Is My Living in Vain

Canadian Titles Go Dark as Hot Docs Audience Award Race Remains Stable

Is My Living in Vain holds #1 spot

2 mins read

The Hot Docs Audience Award race get an element of surprise. As per tradition, the festival is masking Canadian contenders that are eligible for the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award heading into the final weekend. Someone Lives Here, Zack Russell’s portrait of Toronto’s housing crisis, held the rankings in yesterday’s update with a near ten-point lead over Without Precedent. Upstream, Alliopha, and Aitamaako’tamisskapi Natosi:Before the Sun previously rounded out the top five Canadian features, but the latter didn’t even crack the top 20 overall favourites.

As far as the overall rankings go, however, the top films remain steady. Ufuoma Essi’s Is My Living in Vain continues to dominate the leaderboard. The 41-minute film considers the role of the church in Black communities and draws upon voices of congregations in Philadelphia and London to reflect upon the church’s future. The race remains relatively static compared to previously years.

This year, Hot Docs changed its voting to electronic ballots. Festival attendees may scan a QR code at a screening and rate the film from 1 to 5. Voting closes thirty minutes after the screening ends.

The Hot Docs Audience Award rankings for May 4 are:

  1. Is My Living in Vain
  2. By Water
  3. Fauna
  4. Vicky
  5. Lac-Mégantic – This Is Not an Accident
  6. Silent House
  7. This film is eligible for the Rogers Audience Award
  8. 20 Days in Mariupol
  9. When Spring Came to Bucha
  10. Angel Applicant
  11. The American Gladiators Documentary
  12. Seven Winters in Tehran
  13. This film is eligible for the Rogers Audience Award
  14. Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudovic Reels
  15. Kanaval: A People’s History of Haiti in Six Chapters
  16. Roberta
  17. The Deepest Breath
  18. This film is eligible for the Rogers Audience Award
  19. This film is eligible for the Rogers Audience Award
  20. Who’s Afraid of Nathan Law?

Get more coverage from this year’s festival here.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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