France)

Best Cinematography

Winner: Ants Tammik, Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (Greenwich Entertainment | Estonia, France, Iceland)


Andrew H. Brown, Between the Rains (Journeyman Pictures | Kenya, USA)

Curren Sheldon, King Coal (King Coal Productions LLC | USA)

Franz Lustig, Anselm (Sideshow and Janus Films | Germany)

Lars Erlend Tubaas Oymo, Songs of Earth (SWC/Arte, BBC Storyville | Norway)

Best Editing

Winner: Carolina Siraqyan, The Eternal Memory (MTV Documentary Films | Chile, USA)


Andreas Bøggild Monies, Thor Ochsner, Apolonia, Apolonia (HBO | Max | Denmark, Poland, France)

Fahd Ahmed, Q (Chehab Films | USA, Lebanon)

Hendrik Mägar, Tushar Prakash, Qutaiba Barhamji, Martin Männik, Anna Hints, Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (Greenwich Entertainment | Estonia, France, Iceland)

Best Original Music Score

Winner: Leonard Küssner, Anselm (Sideshow and Janus Films | Germany)


Jonathan Goldsmith, To Kill a Tiger (National Film Board of Canada | Canada, India)

Rebekka Karijord, Songs of Earth (SWR/Arte, BBC Storyville | Norway)

Samora Pinderhughes, Chris Pattishall, Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (HBO Documentary Films | USA)

Will Epstein, Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV (Greenwich Entertainment | USA)

Best Writing

Winner: Kaouther Ben Hania, Four Daughters (Kino Lorber | France, Tunisia, Germany)


Asmae El Moudir, The Mother of All Lies (Arizona Distribution | Morocco)

Lea Glob, Andreas Bøggild Monies, Apolonia, Apolonia (HBO | Max | Denmark, Poland, France)

Milisuthando Bongela, Milisuthando (South Africa)

Nisha Pahuja, To Kill a Tiger (National Film Board of Canada | Canada, India)

Best TV Feature Documentary or Mini-Series

Winner: Mariupol: The People’s Story (BBC | UK | Director: Robin Barnwell | EP: Darren Kemp, Tom Stone | Producer: Hilary Andersson) 


Great Photo, Lovely Life (HBO | Max | USA | Directors: Amanda Mustard, Rachel Beth Anderson | EP: Rachel Dretzin, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller and Sara Rodriguez | Producers: Amanda Mustard, Rachel Beth Anderson, Luke Malone)

How to Come Alive with Norman Mailer (Showtime | USA | Director: Jeff Zimbalist | EP: Vinnie Malhotra, Stu Schreiberg, John Buffalo Mailer | Producers: Victoria Marquette, Jeff Zimbalist)

Reggie (Prime Video | USA | Director: Alexandria Stapleton | EP: Brenda Gilbert, Aaron L. Gilbert, Josh Miller, Kim Carsten, Zoë Morrison, Jason Cloth, Suraj Maraboyina, Producers: Alexandria Stapleton, Christopher Leggett, Rafael Marmor, Daniel Crown, Yoni Liebling)

The U.S. and the Holocaust (PBS | USA | Directors: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, Sarah Botstein |  Producers: Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick, Ken Burns, Mike Welt)

Best Curated Series

Winner: POV (PBS | USA | EP: Erika Dilday, Chris White)


American Masters (PBS | USA | EP: Michael Kantor) 

America ReFramed (American Documentary, Inc, WORLD Channel | USA | EP: Erika Dilday, Chris White, Christopher Hastings)

Independent Lens (PBS, Independent Lens | USA | EP: Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen) 

Reel South (PBS, WORLD Channel | USA, South Korea, UK | EP: Rachel Raney, Don Godish, Donald Washington, Linda Midgett)

Best Episodic Series

Winner: Our Planet II (Netflix | USA, UK | EP: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey)


Frozen Planet II (BBC America | USA | EP: Mark Brownlow) 

Telemarketers (HBO | Max | USA | EP: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Dani Bernfeld, David Gordon Green, Jody Hill, Danny McBride, Greg Stewart, Brandon James, Adam Bhala Lough, Sam Lipman-Stern, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Tina Nguyen)

The Hair Tales (Hulu/OWN | USA | EP: Oprah Winfrey, Tracee Ellis Ross, Michaela Angela Davis, Tara Duncan, Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg, Kisah Imani Cameron, Kadine Anckle, Nicole Galovski)

VICE (Showtime | USA | EP: Beverly Chase, Subrata De, Craig Thomson)

Best Music Documentary

Winner: Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes (PBS, American Masters | USA | Directors/Producers: Ben Shapiro, Sam Pollard)


Keeping the Music Alive (France, Singapore, UK | TVF International | Directors: Sarah El Younsi, Mandakini Gahlot | Producers: Babel Doc, CNA)

Little Richard: I Am Everything (Magnolia Pictures, CNN Film, HBO | Max | USA, UK | Director: Lisa Cortés | Producers: Lisa Cortés, Robert Friedman, Liz Yale Marsh, Caryn Capotosto)

Milli Vanilli (Paramount+ | USA | Director: Luke Korem | Producers: Luke Korem, Bradley Jackson)

Pianoforte (Greenwich Entertainment | Poland, Germany | Director: Jakub Piatek | Producer: Maciej Kubicki)

Best Multi-Part Documentary

Winner: Dear Mama (FX | USA | Director: Allen Hughes | EP: Lasse Järvi, Quincy “QD3” Jones III, Staci Robinson, Nelson George, Charles King, Peter Nelson, Adel “Future” Nur, Jamal Joseph, Ted Skillman, Allen Hughes, Steve Berman, Marc Cimino, Jody Gerson, John Nanick, Nicholas Ferrall, Nigel Sinclair)


Algiers, America (Hulu | USA | Director: Jackson Fager | Producers: Jackson Fager, Jeffrey Fager, David Rohde, Connor Schell, Libby Geist, Raina Kelley, Joseph Langford, Durado Brookes, Raza Naqvi, Kristen Lappas)

Burden of Proof (HBO | Max | USA | Director: Cynthia Hill | EP: Charlotte Cook, Rahdi Taylor, Davis Guggenheim, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller | Producers: Christine Delp, Cynthia Hill, Andrea Weigl)

Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court (Showtime | USA | Director: Dawn Porter | Producers: Vinnie Malhotra, Aaron Saidman, Eli Holzman, Dawn Porter)

Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop (Netflix | USA | Directors: Hannah Beachler, Raeshem Nijhon, Dream Hampton, Giselle Bailey | EP: Dream Hampton, Troy Carter, Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg, MC Lyte, Nicole Galovski, Justin Simien, Jennifer Ryan)

Best Short-Form Series

Winner: POV Shorts (PBS | USA | EP: Opal H. Bennett, Erika Dilday, Chris White)


99: True Stories From Your Fellow Humans (99 | USA, India, UK | Producer: Jérôme Plan)

Couples Therapy (Showtime | USA | Producers: Eli Despres, Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, Vinnie Malhotra)

Equals (Anahad Foundation | India | Producers: Abhinav Agrawal, Shuchi Roy, Mudit Chaturvedi)

Queer Futures (Multitude Films | USA | Producers: Jess Devaney, Anya Rous, J Wortham, Colleen Cassingham)

Best Standalone Audio Documentary

Winner: This Coal Life (South Africa | Host: Lesedi Mogoatlhe | Reporter: Siyabonga Mokoena | Producer: Dhashen Moodley)


K-Pop Dreaming, Episode 3 – “Trot” (USA | LAist Studios | Host: Vivian Yoon | Producers: Fiona Ng, Antonia Cereijido)

Les gardiennes du temple (The Guardians of the Temple) (France | SMAC Le Florida, Théâtre des Quatre Saisons, RTBF, RTS Culture SRG SSR | Hosts: Aurélien Caillaux, Benoit Bores | Producers: Faïdos Sonore, Les Voix de Traverse, SMAC Le Florida, Théâtre des Quatre Saisons)

Sounds Gay: Melanie Speaks (USA | SiriusXM Podcast Network | Host/Producer: Sarah Esocoff | Producer: Cass Adair)

NPR’s Invisibilia: Freedom Diving (USA | NPR | Host: Kia Miakka Natisse | Producers: Phoebe Wang, Ariana Gharib Lee)

Toughie (USA | BBC’s Short Cuts | Host: Josie Long | Reporter/Producer: Sarah Craig)

Best Multi-Part Audio Documentary or Series

Winner: You Didn’t See Nothin (USA | The Invisible Institute, USG Audio | Host: Yohance Lacour | Producers: Bill Healy, Erisa Apantaku, Dana Brozost-Kelleher, Sarah Geis)


Foretold (USA | Los Angeles Times | Host: Faith E. Pinho | Producers: Asal Ehsanipour, Alex Higgins, Lauren Raab, Sue Horton, Avery Trufelman, Jazmín Aguilera, Heba Elorbany, Ethel Brooks, Mike Heflin, Vadim Kolpakov, Alex PGSV)

Into America presents: Street Disciples (USA | MSNBC | Host: Trymaine Lee | Producers: Aisha Turner, Isabel Angell, Max Jacobs, Allison Bailey, Mike Brown, Janmaris Perez)

Operation Morning Light (USA, Canada | Imperative Entertainment, Vespucci | Host: Dëneze Nakehk’o | Producers: Michael LaPointe, Daniel Turcan, Johnny Galvin, Jason Hoch)

Scamanda (USA | Lionsgate Sound | Host: Charlie Webster | Producer: Charlie Webster, Jaxson McLennan | EP: Craig Piligian, Charlie Webster, Nancy Moscatiello)

The Greatest Menace: Inside The Gay Prison Experiment (Australia | Audible | Host/Producer: Patrick Abboud | Producer: Simon Cunich)

David L. Wolper Student Documentary

Winner: Lettre à Elie (Letter to Elie) (National Film and Television School | UK | Director/Producer: Alexis Grigorieff)


El Bastón (The City College of New York | USA, Colombia | Director: ​​Nemo Allen | Producers: Aditi Natasha Kini, Juan Blanco García)

Hungry for Freedom (National Film and Television School | UK, Thailand | Director/Producer: Rachata Thongruay | Producer: Athena Vlachos)

The Paradise Park Will Close on Fridays at Three (National Film and Television School | UK | Director/Producer: Frank Eli Martin | Producer: Tal Elkayam)

With Woman (National Film and Television School | UK | Director/Producer: Mia Harvey)

Pare Lorentz Award

In the Rearview (Poland | Cinephil | Director: Maciek Hamela | Producers: Maciek Hamela, Piotr Grawender)

ABC News VideoSource Award

Storming Caesars Palace (USA | Independent Lens, PBS | Director: Hazel Gurland-Pooler | Producers: Hazel Gurland-Pooler, Nazenet Habtezghi)