The Soldier's Lagoon | Pablo Álvarez Mesa

The Soldier’s Lagoon, Farming the Revolution Top Hot Docs Winners

Festival awards $75,000 in cash prizes

3 mins read

 The Soldier’s Lagoon and Farming the Revolution topped the winners at this year’s Hot Docs festival. The films won the prizes for Best Canadian Feature Documentary and Best International Documentary, respectively. The Soldier’s Lagoon, directed by Pablo Álvarez-Mesa, offers a poetic essay about the land and memory in Colombia. Farming the Revolution, directed by Nishta Jain, chronicles a year-long farmers’ strike in India. Both films received cash prizes of $10,000 with the former sponsored by Telefilm Canada and the latter by Hot Docs. Additionally, as winner for Best International Feature, Farming the Revolution is eligible for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature provided it meets all other qualifications.

Also qualifying for Oscars thanks to their Hot Docs wins are Am I the Skinniest Person You’ve Ever Seen? and Autism Plays Itself. The former is from director Eisha Marjar and won the Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary, while the latter scored Best International Short Documentary for Janet Harbord.

Overall, the festival handed out over $75,000 in cash prizes in the awards ceremony hosted by Garvia Bailey. The winner of the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award as the favourite Canadian feature will be named on Sunday with the overall festival favourite named after Hot Docs ends.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Canadian Feature Documentary: The Soldier’s LagoonPablo Álvarez-Mesa

DGC Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary: Any Other Way: The Jackie Shane Story – Michael Mabbott, Lucah Rosenberg-Lee, Amanda Burt, Sam Dunn, Scot McFayden, Justine Pimlott

Best International Feature Documentary Award: Farming the Revolution – Nishta Jain, Valérie Montmartin

Special Jury Prize – International Feature Documentary: Death of a Saint – Patricia Bbaale Bandak, Victor Rocha da Cunh

Land | Sea | Sky Award: The Battle for Laikipia – Daphne Matziaraki, Peter Murimi, Toni Kamau

Special mention: YintahJennifer Wickham, Brenda Michell, Michael Toledano, Bob Moore

Earl A. Glick Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award: Laurence Lévesque – Okurimono

Emerging International Filmmaker Award: Fan Wu – XiXi

Special mention: The Weavers’ Song – Ismael Vásquez Bernabé

Bill Nemtin Award for Best Social Impact Documentary: Standing Above the Clouds – Jalena Keane-Lee, Erin Lau, Amber Espinosa-Jones

Special mention: Devi – Subina Shrestha, Ashmita Chaudhary Khadka, Rosie Garthwaite, Heejung Oh

The Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary: Am I the Skinniest Person You’ve Ever Seen? – Eisha Marjar

Special mention: The Sparkle – Isabelle Grignon-Francke

Best International Short Documentary: Autism Plays Itself – Janet Harbord

Special mention: Christmas, Every Day – Faye Tsakas

Best Mid-Length Documentary: Silence of Reason – Kumjana Novakova

Special mention: The New Man – Carlos Yuri Ceuninck

Scotiabank Docs for Schools Student Choice Award: The StrikeJoeBill Muñoz, Lucas Guilkey

Outstanding Achievement Award: Raoul Peck

Don Haig Award: Alison Duke

Lindalee Tracey Award: Meysam Motazedi

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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