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Christine Choy in polka dot dress on stairs
Hot Docs News

Pioneering Documentary Filmmaker Christine Choy to Receive Outstanding Achievement Award at 30th Anniversary Hot Docs Festival

The Hot Docs Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of trailblazing Chinese American filmmaker, educator, and artist Christine Choy (Chai Ming Huei) as the recipient of its 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award.

"Christine Choy is a trailblazer, and her body of work broke new ground in shining a light on diverse and unheralded stories," said Shane Smith, director of programming for Hot Docs. "For decades, she has advocated for freedom and justice while giving a voice to the forgotten and neglected and capturing the unvarnished realities of life, whether in rural China or in the American Midwest. It is our great pleasure to honour her with a much-deserved Outstanding Achievement Award at our upcoming 30th anniversary Festival."

Originally trained as an architect at Columbia University, Christine Choy went on to earn a certificate in directing at AFI (American Film Institute). Since then, she has produced, directed, and photographed more than 85 films and has received over 60 international awards, including an Oscar nomination for her sophomore feature documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987). Choy’s latest collaborative documentary film, The Exiles (2022), had its International Premiere at Hot Docs Festival 2022 and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

In addition to her work as a documentary filmmaker, Choy is a celebrated professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she served as Chair of Tisch’s Graduate Film & Television Program from 1994 to 1997, and again from 2002 to 2005. She is the founding director of Third World Newsreel, one of the oldest alternative media arts organizations in the U.S., and the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong; a member of the Project Vetting committee of the Film Development Fund, Hong Kong; and served as an International Trustee Member of the Asia Society from 1995 to 2002.

As part of the honour, Hot Docs will screen a curated retrospective of Choy’s fearless films during the 2023 Festival, celebrating her illustrious filmmaking career and her ardent activist spirit. Christine Choy will attend the Festival and participate in a public in conversation event, as well as several Q&As after her film screenings. Films in the 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective program will be announced in March.

Past recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award include Anand Patwardhan (2022), Stanley Nelson (2020), Julie Reichert (2019), Barbara Kopple (2018), Tony Palmer (2017), Steve James (2016), Patricio Guzmán (2015), Adam Curtis (2014), Les Blank (2013), Michel Brault (2012), Terence Macartney-Filgate (2011), Kim Longinotto (2010), Alanis Obomsawin (2009), Richard Leacock (2008), Heddy Honigmann (2007), Werner Herzog (2006), Errol Morris (2005), Michael Maclear (2004), Nick Broomfield (2003), Frederick Wiseman (2002), D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (2000) and Albert Maysles (1999).

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