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2016 Awards

Hot Docs 2016 Awards

On Friday, May 6, at a reception hosted by Garvia Bailey, host of Good Morning Toronto! on Jazz.FM91, at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 12 awards were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, including awards for Festival films in competition and those recognizing emerging and established filmmakers.

Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award
KONELĪNE: our land beautiful (D: Nettie Wild; P: Betsy Carson; Canada)
Sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada
$10,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Honourable Mention
Random Acts of Legacy (D&P: Ali Kazimi; Canada)

Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary
The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (D&P: Brett Story; Canada, USA)
Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and DGC Ontario
$5,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award
Sébastien Rist and Aude Leroux-Lévesque, Living With Giants (Canada)
Sponsored by Jameson First Shot
$3,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Best International Feature Documentary Award
Brothers (D: Aslaug Holm; P: Tore Buvarp; Norway)
Sponsored by Panicaro Foundation, $10,000 prize courtesy of the Panicaro Foundation

Special Jury Prize – International Feature Documentary
God Knows Where I Am (D: Todd Wider, Jedd Wider; P: Brian Ariotti, Todd Wider, Jedd Wider; USA)
Sponsored by A&E, $5,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Emerging International Filmmaker Award
Mike Day, The Islands and the Whales (UK, Denmark)
$3,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Best Mid-Length Documentary Award
Dugma: The Button (D: Paul S. Refsdal; P: Ingvil Giske; Norway)
$3,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Honourable Mention - Best Mid-Length Documentary Award
La Laguna (D&P: Aaron Schock; USA, Mexico)

Best Short Documentary Award
The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere (D: Mickey Duzyj; P: Mona Panchal; USA)
$3,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs

Honourable Mention - Best Short Documentary Award
What Happened to Her (D&P: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan; USA)


Outstanding Achievement Award
Presented by the Hot Docs Board of Directors to Steve James.

Doc Mogul Award
Presented to Iikka Vehkalahti by the Hot Docs Board of Directors at a special awards luncheon.

Don Haig Award
Toronto-based producer Ed Barreveld
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 $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation.

Don Haig Award Pay It Forward Prize
Toronto-based filmmaker Shasha Nakhai
As part of Don Haig award, the recipient, Ed Barreveld, had the opportunity to name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Telefilm Canada, and professional development opportunities at the Hot Docs Festival to further her career path.

The Lindalee Tracey Award
Michael Chen
The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Lindalee Tracey Fund, $5,000 in post-production services from Technicolour and a beautiful hand-blown glass sculpture by Andrew Kuntz, specially commissioned to honour Lindalee.


Hot Docs Short Film Pitch
Repairing Society, pitched by Cat Mills (Toronto, ON)
$75,000, courtesy of BravoFACT. First place will receive $30,000, second place $25,000 and third place $20,000.

Corus-Hot Docs Forum Pitch Prize
Showgirls of Pakistan (Nomad Films Inc.)
$10,000, disbursed from the Corus-Hot Docs Funds. Awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Hot Docs Forum as voted on by attending international buyers.

Cuban Hat Award
Happy Winter (Indyca, Zenit Arti Audiovisive)


Vimeo On Demand Audience Award
Angry Inuk (D: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Canada)
Sponsored by Vimeo on Demand
Determined by audience ballot

Canadian Documentary Promotion Award
Angry Inuk (D: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Canada)
$25,000 courtesy of Telefilm Canada.
Awarded to the independently-produced feature-length Canadian documentary with a Canadian director that receives the highest rating in the audience poll.

Audience Award Top 20

  1. Angry Inuk (D: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril; Canada)
  2. The Apology (D: Tiffany Hsiung; Canada)
  3. Spirit Unforgettable (D: Pete McCormack; Canada)
  4. Hip-Hop Evolution (D: Darby Wheeler; Canada)
  5. When Two Worlds Collide (D: Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel; Peru)
  6. Life, Animated (D: Roger Ross Williams; USA)
  7. Gleason (D: Clay Tweel; USA)
  8. Mully (D: Scott Haze; USA, Kenya)
  9. Migrant Dreams (D: Min Sook Lee; Canada)
  10. Aida’s Secrets (D: Alon Schwarz, Shaul Schwarz; Israel, USA, Germany, Canada)
  11. Strike a Pose (D: Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan; Netherlands, Belgium)
  12. Mr. Gaga (D: Tomer Heymann; Israel, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany)
  13. Wizard Mode (D: Nathan Drillot, Jeff Petry; Canada)
  14. Tickled (D: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve; New Zealand)
  15. Tempest Storm (D: Nimisha Mukerji; Canada, Germany, France)
  16. Off the Rails (D: Adam Irving; Canada, USA)
  17. Suited (D: Jason Benjamin; USA)
  18. Gun Runners (D: Anjali Nayar; Canada)
  19. Zimbelism (D: Matt Zimbel, Jean-François Gratton; Canada)
  20. Sonita (D: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami; Iran, Germany, Switzerland)

2016 Juries

Canadian Feature Documentary Jury

  • Abigail Disney, CEO and President of Fork Films
  • Richard Abramowitz, innovative leader in independent film distribution and marketing
  • Vijay Vaidyanathan, CEO of Optimal Asset Management

International Feature Documentary Jury

  • Irene Taylor Brodsky, Oscar®-nominated and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker
  • Ken Jacobson, Director of Educational Programs and Strategic Partnerships at the International Documentary Association
  • Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, director of Sonita

Mid-Length Jury

  • Tom Oyer, Awards Manager at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Marie Nelson, Vice President, News, Public Affairs and Independent Film for PBS
  • Rosie Dransfeld, director and 2016 Focus On honouree

Shorts Jury

  • Sarah Lash, Acquisitions Consultant for Condé Nast Entertainment
  • Nimisha Mukerji, director of Tempest Storm
  • Fred Joubaud, Director of International Sales and Digital Acquisitions at Tricon Films & Television

All >

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 Celebrate Ontario
  • logo telefilm