Canadian and International Filmmakers get Hot Docs 2022 Awards worth $65,000

Hot Docs 2002 Banner

Toronto/CMEDIA: Winning documentaries with $65,000 CDN in cash and prizes in this year’s official competition and the recipients of additional awards honoring Canadian filmmakers were announced this morning by Hot Docs at the Hot Docs 2022 Awards Presentation at TIFF Bell Lightbox, hosted by arts journalist and co-founder of Media Girlfriends Garvia Bailey.

Of the thirteen awards in total given out, including nine awards for Festival films in competition, of which seven were won by female filmmakers.

The best Canadian documentary for The Rogers Audience Award will be announced on the last day of the Festival at a special encore screening at 7:00 pm at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

$50,000 cash prize will be shared by the top three Canadian features in the audience poll, courtesy of Rogers Group of Funds. The overall Audience Award winner will be announced after the Festival. 

The Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award, a $10,000 cash prize. sponsored by DOC and Telefilm Canada was presented to Geographies of Solitude (Directed by Jacquelyn Mills, Produced by Rosalie Chicoine Perreault, Jacquelyn Mills in Canada), in which naturalist and environmentalist Zoe Lucas shares her incredible life’s work.

Geographies of Solitude

Jury statement: “For its deft ability to reveal the complex intersections between the natural world and humanity’s excesses on a singular isolated island through strongly crafted and arresting visual and aural storytelling, the Canadian Features Jury presents the Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award to Geographies of Solitude.”     

The Best International Feature Documentary Award a $10,000 cash prize was given to Blue Island (directed by Chan Tze Woon, and produced by Peter Yam | Hong Kong, in Japan, Taiwan,  a hybrid film in which the aftermath of pro-documentary protests and the subsequent crackdown has been taken stock off in Hong Kong.

Blue Island 

Jury statement: “For its evocative use of re-enactments interwoven with traditional documentary forms to create a rich, socially-grounded cinematic tapestry, the jury is honoured to present the Best International Feature Documentary Award to Blue Island, directed by Chan Tze Woon.” 

The winner of the Best International Feature Documentary Award, Blue Island will qualify for consideration in the Best Documentary Feature category of the annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided they comply with Academy rules.       

The DGC Special Jury Prize, sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and DGC Ontario, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize for Canadian Feature Documentary was presented to Rojek (directed by Zaynê Akyol, and produced by P: Zaynê Akyol, Sylvain Corbeil, Audrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre in Canada). The feature documentary portrays a journey into Syrian detention centers that capture revealing conversations with key members of the Islamic State. 


Jury statement: “For its sensitive curiosity about its subjects’ lived experiences and internal lives, self-reflexive interrogation of the documentary filmmaking process, and unique contextualization of the fragile state of peace, the Canadian Features Jury presents the DGC Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary to Rojek.” 

In the DGC Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary category, the jury also acknowledged Batata (Directed by Noura Kevorkian, and produced by Paul Scherzer, Noura Kevorkian in Canada, Lebanon, Qatar) with an honorable mention. 


The Special Jury Prize. Sponsored by A&E, the award of $5,000 cash prize was bestowed – International Feature Documentary was given to The Wind Blows the Border (Directed by Laura Faerman, Marina Weis, and produced by Rodrigo Díaz Díaz, Luís Ludmer in Brazil), a film in which an Indigenous woman’s dangerous fight is charted to keep her community’s ancestral land safe from the expansion of agribusiness in her native Brazil.  


Jury statement: “The jury was very taken with this film and the ways–both subtle and bold–that it documents an unfolding natural crisis rooted in human social conflict. The jury awards The Wind Blows the Border the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary.” 

The Earl A. Glick Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award $3,000 cash prize courtesy of the Earl A. Glick Family is given to a Canadian filmmaker whose film in competition is their first or second feature-length film was presented to director Jacquelyn Mills for Geographies of Solitude (Directed by Jacquelyn Mills, and produced by Rosalie Chicoine Perreault, Jacquelyn Mills in Canada).

Mills Jacquelyn

Jury statement: “For her remarkable ability to capture a sense of place, textural approach to cinematography, and unique sound design, the Canadian Features Jury presents the Earl A. Glick Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award to Jacquelyn Mills for Geographies of Solitude.” 

The Emerging International Filmmaker Award, supported by the Donner Canadian Foundation, of a $3,000 cash prize is given to an international filmmaker whose film in competition is their first or second feature-length film was presented to director Bogna Kowalczyc for the film Boylesque, produced by Tomasz Morawski, Katarzyna Kuczyńska, Vratislav Šlajer, Hanka Kastelicova in Poland, Czech Republic). The film portrays the portrait of an openly gay 82-year-old Polish man living out loud in his palpably homophobic country. 

Bogna Kowalczyc

Jury statement: “The jury was struck by the balance between this filmmaker’s aptitude for the craft of filmmaking, and the interest and tenderness they have for their subject, both which came through in this film.” 

A $3,000 cash prize, sponsored by British Pathé, was awarded for Best Mid-Length Documentary to Rewind & Play (Directed by Alain Gomis, and produced by Anouk Khélifa, Arnaud Dommerc in France, Germany), portraying a revisiting of an agonizing 1969 interview of jazz visionary Thelonious Monk for French television in the face of patronization.

Rewind & Play

Jury statement: “The jury was impressed by the innovative use of archival, the rigorous cutting, and the relentless quest for intimacy with a subject on the brink of alienation.” 

The Best International Short Documentary Award of a $3,000 cash prize was presented to More Than I Remember (Directed by Amy Bench, and produced by Amy Bench, Carolyn Merriman in the USA), an animated documentary tracking the journey of 14-year-old Mugeni Ornella as she and her family are separated and displaced by civil strife in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

More Than I Remember

Jury statement: “The Best International Short Documentary Award goes to a film that uses the most vivid and unique animation to tell a story of resilience that is both personal, and increasingly universal. The jury was impressed with the beautiful balance of all the creative elements in this film and the way it takes the documentary form beyond the expected.” 

My Disability Roadmap (directed by Dan Habib, Samuel Habib, and produced by Dan Habib | USA) was given an honorable mention by the jury in the Best International Short Documentary Award category.

My Disability Roadmap

The Betty Youson Award of a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of John and Betty Youson, in the best Canadian Short Documentary was presented to Perfecting the Art of Longing (Directed by Kitra Cahana, and produced by Kat Baulu, Ariel Nasr in Canada), for portraying a rabbi in a long-term-care facility cut off from his loved ones during the lockdown filmed remotely by his daughter.

Perfecting the Art of Longing

Jury statement: “For the skillful crafting of a complex and robust film that celebrates the human spirit with lightness during a dark time, the jury awards the Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary Award to Perfecting the Art of Longing, directed by Kitra Cahana.” 

The jury also acknowledged The Benevolents (Directed by Sarah Baril Gaudet, and produced by Sarah Baril Gaudet in Canada) with an honorable mention in the Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary category.

The Benevolents

Best International Short Documentary Award and the Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary Award respectively are awarded to More Than I Remember and Perfecting the Art of Longing will qualify for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided they comply with Academy rules.       

The Scotiabank Docs For Schools Student’s Choice Award of a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Scotiabank went to, the doc-thriller centered around Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Navalny (Directed by Daniel Roher, and produced by Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris in the USA).


The award is given to the Festival film in the Docs For Schools education program that receives the highest rating as determined by a student poll. 

Award-winning Indian filmmaker Anand Patwardhan received the 2022 Outstanding Achievement Award featured in the Outstanding Achievement Retrospective Program at this year’s Festival. 

Anand Patwardhan. Image credit: Facebook page

The Lindalee Tracey Award of a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Lindalee Tracey Fund, $5,000 in post-production services from SIM, and a hand-blown glass sculpture by Andrew Kuntz, which honors an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice and a sense of humor, was presented to Iranian Canadian filmmaker Avazeh Shahnavaz.

Avazeh Shahnavaz. Image credit: Twitter handle

Toronto-based producer Mila Aung-Thwin, producer of Midwives and co-founder of Montreal-based production company EyeSteelFilm, received the Don Haig Award a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation announced at the beginning of the Festival.

Mila Aung-Thwin. Credit: Facebook official

The award is given to an outstanding independent Canadian producer with a film in the Festival in recognition of their creative vision, entrepreneurship, and track record for nurturing emerging talent. 

The 2022 awards for films in competition were determined by four juries which included the Canadian Feature Documentary Jury; The International Feature Documentary Jury; The Mid-Length Documentary Jury;  and Short Documentary Jury

North America’s largest documentary festival, conference, and market, Hot Docs (, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing and celebrating the art of documentary and to creating production opportunities for documentary filmmakers.

29th annual edition of Hot Docs showcased from April 28 to May 8, 2022, in cinemas across Toronto as well as online to audiences throughout Canada offering a dynamic hybrid experience for industry delegates, programs of knowledge sessions, and networking events including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker, Distribution Rendezvous and The Doc Shop.

The Canadian and international industry is supported year-round by Hot Docs with professional development programs and a multi-million-dollar production fund portfolio fostering education through documentaries with its popular free program Docs For Schools.

The Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighborhood and the world’s first and largest documentary cinema, operation of Hot Docs at the Home streaming platform is owned and programmed by Hot Docs.

Hot Docs is proud to include Scotia Wealth Management as its Presenting Platinum Partner; Rogers Group of Funds as its Founding Partner; CBC Gem as its Signature Partner; Cineplex and Netflix as its Presenting Partners; and Telefilm Canada and the Government of Ontario as its Major Supporters. 

#HotDocs2022; #Toronto; #CanadianAndInternationalFilmMakers; #HotDoc2022Awards

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)