Docs

Hot Docs Forum names recipients of $50,000 in pitch prizes

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival unveiled today (May 5) the three projects that took home cash pitch prizes from this year’s Hot Docs Forum, the festival’s annual ...
May 5, 2022

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival unveiled today (May 5) the three projects that took home cash pitch prizes from this year’s Hot Docs Forum, the festival’s annual industry event for documentary filmmakers seeking co-financing to complete their projects.

A total of CA$40,000 was distributed through the Hot Docs First Look program, a curated access program for philanthropic supporters of and investors in documentary film. The top prize of $25,000 was awarded to The Queendom (pictured) from director Otilia Portillo, which focuses on three Indigenous women scientists in Mexico who use their knowledge of fungi to help preserve their threatened forests and villages. The film is produced by Oscura Producciones S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), with Paula Arroio Sandoval as producer and Elena Fortes as executive producer.

The second prize in the First Look program, with a value of $15,000, went to Marjan Khosravi’s A Woman’s Path, about a woman who is forced to abandon her nomadic lifestyle after being betrayed by her family. The doc is produced by Seven Spring Pictures (Iran) and Lukimedia (Spain), with Milad Khosravi and Stephanie Von Lukowicz serving as producers.

The Forum’s third award was the CMF-Hot Docs Forum Canadian Pitch Prize, a $10,000 prize presented in partnership with the Canadian Media Fund that is awarded to the best Canadian pitch in the Forum. This year’s winner was Untitled Labor Union Documentary from directors Stephen Maing (Crime + Punishment) and Brett Story (The Hottest August), which chronicles the unionizing efforts of workers taking on one of the world’s most powerful companies. Level Ground Productions (U.S.) and Oh Ratface Films (Canada) are the prodcos behind the project, with Mars Verrone and Samantha Curley producing.

A total of 20 projects were pitched in this year’s Hot Docs Forum to a live panel of more than 50 international funders and decision-makers, as well as filmmakers, producers and other observers. Additionally, the festival’s Deal Maker program, which arranges curated one-on-one pitch meetings, saw 55 projects pitched in more than 750 meetings with more than 96 decision-makers. A further 114 completed projects seeking distribution funding took part in more than 900 meetings with decision-makers through the festival’s Distribution Rendezvous program.

The public screening program for the 2022 Hot Docs festival continues through May 8.

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