Hot Docs Audience Award Rankings: May 5 - ‘Step’ Maintains Lead, Canadian Titles Go Dark

Step’s Tayla Solomon, Cori Grainger, and Blessing Giraldo at Sundance Film Festival.
Photo by Jeff Vespa / Fox Searchlight Pictures


By Pat Mullen

Call your Vegas bookies for tips! Hot Docs adds some mystery to the Audience Award race! In an effort to build an element of surprise, the festival is masking the Canadian titles from the Audience Award rankings. Canuck contenders for the Rogers Audience Award, which is a new award that gives a $50,000 cash prize to the top Canadian doc, now appear in the list as “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award.” Tracking the Canadian films becomes somewhat tricky moving forward since most of the top docs still have at least one screening to go.

Canadian docs in the lead yesterday included Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, Birth of a Family, Bee Nation and A Better Man, while Charles Wilksinson’s eco doc Vancouver: No Fixed Address and Bobbi Jo Hart’s trans-ballet doc Rebels on Pointe premiered yesterday. One can guess that Rumble is still in the lead given that it sat between Step and Long Strange Trip in the previously tally and none of the three films screened yesterday.

Step continues to hold the lead going into the weekend, while eco doc Chasing Coral from previous Audience Award winner Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Ice) creeps up the list and The Last Animals joins the ranks following its Scotiabank Big Ideas screening.

The Top 20 Films in the race for the Hot Docs Audience Award are:

  1. Step
  2. “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award”
  3. Long Strange Trip
  4. Dolores
  5. Chasing Coral
  6. “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award”
  7. Muhi – Generally Temporary
  8. La Chana
  9. Unrest
  10. Becoming Bond
  11. The Last Animals
  12. “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award”
  13. “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award”
  14. Strad Stye
  15. Becoming Who I Was
  16. “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award”
  17. Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS
  18. “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award”
  19. Shadowman
  20. “Film in contention for Rogers Audience Award”

Visit the POV Hot Docs Hub for more coverage from this year’s festival!