‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Jumps to Number One in Hot Docs Audience Rankings

Welcome to Chechnya
Courtesy of Hot Docs

By Pat Mullen

Hot Docs have a new favourite! Welcome to Chechnya jumped up to the top spot in today’s update of the Hot Docs Audience Award rankings. The film ousted doc-series Green Blood, which previously held the number one slot for two days before falling to fourth place. Welcome to Chechnya previously won an editing prize at Sundance where it debuted to great acclaim. Read Inge Coolsaet’s review of the film here.

On the Canadian front, The Walrus and the Whistleblower maintained its lead, capturing the hearts of audiences with its story of whistleblower Phil Demers and his effort to free his beloved walrus Smooshi from Marineland while exposing allegations of animal cruelty at the iconic water park. The race for the Rogers Audience Award for Canadian films saw a fair bit of movement today with newcomer 9/11 Kids jumping into the fray and Stateless entering the top 20 as well. Both Influence and Eddy’s Kingdom took a tumble out of the top 20.

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.

The top 20 films according to the Hot Docs Audience Award rankings of June 3rd are:

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

Top five films in contention for the Rogers Audience Award are:

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

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