Hilda Flavia Nakabuye at a protest in Copenhagen, 2019

Dear Future Children Wins Audience Award at Hot Docs

Franz Böhm's portrait of youth activists is audience favourite

4 mins read

Dear Future Children won this year’s Hot Docs Audience Award as the overall favourite. The film about youth activists, directed by Franz Böhm, scored highest in overall votes from the audience. Dear Future Children is now eligible in the Oscar race for Best Documentary Feature without having to complete the usual theatrical run. The film sat atop the audience rankings during the final days of the festival and held the top spot, notably sustaining itself through pure love from the audience as a word of mouth sleeper hit.

Other audience award winners included Spirit to Soar, directed by Tanya Talaga and Michelle Derosier in the mid-length feature category. Oscar nominee A Concerto Is a Conversation, directed by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers, won the audience award for best short doc. Hot Docs also named five winners for the Rogers Audience Award for Canadian favourites. Fanny: The Right to Rock led the pack, followed by Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy, Someone Like Me, Still Max, and Hell or Clean Water. Each film received $10,000 courtesy of the Rogers Group of Funds.

This year’s virtual edition of Hot Docs felt more like the usual buzz of excitement as the festival expanded its roster of live events and Q&As. High profile conversations at Hot Docs 2021 included extended Q&As with Deepak Chopra following the opening night screening of Ann Shin’s A.rtificial I.mmortality and a master class with Questlove in conjunction with the Hot Docs premiere of Summer of Soul.

“By all accounts, this year’s Festival exceeded our wildest expectations. Audiences from every province and territory in Canada and a record number of industry professionals and filmmakers from across the globe came together online to celebrate the power of documentary to inform, entertain, engage and inspire,” said Alan Black, managing director of Hot Docs, in a statement from the festival. “We are so proud to have played a part in helping filmmakers find new audiences and opportunities, and overjoyed that audiences were so moved. Our sincerest thanks to our community and our partners who made this Festival possible. We can’t wait to meet again in person next year.”

The top 20 films in the Hot Docs Audience Award rankings are as follows:

  1. Dear Future Children
  2. Writing with Fire
  3. FANNY: The Right to Rock
  4. Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy
  5. Someone Like Me
  6. Still Max
  7. Hell or Clean Water
  8. Subjects of Desire
  9. Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
  10. One of Ours
  11. A Once and Future Peace
  12. We Are the Thousand
  13. Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra
  14. Imad’s Childhood
  15. It Is Not Over Yet
  16. Rebel Hearts
  17. With Drawn Arms
  18. Spirit to Soar
  19. In the Same Breath
  20. Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Top 5 Shorts

  1. A Concerto Is a Conversation
  2. The Hairdresser
  3. Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again
  4. Recorder Queen
  5. TIEThe Train Station and The White Death of the Black Wizard

 

Top 5 Midlengths

  1. Spirit to Soar
  2. Becoming
  3. Holy Bread
  4. Only I Can Hear
  5. Dropstones

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, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association.

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