Toronto, May 9, 2022— Hot Docs 2022 wrapped last night, bringing 225 films from 63 countries to audiences in Toronto cinemas and across Canada online. The 11-day hybrid festival featured 318 live screenings on nine screens at four venues across the city with 223 live filmmaker Q&As, and five special extended discussions with filmmakers and special guests as part of the Big Ideas Series, presented by Scotia Wealth Management. Further building on national audiences cultivated by the past two online editions, all official selections also streamed nationwide during the 2022 Festival with additional content, including recorded filmmaker Q&As, a panel discussion presented with UNHCR, and two special Curious Minds sessions, which paired films with panel discussions featuring subject experts.  

“The past 11 days have been an exhilarating and deeply rewarding experience after a three-year pause to our in-person Festival,” shared Chris McDonald, President of Hot Docs. “We are proud of the multitude of rich, important, and timely stories that were shared at Hot Docs 2022, proving that documentary cinema matters more than ever. We are thankful to our volunteers, filmmakers, industry stakeholders and partners who helped make this year such a success, and we look forward to celebrating 30 years of Hot Docs at next year’s Festival.” 

The Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, which recognizes the top Canadian feature as determined by audience poll and awards cash prizes totaling $50,000 to the top three Canadian features in that poll, was announced last night at a special free encore screening at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Eternal Spring (D: Jason Loftus | P: Jason Loftus, Masha Loftus, Yvan Pinard, Kevin Koo | Canada), in which exiled Chinese illustrator Daxiong recreates the daring hack of Chinese state television by activists, placed first and received the top prize of $25,000 CDN. Okay! (The ASD Band Film) (D: Mark Bone | P: Gregory Rosati, Amalie Bruun | Canada), a backstage look at a band of four talented autistic musicians as they prepare for their first live show, placed second and received a $15,000 CDN prize. Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children (D: Barri Cohen | P: Craig Baines | Canada), a searing account of abuse inside Ontario’s oldest government-run home for disabled children, placed third and was awarded $10,000 CDN.  

Hot Docs Audience Awards are determined by votes submitted by Festival audiences after in-person screenings and via the Hot Docs at Home streaming platform. At the close of the Festival, it was determined that Eternal Spring also placed first in the overall audience poll and won the Hot Docs Audience Award in addition to the Rogers Audience Award.  

The top mid-length film in the audience poll, winning the Audience Award for Mid-Length Documentary, was Sexual Healing (D: Elsbeth Fraanje | P: Willem Baptist, Nienke Korthof | Netherlands), in which a middle-aged disabled woman explores what intimacy means to her. The top short film, winning the Audience Award for Short Documentary, was Dad Can Dance (D: Jamie Ross | P: Jamie Ross | Canada), the self-affirming story of a son who discovers his father’s long-buried secret passion for ballet.  

The 20 documentaries in the audience poll are: 

1.      Eternal Spring (D: Jason Loftus | P: Jason Loftus, Masha Loftus, Yvan Pinard, Kevin Koo | Canada)

2.      Okay! (The ASD Band Film) (D: Mark Bone | P: Gregory Rosati, Amalie Bruun | Canada)

3.      Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children (D: Barri Cohen | P: Craig Baines | Canada)

4.      Beautiful Scars (D: Shane Belcourt | P: Corey Russell | Canada)

5.      The Smell of Money (D: Shawn Bannon | P: Shawn Bannon, Jamie Berger | USA)

6.      Navalny (D: Daniel Roher | P: Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris | USA)

7.      Handle with Care: The Legend of the Notic Streetball Crew (D: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, Kirk Thomas | P: Ryan Sidhoo | Canada)

8.      Hunting in Packs (D: Chloe Sosa-Sims | P: Hannah Donegan, Ann Shin | Canada)

9.      The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks (D: Reg Harkema | P: Nick McKinney, Kim Creelman | Canada, USA)

10.   Batata (D: Noura Kevorkian | P: Paul Scherzer, Noura Kevorkian | Canada, Lebanon, Qatar)

11.   Returning Home (D: Sean Stiller | P: Andrew Lovesey, Gilles Gagnier | Canada)

12.   The Quiet Epidemic (D: Lindsay Keys, Winslow Crane-Murdoch | P: Daria Lombroso, Lindsay Keys, Chris Hegedus | USA)

13.   Category: Woman (D: Phyllis Ellis | P: Phyllis Ellis, Howard Fraiberg | Canada)

14.   In the Eye of the Storm: The Political Odyssey of Yanis Varoufakis (D: Raoul Martinez | P: Sol Tryon, Amir Amirani | UK)

15.   How Saba Kept Singing (D: Sara Taksler | P: Sara Taksler | USA)

16.   The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith (D: Nathalie Bibeau | P: Tara Jan | Canada | 2022)

17.   Dad Can Dance (D: Jamie Ross | P: Jamie Ross | Canada)

18.   Who We Will Have Been (D: Erec Brehmer, Angelina Zeidler | P: Erec Brehmer | Germany)

19.   Alis (D: Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf | P: Alexandra Galvis, Radu Stancu, Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf | Colombia, Romania, Chile)

20.   Relative (D: Tracey Arcabasso Smith | P: Tracey Arcabasso Smith, Laura Poitras, Jenya James Hamidi | USA)

Hot Docs’ wildly popular Docs For School program also ran during the Festival, offering teachers across Canada free access to 13 films, including five official selections from this year’s Festival, and accompanying teaching resource linked to curriculum. Hot Docs also presented a hybrid edition of its annual market and conference, welcoming 1,941 delegates from 74 countries. The Hot Docs Industry LIVE program featured three days of knowledge sessions and networking events and online offerings included Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Dealmaker and Distribution Rendezvous, along with additional industry content. 

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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