Hot Docs Names EyeSteelFilm’s Bob Moore 2020 Don Haig Award Recipient

Bob Moore
Photo courtesy of Hot Docs

By Pat Mullen

Bob Moore is this year’s recipient of the Don Haig Award from Hot Docs. The festival announced the news today via a release. Moore has produced over 35 documentaries as co-president and creative producer of Montreal’s EyeSteelFilm since 2008. Among EyeSteelFilm’s credits for the 2020 Hot Docs selections are the festival’s opening night film Softie, as well as Wintopia, Dope Is Death, and Influence. The Don Haig Award recognizes a Canadian producer with a selection in the festival and an overall body of work that demonstrates creative vision and entrepreneurship.

“I’m so proud to be able to accept this award on behalf of the wonderful team at EyeSteelFilm. These last few months have really reinforced the power of collaboration in the documentary filmmaking process, whatever form that might take,” said Moore in a statement from Hot Docs. “I feel immense gratitude for the friends, colleagues, mentors, and partners that I’ve been able to share the process with. The fact that I get to collaborate with so many filmmakers from across Canada and around the world has given me the opportunity to learn so much over the years, and likewise share the arcane knowledge that I’ve gained through trial and many, many errors. Having grown up in a family of teachers, it’s particularly touching for me to be named in connection with Don Haig’s rich legacy of mentorship and fostering of the documentary community.”

Moore’s productions with EyeSteel are staples at Hot Docs. The company has debuted prominent titles at the festival every year for the past decade. Recent EyeSteel productions or co-productions at Hot Docs include Anote’s Ark, Let There Be Light, Tokyo Idols, and Angry Inuk, which won the 2016 Audience Award. EyeSteelFilm also had two co-productions in this year’s World Cinema Documentary competition at Sundance with Influence and Softie. Other notable titles in the company’s catalogue under Moore include Lixin Fan’s acclaimed Last Train Home, which won the Genie Award and the LA Film Critics Award for Best Documentary along with two News and Documentary Emmy Awards and three awards from the CinemaEye Honors. Moore’s work with EyeSteelFilm includes overseeing the company’s theatrical releases.

Moore was selected as the Don Haig Award recipient by an independent jury of his peers and receives a $5000 cash prize courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation. The award also invites Moore to select an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a complimentary All-Access pass for Hot Docs 2021. Moore’s selection is Myanmar-based director and producer Snow (Hnin Ei Hlaing). Snow is the director of EyeSteelFilm’s co-production Midwives, which won the first look prize at last year’s Hot Docs Forum.

“Snow’s courage, sensitivity, and steadfast positivity in the face of challenges have been an inspiration to me and to our team,” said Moore in a statement. “Her work is also a reminder to those of us in so-called developed countries that the world remains a complicated and dangerous place, and that the work of documentary filmmakers in bringing forth our shared human experience is becoming all the more crucial.”

Moore is the fifteenth recipient of the annual award. Previous winners of the Don Haig Award include Peter Raymont, Ina Fichman, and EyeSteelFilm’s founder Daniel Cross.