Canadian festival Hot Docs is to honor Women Make Movies (WMM) executive director Debra Zimmerman (pictured) with the 2013 Doc Mogul Award, recognizing her contribution to the documentary industry.
The award “recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both at home and abroad,” and will be presented to Zimmerman – who has held her WMM role since 1983 – at this year’s festival.
“Debra’s passion, energy and leadership have had a remarkable impact on the world of film,” said Hot Docs executive director Chris McDonald in a statement. “During her tenure, Women Make Movies has helped hundreds of female filmmakers create and distribute game-changing, award-winning and mind-blowing films. We look forward to welcoming her back to Hot Docs and celebrating her as the 2013 Doc Mogul.”
Past winners of the Doc Mogul Award include Participant Media’s Diane Weyermann (in 2012), IDFA’s Ally Derks (2011), Films Transit International’s Jan Rofekamp (2010), HBO’s Sheila Nevins (2009), the BBC’s Nick Fraser (2008) and The Knowledge Network’s Rudy Buttignol (2007).
Zimmerman said: “I am truly honored to have been chosen as 2013′s Doc Mogul. As the largest documentary film festival in North America, Hot Docs is such an important force for documentary filmmakers worldwide. And the list of formers Doc Moguls is so impressive! To receive this award means a great deal to me and Women Make Movies.”
The award comes after WMM last year celebrated its 40th anniversary. Since her appointment as the not-for-profit’s exec director, Zimmerman has overseen the non-profit film organization’s growth into the world’s largest distributor of films by and about women, as well as helped hundreds of women get their films made through the organization’s Production Assistance Program.
Zimmerman will receive her Doc Mogul Award at a luncheon in her honor, to be held on April 30 during Hot Docs, which this year takes place in Toronto from April 25-May 5.