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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 winner of Hot Docs’ Best International Feature Documentary Award qualifies 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 2018 Awards

At the Hot Docs Awards Presentation, hosted by Garvia Bailey, host of Good Morning Toronto! on Jazz.FM91, 13 awards and $85,000 in cash and prizes were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, including awards for Festival films in competition and those recognizing emerging and established filmmakers.

Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are awarded to the director of the winning film.

Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award
A Little Wisdom (D: Yuqi Kang; P: Yuqi Kang, Maro Chermayeff; Canada)
Sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada and Telefilm Canada, the award includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

DGC Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary
What Walaa Wants (D: Christy Garland; P: Anne Köhncke, Matt Code, Christy Garland, Justine Pimlott; Canada, Denmark)
Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and DGC Ontario, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award
Michael Del Monte for Transformer (Canada)
Given to a first or second-time Canadian filmmaker with a feature film in the Canadian Spectrum program, the award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

Best International Feature Documentary Award
We Could Be Heroes (D: Hind Bensari; P: Bullitt Film/Vibeke Vogel and Cinetelefilms/Habib Attia; Denmark, Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar)
Supported by Panicaro Foundation, the award includes a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Panicaro Foundation.

Special Jury Prize – International Feature Documentary - TIE
Sponsored by A&E, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs, which will be split between the two winners:

Whispering Truth to Power (D: Shameela Seedat; P: Francois Verster, Shameela Seedat, Neil Brandt, Brechtje Smidt, Millan Collin; South Africa)

Wind of Swabia (D: Corrado Punzi; P: Davide Barletti; Italy)

Emerging International Filmmaker Award
Elan Bogarín and Jonathan Bogarín for 306 Hollywood (USA)
Given to a first or second-time international filmmaker with a feature film in the International Spectrum program, the award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

In the Emerging International Filmmaker category, the jury acknowledged Jill Magid, director of The Proposal with an honourable mention.

Best Mid-Length Documentary Award
The Call (D: Enrico Maisto; P: Riccardo Annoni; Italy)
The award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

Best International Short Documentary Award
Haunted (D&P: Christian Einshøj; Denmark)
The award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

In the Best International Short Documentary category, the jury acknowledged Zion (D: Floyd Russ; P: Carter Collins; USA) with an honourable mention.

Best Canadian Short Documentary Award
Prince’s Tale (D&P: Jamie Miller; Canada)
The award includes a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Hot Docs.

In the Best Canadian Short Documentary category, the jury acknowledged Vika (D&P: Christian Borys, Marta Iwanek; Canada) with an honourable mention.

SPECIAL AWARD CATEGORIES

Lindalee Tracey Award
Fazila Amiri and Tim Tracey
The award honours an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice and a sense of humour. Each recipient will receive a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of 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.

Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award
Presented by the Hot Docs Board of Directors to Barbara Kopple.

Don Haig Award
Montreal-based producer Ina Fichman of Intuitive Pictures.
The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation and Telefilm Canada.

Don Haig Award Pay It Forward Prize
Montreal-based producers Fanny Drew and Sarah Mannering from Colonelle Films.
As part of the award, the recipient can 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.

Doc Mogul Award
On April 30, 2018, Cara Mertes, director of Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, received the 2018 Doc Mogul Award at a special luncheon.


AUDIENCE AWARDS

Scotiabank Docs For Schools Student Choice Award
On Her Shoulders (D: Alexandria Bombach; P: Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams; USA)
The winner was determined by audience ballot cast by students attending Docs For Schools screenings at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema during the Festival. Sponsored by Scotiabank, the award comes with $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Scotiabank.

Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary
Transformer (D: Michael Del Monte; P: Tad Munnings; Canada) Generously established by the Rogers Group of Funds and determined by audience ballot, the award comes with a $50,000 cash prize.

Hot Docs Audience Award
Feature: Transformer (D: Michael Del Monte; Canada)

Mid-length: Dreaming Murakami (D: Nitesh Anjaan; Denmark)

Short: Prince’s Tale (D: Jamie Miller; Canada)

DocX: Tree (D: Milica Zec, Winslow Turner Porter III; USA)


INDUSTRY AWARD CATEGORIES

first look Pitch Prizes

  • 1st place prize of $75,000: Case 993 (D: Shareef Nasir; P: Dana Nachman, Leah Mahan, Josh Braun, Dan Braun, Danny Glover; KTF Films, USA)
  • 2nd place prize of $30,000: Born in China (D: Nanfu Wang, Lynn Zhang; P: Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Chris Clements; Next Generation Production, LLC, USA; Motto Pictures Inc., USA; Pumpernickel Films, France)
  • 3rd place prize of $20,000: Softie (D: Sam Soko; P: Sam Soko, Toni Kamau, Ingrid Lill Høgtun; Lightbox Limited, Kenya; We Are Not the Machine Ltd., Kenya; DUOfilm AS, Norway; EyeSteelFilm, Canada)

Corus-Hot Docs Forum Pitch Prize
Betrayal (D: Lena MacDonald; P: Noah Bingham; Ferocious Films Inc., Canada)
Disbursed from the Corus-Hot Docs Funds, $10,000 is awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Hot Docs Forum as voted on by attending international buyers.

Cuban Hat Award
Softie (D: Sam Soko; P: Sam Soko, Toni Kamau, Ingrid Lill Høgtun; Lightbox Limited, Kenya; We Are Not the Machine Ltd., Kenya; DUOfilm AS, Norway; EyeSteelFilm, Canada)


2018 Juries

Canadian Feature Documentary Jury

  • Bill Guenzler, Artistic Director, Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF)
  • Magali Simard, Film Sector Development Officer, City of Toronto
  • Yung Chang, Filmmaker

International Feature Documentary Jury

  • B. Ruby Rich, Professor of Film and Digital Media; Director of Social Documentation MFA Program, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Justine Nagan, Executive Director, American Documentary, Inc.
  • Gave Lindo, Chief of Staff & Senior Director of Programming, CBC

Mid-Length Jury

  • Christoph Terhechte, Head, Berlin International Film Festival Forum
  • Brett Story, Filmmaker
  • Lisa Jackson, Filmmaker

Shorts Jury

  • Gina Duncan, Associate Vice-President, Cinema, Brooklyn Acdemy of Music
  • Ian Daniel, Co-Host, Executive Producer, Gaycation, VICELAND
  • Raphaela Neihausen, Co-Founder & Executive Director, DOC NYC

Learn more about the 2018 juries >

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Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Signature Partner

  • logo documentary-Channel

Presenting Partners

  • logo Bell-Media
  • logo Netflix
  • logo Rogers
  • Logo Samsung

Major Supporters

  • logo Celebrate-Ontario
  • logo telefilm