‘The 8th’ and ‘Forbidden Reel’ Take Top Spots in Hot Docs Audience Award Race

The 8th
Courtesy of Hot Docs


Another day, another shake up! Today’s update for the Hot Docs Audience Award rankings sees a new film creep up to number one. After Welcome to Chechnya took the lead yesterday, The 8th claimed the frontrunner status after holding the runner-up spot in previous rankings. The 8th, directed by Aideen Kane, Maeve O’Boyle, and Lucy Kennedy, chronicles the fight for abortion rights in Ireland. The film is a Hot Docs world premiere screening in the Persister program devoted to stories of female empowerment.

On the Canadian front, the race for the Rogers Audience Award has perhaps the biggest shake up in the rankings so far. After being absent from the top five for the Rogers Audience Award during previous updates, Ariel Nasr’s NFB doc The Forbidden Reel debuted at number one. Forbidden Reel sits at number three overall in the Audience Award favourites, which marks the highest ranking so far for a Canadian film during this year’s edition of Hot Docs. Nasr’s film is a loving tribute to the history of Afghan cinema and a significant essay about preserving culture and representation through images.

This year’s Rogers Audience Award will share the wealth of the annual $50,000 prize among the top five Canadian features. All viewers at Hot Docs’ online festival receive one vote per streaming purchase. Voting remains open until end of day on June 6.

  1. The 8th
  2. Welcome to Chechnya
  3. The Forbidden Reel
  4. Green Blood
  5. Sanmao. The Desert Bride
  6. Transhood
  7. 9/11 Kids
  8. Coded Bias
  9. Lost Lives
  10. Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story
  11. First We Eat
  12. The Walrus and the Whistleblower
  13. Shut Up Sona
  14. There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace
  15. êmîcêtôcêt: Many Bloodlines (short)
  16. The Painter and the Thief
  17. The Reason I Jump
  18. Nancy’s Workshop (short)
  19. Eddy’s Kingdom
  20. Influence

The top five Canadian features in contention for the Rogers Audience Award are:

  1. The Forbidden Reel
  2. 9/11 Kids
  3. First We Eat
  4. The Walrus and the Whistleblower
  5. There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace

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