Eternal Spring | Loft Sky Pictures

Eternal Spring Named Overall Audience Favourite at Hot Docs

Film tops ballot after winning the Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Film

4 mins read

Eternal Spring remains the overall audience favourite at Hot Docs. The festival announced today that the film by Jason Loftus won the Hot Docs Audience Award in addition to the Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Film announced yesterday. Eternal Spring revisits the 2002 hijacking of a Chinese television station by members of the Falun Gong with one of the events participants, Daxiong, working in close collaboration with Loftus to recreate the drama through animation. The film previously won $25,000 with Rogers prize.

The runners-up for the Rogers Audience Award, Okay! (The ASD Band Film), directed by Mark Bone, and Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children, directed by Barri Cohen, topped the overall list as well in second and third place, respectively. Canadian films performed strongly in the overall audience rankings with Shane Belcourt’s Beautiful Scars in fourth, Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux and Kirk Thomas’s Handle with Care in seventh, Chloe Sosa-Sims’ Hunting in Packs in eighth, Reg Harkema’s The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks in ninth, and Noura Kevorkian’s Batata rounding out the top ten. The festival also named Sexual Healing, directed by Elsbeth Fraanje, and Dad Can Dance, directed by Jamie Ross, as the Audience Award winners for mid-length and short film, respectively.

“The past 11 days have been an exhilarating and deeply rewarding experience after a three-year pause to our in-person Festival,” shared Chris McDonald, President of Hot Docs, in a statement from the festival. “We are proud of the multitude of rich, important, and timely stories that were shared at Hot Docs 2022, proving that documentary cinema matters more than ever. We are thankful to our volunteers, filmmakers, industry stakeholders and partners who helped make this year such a success, and we look forward to celebrating 30 years of Hot Docs at next year’s Festival.”


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

  1. Eternal Spring (D: Jason Loftus | P: Jason Loftus, Masha Loftus, Yvan Pinard, Kevin Koo | Canada)
  2. Okay! (The ASD Band Film) (D: Mark Bone | P: Gregory Rosati, Amalie Bruun | Canada)
  3. Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children (D: Barri Cohen | P: Craig Baines | Canada)
  4. Beautiful Scars (D: Shane Belcourt | P: Corey Russell | Canada)
  5. The Smell of Money (D: Shawn Bannon | P: Shawn Bannon, Jamie Berger | USA)
  6. Navalny (D: Daniel Roher | P: Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris | USA)
  7. Handle with Care: The Legend of the Notic Streetball Crew (D: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, Kirk Thomas | P: Ryan Sidhoo | Canada)
  8. Hunting in Packs (D: Chloe Sosa-Sims | P: Hannah Donegan, Ann Shin | Canada)
  9. The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks (D: Reg Harkema | P: Nick McKinney, Kim Creelman | Canada, USA)
  10. Batata (D: Noura Kevorkian | P: Paul Scherzer, Noura Kevorkian | Canada, Lebanon, Qatar)
  11. Returning Home (D: Sean Stiller | P: Andrew Lovesey, Gilles Gagnier | Canada)
  12. The Quiet Epidemic (D: Lindsay Keys, Winslow Crane-Murdoch | P: Daria Lombroso, Lindsay Keys, Chris Hegedus | USA)
  13. Category: Woman (D: Phyllis Ellis | P: Phyllis Ellis, Howard Fraiberg | Canada)
  14. In the Eye of the Storm: The Political Odyssey of Yanis Varoufakis (D: Raoul Martinez | P: Sol Tryon, Amir Amirani | UK)
  15. How Saba Kept Singing (D: Sara Taksler | P: Sara Taksler | USA)
  16. The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith (D: Nathalie Bibeau | P: Tara Jan | Canada | 2022)
  17. Dad Can Dance (D: Jamie Ross | P: Jamie Ross | Canada)
  18. Who We Will Have Been (D: Erec Brehmer, Angelina Zeidler | P: Erec Brehmer | Germany)
  19. Alis (D: Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf | P: Alexandra Galvis, Radu Stancu, Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf | Colombia, Romania, Chile)
  20. Relative (D: Tracey Arcabasso Smith | P: Tracey Arcabasso Smith, Laura Poitras, Jenya James Hamidi | USA)


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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