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Utah's Geralyn Dreyfous to receive prestigious documentary film award

Published September 25, 2013 4:29 pm

Cinema • Geralyn Dreyfous' credits include Oscar-winning "Born Into Brothels" and "Invisible War."
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Utah movie producer and backer Geralyn Dreyfous will be receiving a big prize from the International Documentary Association.

The IDA announced Wednesday that it will give Dreyfous its Amicus Award at the 29th annual IDA Documentary Awards, set for Dec. 6 at the Directors Guild of America Theatre in Los Angeles.

Dreyfous is known locally as the founder of the Utah Film Center, which creates programming to expand the movie universe — including the Tumbleweeds Film Festival for kids and the LGBT-friendly Damn These Heels! Film Festival.

In the documentary world, she is known as an executive producer whose credits include the Oscar-winning "Born Into Brothels" and the Sundance hit "The Invisible War." She also is co-founder of Impact Partners Film Fund, which provides finishing money to documentaries that have social impact.

This is only the fourth time IDA has given the Amicus Award, which goes to non-documentarians who support the documentary world. The three past recipients are entertainment lawyer Michael Donaldson, Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, and director/producer Steven Spielberg.

Dreyfous will be in lofty company at the Dec. 6 ceremony, with the two other award winners IDA announced Wednesday.

The Career Achievement Award will go to Alex Gibney, whose films include the Oscar-winning "Taxi to the Dark Side," as well as "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" and the upcoming "The Armstrong Lie."

The Courage Under Fire Award will go to Laura Poitras, who recently made headlines with her video interview of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that revealed the super-secret PRISM program. Poitras has been working with The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald on a movie about the NSA's surveillance practices — a film that will complete a post-9/11 trilogy that includes "My Country, My Country" (2006) and "The Oath" (2010).

"The dedication of Gibney, Poitras and Dreyfous to the art and craft of nonfiction storytelling has contributed greatly to expanding our understanding of the shared human experience and creating a more informed, compassionate and connected world," Michael Lumpkin, IDA's executive director, said in a statement.

Nominations in the competitive categories for the IDA Documentary Awards will be announced in October.