Hot Docs has revealed that it will present the Rogers Audience Award, and accompanying cash prizes totaling CA$50,000, to five Canadian filmmakers during the Hot Docs Festival Online.
Since being introduced at the 2017 Hot Docs Festival, the Rogers Audience Award and cash prize have traditionally been handed out to the top Canadian feature documentary screened at the Hot Docs Festival as determined by audience poll.
This year, however, the award will honor the top five Canadian documentaries in the audience poll by presenting each director with a CA$10,000 cash prize.
Eligible feature-length documentaries for this year’s Hot Docs Festival Online audience award must have a Canadian director attached and be certified by the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO).
Online voting will take place during the Hot Docs Festival Online, which runs May 28 to June 6, with electronic ballots made available to audience members who stream eligible films.
The five films with the highest average scores will then be announced during an online live event on June 7.
The 27th annual Hot Docs Festival, which was originally slated for April 30 to May 10, was postponed on March 13 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Festival organizers revealed on May 5 that the Hot Docs Festival Online would offer more than 135 official selections out of the 226 originally selected for the live event that will now participate in the digital event. Included in the selection are 91 feature and mid-length titles, as well as more than 45 short films.
Hot Docs Festival Online will extend a majority of films for post-festival viewing until June 24.
The film line-up is available here.
“Our change in approach this year is to support more of Canada’s outstanding documentary filmmakers during this challenging time for the entire artistic community and our homegrown production industry,” said Robin Mirsky, executive director for the Rogers Group of Funds, in a statement. “Canada has a long and successful history in producing outstanding documentaries that have the power to strengthen our culture, change perspectives, and drive social change.”
“Rogers Group of Funds has been a long-time supporter of Hot Docs and also an outstanding champion of Canada’s documentary community, and we cannot thank them enough for their generosity,” added Brett Hendrie, executive director of Hot Docs. “We’re thrilled to be able to partner with them to celebrate and honour the creative work of Canadian filmmakers with this award, especially in these uncertain times.”