Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker Wrap With Over $137,000 in Cash Prizes Awarded

The Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs’ key international co-financing market event, and Hot Docs Deal Maker, Hot Docs’ curated one-on-one pitch meeting program, wrapped after two days of brisk pitching, networking and deal-making. At the Hot Docs Forum, 21 projects—for which half of the producers and more than half of the directors attached were women—representing 20 countries were presented to a room of over 475 industry delegates including 220 key commissioning editors and funders, while at Hot Docs Deal Maker, 65 projects were pitched to 70 broadcasters and grantors at approximately 800 meetings.

Over $137,000 in cash prizes were awarded to projects at this year’s Hot Docs Forum.

The first look program’s first prize winner of $75,000 CAD was Case 993 (D: Shareef Nasir; P: Dana Nachman, Leah Mahan, Josh Braun, Dan Braun, Danny Glover; KTF Films, USA). The award’s second prize of $30,000 CDN went to 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); and the third first look prize of $20,000 CDN was awarded to 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).

The Corus-Hot Docs Forum Pitch Prize was awarded to Betrayal (D: Lena MacDonald; P: Noah Bingham; Ferocious Films Inc., Canada). Disbursed from the Corus-Hot Docs Funds, the $10,000 CDN cash prize is awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Forum as voted on by attending international buyers. Corus’ Andrew Johnson and Hot Docs’ Dorota Lech presented the award to pitch team members Lena MacDonald and Noah Bingham.

The Cuban Hat Award, which offers “real cash, no strings attached” support for powerful and unique projects, was presented to Softie and was pitched by producers Toni Kamau and Mila Aung-Thwin, and producer/director Sam Soko. Established in 2009 in an impromptu display of collegial support, the Cuban Hat Award is decided from ballots collected from Hot Docs Forum Observers, and the cash prize is raised by passing the hat. This year’s collection brought in $1,175 CDN, $267 USD, €40, 20 Israeli shekels, 5 Danish kroner, 5 Australian dollars, 1,000 Japanese yen, two TTC tokens and some Russian rubles. Hot Docs will match the total Canadian and American dollar amount. The prize also included two All Access passes to Dok Leipzig, a rough-cut session and two nights hotel in Montreal from EyeSteelFilm, mentoring and tarot reading from Rapid Bland, and international market consultation from Jan Rofekamp.

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