Canadian festival Hot Docs has named Winnipeg-based producer Merit Jensen Carr (pictured) as this year’s recipient of the Don Haig Award.
She receives a CAD$10,000 (US$9,860) cash prize, sponsored by the CBC-owned Documentary channel and to be presented at the Hot Docs Summit on May 3.
The Don Haig Award recognizes creative vision and entrepreneurship, body of work, and a track record of mentoring emerging Canadian filmmakers. It is presented to an outstanding Canadian indie producer with a feature-length film in competition at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
“Producing documentaries in Canada is not for the faint of heart – it is a tough and competitive business,” said Hot Docs executive director Chris McDonald in a statement. ” The newly re-envisioned award recognizes these stalwarts and champions their work.”
Jensen Carr is the producer of Special Ed, directed by John Paskievich, which will have its world premiere at Hot Docs today (April 29). She is also the founder of indie Merit Motion Pictures, which produces documentary programs, series and theatrical films.
Among her career highlights, Jensen Carr exec produced the 65-part, Gemini award-winning series Recreating Eden, as well as the four-part series One Ocean and its interactive website One Ocean Interactive, co-produced with CBC’s The Nature of Things and National Geographic International. Her feature documentary debut, TuTuMuch, which is about young ballet dancers, is slated for a New York release later this year.
Special Ed also screens during Hot Docs on April 30 and May 4.