Skip to main content

Hot Docs 2012...And the Award Goes To...

Courtesy of VKPR and Hot Docs:


Toronto, May 4, 2012 – Hot Docs is pleased to announce the winners of the Festival's 2012 awards. The Hot Docs Awards Presentation, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi (host, Q CBC Radio One), took place on Friday, May 4, at the Windsor Arms Hotel inToronto. Ten awards and $71,000 in cash prizes were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, including awards for Festival films in competition and those recognizing emerging and established filmmakers. The Best Canadian Feature, Best International Feature, and the Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Prize winners will have encore screenings on Sunday, May 6.

The award for Best Canadian Feature was presented to THE WORLD BEFORE HER (D: Nisha Pahuja; P: Cornelia Principe, Nisha Pahuja, Ed Barreveld), a revealing looking at the clash between modernity and tradition faced by young women in IndiaSponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada, the award includes a $10,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “For its brave and provocative exploration of the role of women at its two extremes in contemporary Indian society, the jury recognizes the exceptional storytelling of THE WORLD BEFORE HER. THE WORLD BEFORE HER will screen on Saturday, May 5, at 9:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West) and on Sunday, May 6, at 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West).

The Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature was presented to PEACE OUT (D: Charles Wilkinson; P: Tina Schliessler), which explores the high costs of energy development in Canada’s pristine Peace River. Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and the DGC-Ontario, the award includes a $5000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “For its intelligent treatment of the environmental debate around thePeace River, an urgent Canadian issue with global implications, the jury recognizes PEACE OUT as a necessary call to arms.”

New this year, the Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Prize was awarded to a film in the Canadian Spectrum program that presents an accessible perspective (or perspectives) of one or more belief systems in such a way as to contribute to the development of mutual understanding, respect and inclusion among young people in society. Selected and presented by the Inspirit Foundation, the inaugural prize was awarded to THE BOXING GIRLS OF KABUL (D: Ariel J. Nasr; P: Annette Clark), the story of a courageous group of young Afghan women who risk persecution to become world-class boxers, training in a stadium where the Taliban once executed women. The award comes with a $10,000 prize courtesy of the Inspirit Foundation. THE BOXING GIRLS OF KABUL will screen again on Sunday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. and at 6:15 p.m. at the Cumberland Cinemas (159 Cumberland Street).

The award for Best International Feature was presented to CALL ME KUCHU (D: Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Katherine Fairfax Wright; P: Malika Zouhali-Worrall; USA), which looks at the formidable efforts of Ugandan activist David Kato to fight his country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and liberate his fellow LGBT citizens. Sponsored by A&E, the award includes a $10,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “CALL ME KUCHU explains a great injustice with life-and-death consequences and accomplishes the rare achievement of showing both the human tragedies and the triumphs of the struggle. Combining directorial intent with the prescience and persistence that enables a documentary's crew to be in an important place at an important time, we the Jury recognize CALL ME KUCHU for its wrenching yet inspiring depiction of people trying to succeed as humans and as activists in the face of hatred.” CALL ME KUCHU will screen again on Saturday, May 5, at 9:00 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West) and on Sunday, May 6, at 6:00 p.m. at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West).

The Special Jury Prize – International Feature was presented to THE LAW IN THESE PARTS (D: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz; P: Liran Atzmor, B.Z. Goldberg; Israel), in which the legal minds who worked in the Occupied Territories in the Gaza Strip speak candidly about creating a framework that has had a profound global impact. Sponsored by the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the award includes a $5000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “We the Jury recognize THE LAW IN THESE PARTS for its brilliance and simplicity, turning the issues of history in Israel and the Palestinian Territories into a broader and more direct question: How precisely do civilized democracies process legally and morally complex actions in the name of survival? Viewing legislation through the lens of the people who enacted it long ago with a modern and forward-looking sense of filmmaking as art, THE LAW IN THESE PARTS reveals the fragile nature of international law in contemporary conflict.”

 The HBO Documentary Films Emerging Artist Award was shared by the directors of two films: Bill Ross and Turner Ross for TCHOUPITOULAS (P: Bill Ross, Turner Ross; USA), and Benjamin Kahlmeyer for MEANWHILE IN MAMELODI (P: Boris Frank;GermanySouth Africa). The HBO Documentary Films Emerging Artist Award is sponsored by HBO Documentary Films. Jury statement: “We the Jury recognize these films because they have an indelible sense of place while speaking to universal concerns of community. We also recognize these films as they represent a superb combination of both the constructed and the found. While each film shows us places we think we know, whether New Orleans or Pretoria, both use the tools and craft of non-fiction storytelling to give the viewer different perspectives and new insights. The Jury awards these prizes in recognition of the merits of these films, but also to note how strongly and sincerely we look forward to the future works from these filmmakers as they continue to push the medium forward.”

The award for Best Mid-Length Documentary was presented to MY THAI BRIDE (D/P: David Tucker; Australia), the story of a Welshman’s complicated marriage to an attractive younger Thai woman. Sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts, the award includes a $3000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “MY THAI BRIDE is a film that takes the story of an unlikely couple and through subtle analysis extends their human dramas into a moving examination of political, cultural and economic power dynamics. It is a film that destabilizes its viewer's empathy through a nuanced and even-handed portrayal of charged, contradictory terrain, and reframes who exactly is the conqueror and conquered.” The Shorts and Mid-Length Jury also gave an honourable mention to NESSA (D: Loghman Khaledi; P: Katayoon Shahabi; Iran).

The award for Best Short Documentary was presented to FIVE FRAGMENTS OF THE EXTINCT EMPATHY (D: Anna Nykyri; P: Joonas Berghäll; Finland), which lays bare Finland’s antipathy towards dealing with domestic violence. The award includes a $3000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “In just seven minutes this film creates a poetry of contraction between its stunning black and white imagery and grandiose music, to illustrate how cycles of violence persist and are imprinted upon the faces of Finnish women.” The Shorts and Mid-Length Jury also gave an honourable mention to FAMILY NIGHTMARE (D/P: Dustin Guy Defa; USA).

For a complete list of award recipients, please visit:


Popular posts from this blog

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 2 aka The Miscasting of Renée Zellweger


Appaloosa wasn't on my "Must See" list of films, simply because my Festival experience is seeing the films without the big stars that may not get distributed. Appaloosa is directed by my love, Ed Harris (who also stars in the film) and has such notable names as Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. I love Westerns, and an invite to the film had me in line at the elegant Elgin Theatre. While I enjoyed the Marshall (Harris) and his gun-toting, literate sidekick (Mortenssen) battling it out with the bad guy (Irons), I did not enjoy Renée Zellweger in the role of the woman who clings to whatever alpha male is dominating the scene. I kept trying to re-cast her, but it wasn't until I got home that Virginia Madsen's name popped into my head. Virginia would have been perfect and also luminous. Renée may be from Texas, but I wasn't buying her in this one. If you think I'm being harsh everything I've just written was also said by two guys walking behi…

Ross Petty's Sleeping Beauty BFFs: Meet Alexandra Beaton & Taveeta Szymanowicz

Fall/winter theatre favourite Ross Petty Productions is back with another fairy-tale pantomime! This year's treat is Sleeping Beauty-The Deliriously Dreamy Family Musical. The beauty is Kinky Boots star, AJ Bridal and playing her best pals are Alexandra Beaton and Taveeta Szymanowicz of Family Channel's The Next Steps. Taveeta and Alexandra were in rehearsals but took time out to share some insights into their roles.

donna g: Were either of you familiar with pantomime before being cast in Ross Petty's version of Sleeping Beauty?
Taveeta: Yes! I saw Ross's production of Peter Pan when I was in Elementary school. I remember having such a lovely time. I was thus very excited when I was cast in Ross's 2015/16 production of Peter Pan in Wonderland last year. I was thrilled to be cast again this year! 
Alexandra: Of course! Growing up in Toronto, going to the Panto at Christmas  time was a tradition for a lot of my friends. I even saw a few myself.
donna g: You both play Bea…

TIFF16 Day 5: Lion, (re)ASSIGNMENT, Julieta and a monk

Five days into TIFF16 and I'm exhausted. Its a happy tired for most of us who cover the festival, because we love film and we want others to love film too, which is why we share what we've been up to. We want to communicate the passion that is in the air around the central hub at King and John streets, the cinemas, and the stages that show the films and host the conversations.

Yesterday, I began my morning standing in the rush line on Queen Street, around the corner from the Elgin Theatre (called the Visa Screening Room during TIFF) waiting to see if I could get into the public screening of Lion, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. I was number 78 in the line but I got in and had a bird's eye view of the screen from my lovely single seat next to a column in the balcony.

I rarely cry at the movies, but Lion got me in end. Upon sharing this shocking news on social media some friends of mine quickly let me know that they teared up too. This from a feel good movie where we …