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Festival News

Hot Docs Wraps 2021 Edition, $244K Awarded to Festival Films & Projects

Hot Docs has wrapped its 28th annual Festival, which was presented online from April 29 to May 9 to audiences across Canada. The 11-day event streamed 222 films from 66 countries, 129 recorded filmmaker Q&As, five Curious Minds events centered on film topics, and 11 live events, including a Q&A for opening night selection A.rtificial I.mmortality with director Ann Shin and guest subject Dr. Deepak Chopra, five Big Ideas discussions presented by Scotia Wealth Management, four NFB-hosted filmmaker Q&As, and a livestream of a special keynote interview with Questlove on his film Summer Of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).

During the Festival, over $244,000 CND in cash and prizes was awarded to Festival films in competition and industry pitches, and audience award winners.

During a special livestream on Sunday evening, the winners of the Rogers Audience Award were announced. Honouring the top five Canadian feature documentaries as determined by audience poll, each winning film this year came from a different Canadian province. Each coming from a different province, the winners are: FANNY: The Right to Rock (Quebec), Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy (Alberta), Someone Like Me (British Columbia), Still Max (Ontario), and Hell or Clean Water (Newfoundland). Each film’s director will receive a cash prize of $10,000 CDN.

At the close of audience voting, it was determined Dear Future Children received the highest overall rating and won the Hot Docs Audience Award, while the top short documentary was A Concerto Is a Conversation and the top mid-length film was Spirit to Soar.

Hot Docs’ popular Docs For Schools education program was also presented during the Festival, offered a selection of Festival and other documentaries for free to 363 schools in Ontario and other provinces. After student votes were tallied, With Drawn Arms (D: Glenn Kaino, Afshin Shahidi; P: Glenn Zipper, Sean Stuart, Glenn Kaino, Afshin Shahidi;USA, Mexico), was named the winner of the Scotiabank Docs For Schools Student Choice Award. The award comes with a $5,000 CDN cash prize, courtesy of Scotiabank.

Rogers Audience Award Winners

During a special virtual presentation ceremony on the evening of Sunday, May 9, we announced the winners of the $50,000 CDN Rogers Audience Award. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 CDN.

The winners are:

  1. FANNY: The Right to Rock
  2. Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy
  3. Someone Like Me
  4. Still Max
  5. Hell or Clean Water

Top 20

  1. Dear Future Children
  2. Writing with Fire
  3. FANNY: The Right to Rock
  4. Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy
  5. Someone Like Me
  6. Still Max
  7. Hell or Clean Water
  8. Subjects of Desire
  9. Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
  10. One of Ours
  11. A Once and Future Peace
  12. We Are the Thousand
  13. Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra
  14. Imad’s Childhood
  15. It Is Not Over Yet
  16. Rebel Hearts
  17. With Drawn Arms
  18. Spirit to Soar
  19. In the Same Breath
  20. Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Top 5 Shorts

  1. A Concerto Is a Conversation
  2. The Hairdresser
  3. Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again
  4. Recorder Queen
  5. TIE - The Train Station and The White Death of the Black Wizard

Top 5 Midlengths

  1. Spirit to Soar
  2. Becoming
  3. Holy Bread
  4. Only I Can Hear
  5. Dropstones

Top Films by Program

Artscapes: We Are the Thousand

Canadian Spectrum: Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy

The Changing Face of Europe: Raise the Bar

Deep Dive: Philly D.A.

International Spectrum: School of Hope

Made in Colombia: Rebel Love

Markers: Faya Dayi

Nightvision: Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest

Persister: FANNY: The Right to Rock

Special Presentations: Subjects of Desire

Systems Down: It Is Not Over Yet

World Showcase: Dear Future Children