Hd19 Awards Presentation

Festival Awards & Juries

Films in competition include Canadian Spectrum and International Spectrum selections, as well as short and mid-length works.

Academy Awards® Qualifying Festival
Hot Docs is recognized as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® in the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject categories.

The winners of Hot Docs’ Best International Feature Documentary Award and the Hot Docs Feature Audience Award qualify for consideration for the Oscar for Documentary Feature, and the winner of Hot Docs’ Best Canadian and International Short Documentary Awards qualify for consideration for the Oscar for Documentary Short Subject without standard theatrical runs, provided the films otherwise comply with the Academy rules.

Hot Docs 2021 Awards

At the 2021 Hot Docs Festival, $182,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded, including juried awards for films in competition, audience awards determined by ballot, industry prizes recognizing to pitches and other special award cateogries.

All awards for films in competition will be decided by Hot Docs Festival juries and will be announced at the Hot Docs Awards presentation, livestreaming on Friday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m.

The Rogers Audience Award for best Canadian documentaries will honour the top five eligible feature-length Canadian documentaries. Determined by audience poll, each of the winning films will receive a $10,000 CAD prize, which will be livestreamed on Sunday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m.


Best Canadian Feature Documentary
Sponsored by DOC and Telefilm Canada
$10,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

DGC Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary
Sponsored by DGC National and DGC Ontario
$5,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award
$3,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Best International Feature Documentary
Supported by the Panicaro Foundation
$10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Panicaro Foundation

Special Jury Prize – International Feature Documentary
Sponsored by A&E
$5,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Emerging International Filmmaker Award
Supported by the Donner Canadian Foundation
$3,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Best Mid-Length Documentary
Sponsored by British Pathé
$5,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary
Supported by John and Betty Youson
$3,000 prize courtesy of John and Betty Youson

Best International Short Documentary
$3,000 prize courtesy of courtesy of Hot Docs


Hot Docs Audience Award

Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary
Five $10,000 prizes totaling $50,000 courtesy of Rogers Group of Funds

Scotiabank Docs For Schools Student Choice Award
$5,000 prize courtesy of Scotiabank


Don Haig Award
The Don Haig Award is awarded annually to an outstanding Canadian independent producer with a film in the Festival. The Award recognizes creative vision and entrepreneurship as reflected in the work being showcased at Hot Docs, as well as a track record for nurturing emerging Canadian filmmakers. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation and Telefilm Canada.

Courtesy of Hot Docs, the Don Haig Award recipient awards a $5,000 cash prize to an emerging female documentary filmmaker of their choice to support future career development. The recipient will also be invited to attend the Festival and participate in a professional development lab.

The Lindalee Tracey Award
To honour her life and celebrate her legacy, Lindalee Tracey’s colleagues, friends and family have created the Lindalee Tracey Award. The award is presented each year at Hot Docs to an emerging Canadian filmmaker who works in the spirit of Lindalee. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize from the Lindalee Tracey Fund, $5,000 in post-production services from Technicolor and a beautiful hand-blown glass sculpture by Andrew Kuntz, specially commissioned to honour Lindalee.


first look Pitch Prizes
$50,000, courtesy of first look program participants
Awarded to top Hot Docs Forum Pitches as determined by first look program participants

Canadian Forum Pitch Prize presented in partnership with DGC National and DGC Ontario
$10,000, courtesy of Hot Docs
Awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Hot Docs Forum as voted on by attending international buyers.

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Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Founding Partner

  • logo Rogers

Signature Partner

  • Logo Cbc Gem

Presenting Partners

  • logo Crave
  • logo Netflix

Major Supporters

  • logo telefilm
  • logo tourism_Celebrate-Ontario