Hot Docs 2022 Awards
At the 2022 Hot Docs Festival, $125,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to filmmakers at the 2022 Festival, including juried awards for films in competition, audience awards determined by ballot, industry prizes recognizing top pitches at the Hot Docs Forum and other special awards categories.
All awards for films in competition will be decided by Hot Docs Festival Juries and will be announced at the Hot Docs Awards Presentation on Saturday, May 7 in the morning, followed by a brunch reception.
Unless otherwise notes, all prizes are awarded to the director of the winning film.
Films in Competition
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Blue Island (D: Chan Tze Woon | P: Peter Yam | Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan)
The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.
Jury statement: "For its evocative use of re-enactments interwoven with traditional documentary forms to create a rich, socially-grounded cinematic tapestry, the jury is honoured to present the Best International Feature Documentary Award to Blue Island, directed by Chan Tze Woon."
Hot Docs is an Academy Award qualifying festival for feature documentaries and, as winner of the Best International Feature Documentary Award, Blue Island will qualify for consideration in the Best Documentary Feature category of the annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided they comply with Academy rules.
BEST CANADIAN FEATURE DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Geographies of Solitude (D: Jacquelyn Mills | P: Rosalie Chicoine Perreault, Jacquelyn Mills | Canada
Sponsored by DOC and Telefilm Canada, the award includes a $10,000 cash prize.
Jury statement: "For its deft ability to reveal the complex intersections between the natural world and humanity’s excesses on a singular isolated island through strongly crafted and arresting visual and aural storytelling, the Canadian Features Jury presents the Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award to Geographies of Solitude."
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE-INTERNATIONAL FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
The Wind Blows the Border (D: Laura Faerman, Marina Weis | P: Rodrigo Díaz Díaz, Luís Ludmer | Brazil)
Sponsored by A&E, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize.
Jury statement: "The jury was very taken with this film and the ways–both subtle and bold–that it documents an unfolding natural crisis rooted in human social conflict. The jury awards The Wind Blows the Border the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary."
DGC SPECIAL JURY PRIZE-CANADIAN FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
Rojek (D: Zaynê Akyol | P: Zaynê Akyol, Sylvain Corbeil, Audrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre | Canada
Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and DGC Ontario, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize.
Jury statement: "For its sensitive curiosity about its subjects' lived experiences and internal lives, self-reflexive interrogation of the documentary filmmaking process, and unique contextualization of the fragile state of peace, the Canadian Features Jury presents the DGC Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary to Rojek."
In the DGC Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary category, the jury also acknowledged Batata (D: Noura Kevorkian | P: Paul Scherzer, Noura Kevorkian | Canada, Lebanon, Qatar) with an honourable mention.
EMERGING INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKER AWARD
Bogna Kowalczyk for Boylesque (D: Bogna Kowalczyk | P: Tomasz Morawski, Katarzyna Kuczyńska, Vratislav Šlajer, Hanka Kastelicova | Poland, Czech Republic)
Given to an international filmmaker whose film in competition is their first or second feature-length film, the award is supported by the Donner Canadian Foundation and includes a $3,000 cash prize.
Jury statement: "The jury was struck by the balance between this filmmaker’s aptitude for the craft of filmmaking, and the interest and tenderness they have for their subject, both which came through in this film."
THE EARL A. GLICK EMERGING CANADIAN FILMMAKER AWARD
Jacquelyn Mills for Geographies of Solitude (D: Jacquelyn Mills | P: Rosalie Chicoine Perreault, Jacquelyn Mills | Canada)
Given to a Canadian filmmaker whose film in competition is their first or second feature-length film, the award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of the Earl A. Glick Family.
Jury statement: "For her remarkable ability to capture a sense of place, textural approach to cinematography, and unique sound design, the Canadian Features Jury presents the Earl A. Glick Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award to Jacquelyn Mills for Geographies of Solitude."
BEST MID-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Rewind & Play (D: Alain Gomis | P: Anouk Khélifa, Arnaud Dommerc | France, Germany)
Sponsored by British Pathé, the award includes a $3,000 cash prize.
Jury statement: "The jury was impressed by the innovative use of archival, the rigorous cutting, and the relentless quest for intimacy with a subject on the brink of alienation."
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT DOCUMENTARY
More Than I Remember (D: Amy Bench | P: Amy Bench, Carolyn Merriman | USA)
The award includes a $3,000 cash prize.
Jury statement: "The Best International Short Documentary Award goes to a film that uses the most vivid and unique animation to tell a story of resilience that is both personal, and increasingly universal. The jury was impressed with the beautiful balance of all the creative elements in this film and the way it takes the documentary form beyond the expected."
In the Best International Short Documentary Award category, the jury also acknowledged My Disability Roadmap (D: Dan Habib, Samuel Habib | P: Dan Habib | USA) with an honourable mention.
BETTY YOUSON AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN SHORT DOCUMENTARY
Perfecting the Art of Longing (D: Kitra Cahana | P: Kat Baulu, Ariel Nasr | Canada)
The award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of John and Betty Youson.
Jury statement: "For the skillful crafting of a complex and robust film that celebrates the human spirit with lightness during a dark time, the jury awards the Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary Award to Perfecting the Art of Longing, directed by Kitra Cahana."
In the Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary category, the jury also acknowledged The Benevolents (D: Sarah Baril Gaudet | P: Sarah Baril Gaudet | Canada) with an honourable mention.
Special Awards Categories
DON HAIG AWARD
Toronto-based producer Mila Aung-Thwin, producer of Midwives and co-founder of Montreal-based production company EyeSteelFilm
The award is given to an outstanding independent Canadian producer with a film in the Festival in recognition of his/her creative vision, entrepreneurship and track record for nurturing emerging talent and comes with a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation.
LINDALEE TRACEY AWARD
Iranian Canadian filmmaker Avazeh Shahnavaz
Honouring an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice and a sense of humour, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Lindalee Tracey Fund, $5,000 in post-production services from SIM, and a hand-blown glass sculpture by Andrew Kuntz, specially commissioned to honour Lindalee.
HOT DOCS AUDIENCE AWARDS
At the close of the Festival, it was determined that Eternal Spring also placed first in the overall audience poll. The top mid-length film in the audience poll was Sexual Healing and the top short film was Dad Can Dance.
ROGERS AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY
Awarded to the top Canadian in an audience poll.
Eternal Spring (D: Jason Loftus | P: Jason Loftus, Masha Loftus, Yvan Pinard, Kevin Koo | Canada) placed first and received the top prize of $25,000 CDN; Okay! (The ASD Band Film) (D: Mark Bone | P: Gregory Rosati, Amalie Bruun | Canada) placed second and received a $15,000 CDN prize; and Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children (D: Barri Cohen | P: Craig Baines | Canada), a searing account of abuse inside Ontario’s oldest government-run home for disabled children, placed third and was awarded $10,000 CDN.
SCOTIABANK DOCS FOR SCHOOLS STUDENT CHOICE AWARD
Navalny (D: Daniel Roher | P: Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris | USA)
The award is given to the Festival film in the Docs For Schools education program that receives the highest rating as determined by student poll and comes with a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Scotiabank.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Award-winning Indian filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, whose seminal work was featured in the Outstanding Achievement Award retrospective program at this year’s Festival.
FOCUS ON FILMMAKER
Selected by the Hot Docs Board of Directors, Raymonde Provencher is celebrated in this year's Focus On program.
Industry Pitch Prizes
CMF-HOT DOCS FORUM CANADIAN PITCH PRIZE
The CMF-Hot Docs Forum Canadian Pitch Prize, presented in partnership with Canada Media Fund, is a $10,000 cash prize that will be awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Hot Docs Forum. The prize money is intended to go towards the production and completion of the winning project.
Untitled Labor Union Documentary
D: Brett Story, Stephen Maing | P: Mars Verrone, Samantha Curley | Level Ground Productions LLC (USA), Oh Ratface Films (Canada)
An intimate portrait of workers taking on one of the world’s most powerful companies in the fight to unionize.
HOT DOCS first look
Hot Docs first look is a curated access program for philanthropic supporters of and investors in documentary film that grants behind-the-scenes access to the world of documentary.
The first prize of $25,000 CDN was awarded to:
D: Otilia Portillo | P: Paula Arroio Sandoval | Oscura Producciones S.A. de C.V. (Mexico))
Three Mexican Indigenous scientists—all women—partner with mushrooms to fight for their territories.
The second prize of $15,000 CDN was awarded to:
A Woman's Path
D: Marjan Khosravi | P: Milad Khosravi, Stephanie Von Lukowicz | Seven Spring Pictures (Iran), Lukimedia (Spain)
The story of a woman who is forced to abandon her nomadic lifestyle after being betrayed by her family.
Canadian Features Jury
Abby Sun is the Director of Artist Programs at IDA and a graduate researcher at the MIT Open Documentary Lab where she edits Immerse. Most recently, Abby curated the DocYard for three years and co-curated My Sight is Lined with Visions: 1990s Asian American Film & Video with Keisha Knight. Expanding on the latter's programmatic urges, they launched Line of Sight, a suite of artist development activities, in 2021. Abby has bylines in Film Comment, Filmmaker Magazine, Film Quarterly, Hyperallergic and other publications. She has served on festival juries for Dokufest, Cleveland, Palm Springs, New Orleans and CAAMfest, as well as nominating committees for the Gotham Awards and Cinema Eye. Abby has reviewed applications for grants from BGDM, NEA, SFFILM, LEF Foundation, Sundance Catalyst, and has spoken on and facilitated panels at TIFF, NYFF and other film festivals. Her latest short film, Cuba Scalds His Hand (co-directed with Daniel Garber), premiered at the Maryland Film Festival in 2019. Her hometown is Columbia, Missouri, USA.
Basil Tsiokos is a senior programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, focusing on non-fiction features. He was most recently with DOC NYC for nearly a decade, where he served as Director of Programming, and with the Nantucket Film Festival as Film Program Director. Basil previously was the longtime Artistic and Executive Director of NewFest. He serves on the feature nominating committees for the International Documentary Association Awards and Cinema Eye Honors. Basil has written about documentaries daily since 2010 on what (not) to doc. He holds a Masters degree from New York University and two undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.
Yasmine Mathurin is a Haitian-Canadian award-winning writer, director and podcast producer. Her debut feature documentary, ONE OF OURS, was the DGC Special Jury Prize winner for Canadian Features at the 2021 Hot Docs International Film Festival. It has also been nominated for 3 Canadian Screen Awards. She previously worked as an associate producer with CBC Original Podcast.
She produced the audio-fiction podcast The Shadows which won Gold in the fiction category at the 2019 Canadian Digital Publishing Award. She also produced season 1 of the CBC podcast Tai Asks Why, which won a Webby people’s choice award. She is a recipient of the 2019 Netflix-Banff Media Diverse Voices Fellowship. She is an alumni of numerous film and storytelling labs including the Hot Docs Documentary Lab, the UnionDocs Feature documentary lab, the Berlinale Doc Toolbox program, the TIFF Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellowship. She is currently developing her first feature fiction project with the support of the TIFF 2022 Writers Studio and the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network grant.
She holds a BA in Political Science and Non-Profit Management from York University and a Journalism Masters from Ryerson University.
International Features Jury
Chloé Trayner is the Artistic Director of Ragtag Film Society working across True/False Film Fest and Ragtag Cinema in Columbia, Missouri. Chloé previously worked in film and events programming in London with a focus on non-fiction and talent development. She is the Founder of Assembly Documentary Development Lab and has worked with organizations such as Open City Documentary Festival, Bertha DocHouse, BFI Future Film Festival, The Guardian, Wellcome Trust and UnderWire Festival.
Alex Rivera is a filmmaker whose work explores globalization, migration and technology through fiction, documentary and hybrid forms. His first feature film, a cyberpunk thriller set in Tijuana, Mexico, called Sleep Dealer, won multiple awards at Sundance and Berlin. Rivera's second feature, a documentary/scripted hybrid set in an immigrant detention centre, called The Infiltrators, won the NEXT: Audience Award and the Innovator Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically in the US. Rivera's work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Creative Capital, the Open Society Institute and many others. He is a 2021 MacArthur Fellow.
Diana Sanchez has collaborated in many film and cultural organizations. She most recently served as TIFF’s Senior Director of Film after 17 years as international programmer, as well held positions at the Madrid Film Archive, Rotterdam Film Festival, the Miami Film Festival and the IFF Panama where she was the Founding Artistic Director. She has served on many juries including IDFA, San Sebastian, Havana Film Festival and the Transylvania IFF. Sanchez is currently consulting and teaching at the University of Toronto where she completed her MA in Cinema Studies.
Connor Jessup is an actor and filmmaker best known for his leading roles in Netflix’s fantasy series Locke & Key
and ABC’s Emmy-winning drama American Crime
. His short films have played at major festivals around the world, including TIFF, Palm Springs and Clermont-Ferrand. In 2018, he directed a documentary portrait of Palme d’Or–winning Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul for The Criterion Collection. In 2019, he produced the omnibus film 30/30 Vision, which included new work by Ira Sachs, Catherine Breillat, Lulu Wang, Brady Corbet and more.
Former lawyer turned filmmaker, Shameela Seedat’s first feature-length documentary, Whispering Truth to Power
, won multiple awards, including from Hot Docs, Fespaco, Luxor African FF, Minneapolis St Paul's FF and African Studies Association. Her recently completed follow up documentary, African Moot
, follows four passionate law student teams from different parts of Africa as they compete in the largest human rights mock court on the continent. Shameela has served on several documentary film juries over recent years, including at the Sydney Film Festival and the Adiaha Awards for women filmmakers. She has also directed several programs for local and international television and published widely on law and social justice in journals, newspapers and book chapters.
Chase Joynt is a director and writer whose films have won jury and audience awards internationally. His debut documentary feature, Framing Agnes, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival where it won the NEXT Innovator Award and the NEXT Audience Award. With Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase co-directed No Ordinary Man
, a feature-length documentary about jazz musician Billy Tipton. Since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020, the film has won 9 awards on the international festival circuit, been hailed by The New Yorker
as "a genre unto itself" and Indiewire
as "the future of trans cinema."
Documentary filmmaker and photographer, Joannie Lafrenière loves human beings. Holding degrees in journalism and photography, Joannie has contributed to several recognized publications and has had the chance to be part of many different inspiring independent projects. Her documentary projects (The Woman Who Saw the Bear
and King Lajoie
) have been shown in major festivals across Canada and abroad. She just finished Gabor, a feature documentary that is a quirky and feel-good portrait of Gabor Szilasi, the 94-year-old giant of Canadian contemporary photography. Joannie lives, works and plays in Montréal, Canada, but has been known to escape to faraway places.
Ricardo Acosta is a film editor, script consultant and member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE). Acosta has worked in the film industry for over 25 years. An Emmy winner and nominee for Canadian Industry Genie and Gemini Awards, Canadian Film Editors Association Awards and Canadian Screen Awards, Acosta moved to Canada in 1993 from his native Cuba, where he studied film and worked at the world-renowned Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC). He has been a member (student and professor) of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Editing and Screenwriting Lab, and the Music Composition and Sound Design Lab. Among others, he has edited and/or story edited the following films: Once Upon a Time in Venezuela
(Anabel Rios 2020), The Letter
(Maia Lekow, Christopher King, Chris King 2019), The Silence of Others
(Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar 2018), the Cannes and Sundance selection Sembene!
(Jason Silverman and Samba Gadjigo 2015), Marmato
(Mark Grieco 2014), and Herman's House
(Angad Singh Bhalla 2012).
Sarra El Abed
Flirting between fiction and documentary, Sarra El Abed likes to breathe whimsy into the ordinary and comedy into drama. Her last project Ain't No Time for Women
was presented in multiple prestigious festivals (Clermont-Ferrand, Slamdance, Palm Springs, and more). The film was nominated for an IDA Award and won the award for Best Canadian Short at Hot Docs and Le Prix de la Relève at the RIDM. This last prize gave her the opportunity to create a documentary project with Radio-Canada. She’s currently working on her first feature film Adieu Minette
, selected at the Tiff Filmmaker Lab 2021. She is also part of theTIFF Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellowship.