Hd18 Don Haig Fichman Bnr Taku Kumabe

Don Haig Award

Throughout his life, Don Haig gave generously to filmmakers he believed in. He contributed his time, knowledge and resources to helping filmmakers nurture their talents.

The Don Haig Award recipient is decided upon by a jury of independent producers and is given to an outstanding Canadian independent producer with a feature-length film in competition at the Festival. The Award recognizes creative vision and entrepreneurship, as reflected in their body of work and their film in the Festival, as well as a track record of the mentoring emerging Canadian filmmakers.

The Don Haig Award is presented annually.


2021 Don Haig Award Recipient

Lalita KrishnaHot Docs is pleased to announce that Lalita Krishna, president of In Sync Media, has been named this year’s Don Haig Award recipient. In Sync Media produced 2021 official selection Bangla Surf Girls. Krishna will be presented with a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation.

Lalita Krishna has been producing and directing documentaries for over 20 years. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, Lalita’s films reflect her strong belief in empowering underrepresented voices. She is the writer and producer of Hot Docs official selection Bangla Surf Girls, and her recent features include co-producer on Fear of Dancing for CBC Gem, Documentary Channel, and producer of Untying the Knot, which premiered on CBC’s Documentary Channel in November 2019. Previous productions include Listen to Me, which won Best Feature Doc at Real World 2015; Lowdown Tracks DM, a digital website companion to Bishari Films’ feature documentary; and Semisweet: Life in Chocolate, an internationally acclaimed film about child labour in the chocolate trade, with a mobile app to track ethical chocolate. An early adopter of new technology, Lalita created Breakout, an interactive documentary series for CBC Kids, which also served as the launching pad for the careers of many young filmmakers who directed different episodes. Lalita was also the visionary behind the DOC Institute’s Breakthrough Lab, which has equipped hundreds of filmmakers with the skills to develop and pitch their films in the competitive marketplace.

Lalita’s films have won multiple awards, including the Reelworld – Best Canadian Feature Award (Listen to Me, 2015; Tiger, 2005), and the Canadian Screen Award for best music (Semisweet: Life in Chocolate, 2012). Her projects have also been nominated for the Japan Prize (Sweatin It, 2002; Jambo Kenya, 2005), the Chris Award for Best Social Documentary (Ryan’s Well, 2002; Chaos, Chords & Karma, 2004; Move Your World, 2005); and Audience Choice Awards at TIFF Kids (Move your World, 2006) and the Montreal South Asian Film Festival (Untying the Knot, 2019). Lalita is also the winner of the 2013 Crystal Award for mentorship given by WIFT(Women in Film and Television), the 2012 Trailblazer Award given by the Reel World Film Festival, and she is the recipient of the Dream Catcher Award given by the Hope and Dreams Festival NJ, for using her craft to better humanity. In 2018, Lalita was appointed co-chair of the Hot Docs board of directors.

As part of the Award, the recipient can name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Hot Docs, and a complimentary All-Access pass for Hot Docs 2022. Lalita Krishna has chosen Bangladeshi filmmaker Elizabeth D. Costa, director of Bangla Surf Girls, to receive this prize.

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