As independent documentary directors, we recognize the vital role we play creating narratives that shape our culture and political discourse. By coming together collectively, we aim to protect and foster this essential work by supporting, centering, and promoting directors and their artistic vision while creating a space where all people and art forms can thrive.

We stand in solidarity as an alternate model to existing hierarchical infrastructures and are committed to building resources, collective knowledge, and systemic change. IDD is a non-competitive and evolving space defined by mutual respect, curiosity, intentions, imagination, and using our collective power to build more joyous and equitable futures.

Guiding Principles


How We Began

In March 2020, the pandemic, widespread precarity, and ongoing systemic racism thrust the independent documentary ecosystem into an unprecedented crisis. In response, eight filmmakers - Cecilia Aldarando, Samara Chadwick, Sara Dosa, Hannah Jayanti, Sonia Kennebeck, Ursula Liang, Eddie Martinez, and Sasha Wortzel - began meeting weekly in the spirit of mutual aid and messy collectivity. Many of them had films that were affected by COVID but what united them was the desire to dream up new futures based in community, collective power, and support. Since COVID exposed what already wasn’t working, they started thinking about how they could shift power dynamics through their films and with each other. They saw this was a conversation that extended way beyond their small group, and in June of 2020, they held an inaugural call with around 100 other filmmakers and began building what is now IDD.