The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival has named Montreal-based producer Ina Fichman as the recipient of this year’s Don Haig Award.
The honor — now in its 13th year — is presented annually to a Canadian independent producer with a feature documentary competing at the Toronto-set festival. The award, which is selected by a jury of independent producers, recognizes a producer for her or his body of work, creative vision and commitment to mentoring emerging Canadian filmmakers.
Fichman, who is the founder of Intuitive Pictures, will be presented with the award, along with a US$7,800 (CAD$10,000) prize, at the Hot Docs Awards Presentation on May 4.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition from my esteemed colleagues and friends from the Canadian documentary community,” said Fichman in a statement. “This important acknowledgement of the work of creative documentary producers cannot be underestimated. I raise my glass to my dear producer colleagues who embody the extraordinary passion, generosity and commitment required to produce documentary films.”
Over her illustrious 25-year career, Fichman has produced a number of award-winning documentary and fiction films for television and theatrical release, including animated documentary feature The Wanted 18; feature doc Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt, which won the Best Documentary prize at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival; Undying Love; Being Dorothy; Black Coffee; S&M: Short and Male; and Malls R Us.
Her forthcoming productions include Blue Box, which received the Best Canadian pitch prize at the 2017 Hot Docs Forum; Inside Lehman Brothers; Kyiv-Kozyntyn; and the virtual reality project Once Upon A Sea.
Fichman’s Intuitive Pictures has also backed Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan’s The Oslo Diaries and Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei’s Laila at the Bridge, both of which are featured in this year’s Hot Docs festival.
As part of the Award, the recipient can name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Telefilm Canada, and professional development opportunities at the Hot Docs Festival to further her career path. Fichman has selected Montreal-based producers Fanny Drew and Sarah Mannering from Colonnelle Films as the recipients of this prize.
Past winners of the Don Haig Award include filmmakers Daniel Cross (2017), Ed Barreveld (2016), Anne Pick (2015), Michael McNamara (2014), Merit Jensen Carr (2013), Mia Donovan (2012), Rama Rau (2011), Philip Lyall and Nimisha Mukerji (2010), Brett Gaylor (2009), Yung Chang (2008), Hubert Davis (2007), and Guylaine Dionne (2006).
With files from Playback’s Regan Reid