News

2021 Industry Week Wraps with $110K first look Pitch Prizes Awarded

The Hot Docs Forum, our key international co-financing market event, wrapped after two successful days of pitching. The Forum saw a total of 20 projects representing 16 countries, with women representing 20 of the 25 directors and 36 of the 58 producers, pitched to a virtual roundtable of more than 50 key funders and decision makers, as well as filmmakers and prize juries.

Following the Forum, the $110,000 CND first look Pitch Prizes were awarded. The Prizes are funded by participants of Hot Docs first look program—an initiative that provides philanthropic supporters and investors in documentary film curated behind-the-scenes access to Hot Docs Forum and market—with a top up from Hot Docs, and winning projects were selected by participants after viewing all pitches.

The first prize of $50,000 CDN went to Light of the Setting Sun (D: Vicky Du; P: Danielle Varga, Vicky Du; Walking Productions, LLC, USA; Setting Sun Productions, LLC, USA), in which a Taiwanese-American filmmaker confronts her family’s silence around the cycles of violence that have persisted since the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949.

The second prize of $35,000 CDN went to Mother Vera (D: Cécile Embleton, Alys Tomlinson; P: Laura Shacham; She Makes Productions Ltd., UK), which weaves the inner world of a strikingly unusual Orthodox nun with the community that saved her life.

The third prize of $25,000 CDN went to Fire of Love (D: Sara Dosa; P: Shane Boris, Ina Fichman, Sara Dosa; Fire of Love Productions Inc., Canada/USA), an unexpected love story of two intrepid scientists who die in a volcanic explosion.

The Canadian Forum Pitch Prize, presented in partnership with DGC National and DGC Ontario, was awarded to Wilfred Buck (D: Lisa Jackson; P: Lisa Jackson, Alicia Smith; Door Number 3 Productions, NFB, Canada), which follows a man who has been called the Indiana Jones of Indigenous star knowledge, weaving his harrowing past and present to explore colonization’s impact on Indigenous ways of knowing. The $10,000 CAD cash prize is awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Forum as voted on by attending international buyers.

The Canadian Forum Pitch Prize jury also gave an honourable mention, with a $2,000 CAD cash prize, to Made in Ethiopia (D: Xinyan Yu, Max Duncan; P: Tamara Dawit, Xinyan Yu, Max Duncan; Made in Ethiopia, LLC, USA; Gobez Media Inc, Canada), which tells the story of three trailblazing women who navigate the bumpy expansion of the biggest Chinese industrial park in Ethiopia.

New this year, the Sunny Side of the Doc Pitch Prize was awarded to Made in Ethiopia (D: Xinyan Yu, Max Duncan; P: Tamara Dawit, Xinyan Yu, Max Duncan; Made in Ethiopia, LLC, USA; Gobez Media Inc, Canada), which tells the story of three trailblazing women who navigate the bumpy expansion of the biggest Chinese industrial park in Ethiopia. Selected by organizers of Sunny Side of the Doc, the winner receives a complimentary pass to that event happening in June.

The 20 Forum projects, and 36 additional Deal Maker projects, will participate in more than 850 curated Hot Docs Deal Maker pitch meetings, which will continue throughout the month. At Distribution Rendezvous, 124 projects participated in more than 790 pitch meetings.

At this year’s Hot Docs, a full week of industry programming was attended by over 3,377 delegates and 214 decision makers from 86 countries, including: two keynote interviews with Jenna Wortham and Questlove; three Masterclasses featuring Stanley Nelson, Jennifer Holness and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers; 10 conference sessions; one panel discussion; one Citizen Minutes promo event; three tutorials; four Anatomy of a Scene presentations; 15 Close Up With… sessions featuring leading broadcasters and platforms; seven Micro Meetings; nine coffee break hangouts and networking meet-ups; and one live concert featuring Fanny. Hot Docs also hosted official delegations from: Chile, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Manitoba, Nordic region, and Scotland.

Registration for All-Access Online Passes will remain open until the end of May, with all content available to view on the platform until May 31.



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