Hot Docs Names Ina Fichman Don Haig Award Recipient

By Pat Mullen

Ina Fichman is having a very good year. The Montreal-based producer was named the recipient of this year’s Don Haig Award at Hot Docs today. The award is presented to an outstanding Canadian independent producer in recognition of her artistic vision and business savvy. A jury of producers selects the winner and considers her films at the current festival in addition their full body of work and history of mentoring new talent. Fichman has two films at the festival this year, The Oslo Diaries, directed by Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan, and Laila at the Bridge, directed by Elizabeth Mirzaei, Gulistan Mirzaei, both of which hit Hot Docs after high profile distribution deals and festival wins earlier this year.

The Oslo Diaries debuted at Sundance in January to positive reviews and was snapped up by HBO. Laila at the Bridge won the prestigious F:ACT Award at Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX for its mix of activism and auteurist vision. Fichman has over 25 years experience producing documentaries and has been a strong voice for co-production through her Montreal company Intuitive Pictures. Her recent films include Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt, Monsoon, The Wanted 18, and Gift. Her 2002 film Undying Love won a Gemini for Best History Documentary Program.

“It is an honour to receive this recognition from my esteemed colleagues and friends from the Canadian documentary community,” said Fichman in a statement from Hot Docs. “This important acknowledgement of the work of creative documentary producers cannot be underestimated. I raise my glass to my dear producer colleagues who embody the extraordinary passion, generosity and commitment required to produce documentary films.”

Fichman will be presented with a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation and Telefilm Canada, at the Hot Docs Awards Presentation on Friday, May 4. As part of the award’s spirit for mentorship, Fichman can name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Telefilm Canada, and professional development opportunities at the Hot Docs Festival to further her career path. Fichman has chosen Montreal-based producers Fanny Drew and Sarah Mannering (Welcome to FL, Gulîstan, Land of Roses) as the recipients.

Hot Docs runs April 26 to May 6. Please visit hotdocs.ca for more info