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Eternal Spring Is New Leader in Hot Docs Audience Award Race

Animated documentary leads May 4 update

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Another day, another leader! Eternal Spring makes its appearance atop the list of Hot Docs Audience Award rankings in today’s update. The film directed by Jason Loftus is an animated exploration of a 2002 hijacking of a Chinese television station. Eternal Spring draws upon the animation of Chinese artist Daxiong, who participated in the event with fellow practitioners of Falun Gong. The film’s debut in number one marks the fifth consecutive time that a Canadian film and contender for the Rogers Audience Award took the top spot.

Yesterday’s leader, Beautiful Scars, dropped to ninth place in the update. Curiously, every film has fallen to exactly ninth after losing the top spot. Previous leader Okay! (The ASD Band Film) held at eighth following its encore theatrical screening yesterday, while Batata dropped from ninth to eighteenth. New films on the list include the Icelandic music doc Band, which debuted in the runner-up spot, Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, which made its appearance in third place, and Unloved, directed by POV’s own Barri Cohen, debuting in sixth overall and in third for the Rogers Audience Award. Unloved had its world premiere yesterday at Hot Docs in an emotional event that featured many survivors of the Huronia Regional Care centre present to speak to the abuse they faced at the institution. Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was also in attendance, having made the province’s official apology for the harm committed by the institution.


The Hot Docs Audience Award ratings as of May 4 are as follows:


  1. Eternal Spring
  2. Band
  3. The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks
  4. Silent Beauty
  5. Who We Will Have Been
  6. Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children
  7. Atomic Hope – Inside the Pro-Nuclear Movement
  8. Okay! (The ASD Band Film)
  9. Beautiful Scars
  10. Hunting in Packs
  11. Category: Woman
  12. Quiet Epidemic
  13. Navalny
  14. Alis
  15. The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith
  16. Smell of Money
  17. How Saba Kept Singing
  18. Batata
  19. Returning Home
  20. Sam Now

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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