Hot Docs Adds Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature

Last year’s Audience Award Winner Angry Inuk
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril / NFB

By Pat Mullen

Hot Docs announced today the addition of the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature. The prize carries a purse of $50,000 for the film that receives the highest vote from Hot Docs audiences. The award is sponsored and established by the Rogers Group of Funds.

To be eligible for the award, a film must meet CRTC criteria as a Canadian production or co-production and be among the new programming for the festival. (Retro/Focus On selections are not eligible.)

“Rogers Group of Funds has been an incredible long-standing supporter of Hot Docs and its filmmakers, and they share the same passion and commitment for documentary film that our audiences do,” said Hot Docs executive director Brett Hendrie in a statement from the festival. “We’re extremely proud that with them – and with our audiences – we’ll be able to reward one of our talented Canadian filmmakers with such a generous cash prize at this year’s Festival.”

“We’re thrilled to sponsor this award at Hot Docs and to support and celebrate the excellence of our Canadian filmmakers,” added Robin Mirsky, executive director of Rogers Group of Funds. “Recognising the Festival audience’s favourite Canadian film in this way shines a much-deserved spotlight that encourages even more audiences across the country and around the world to discover and experience it.”

Hot Docs will announce the winner of the award on the final night of the festival, which will include an encore screening of the winning film.

Canadian films dominated last year’s Audience Award rankings with Angry Inuk, The Apology, Spirit Unforgettable_ and Hip Hop Evolution polling highest with festival attendees.

Hot Docs runs April 27-May7, 2017. *Please visit for more information on this year’s festival.