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Hot Docs Festival Online Audience Award Winners

June 7, 2020

By John Corrado

This year’s special online edition of Hot Docs officially came to a close last night, and tonight the winners of the festival’s coveted Audience Award were announced during a live stream, which you can revisit on YouTube.

The first place finisher was The Walrus and the Whistleblower, director Nathalie Bibeau’s film about former Marineland trainer turned animal rights activist Phil Demers, which had actually premiered on CBC TV a few weeks ago as part of the Hot Docs At Home series. Bibeau’s film was also the top ranked Canadian documentary, as well as the overall winner. New this year, the winner is automatically eligible for consideration at the Academy Awards.

Also new this year, the top five ranking Canadian films are each taking home a $10,000 cash prize, generously sponsored by the Rogers Group of Funds. The lucky cash prize winners are The Walrus and the Whistleblower, 9/11 Kids, The Forbidden Reel, First We Eat, and There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace. A huge round of applause and congratulations are in place for these five very fine films. I really liked all five of them, so I’m glad they resonated with general audiences, as they were definitely highlights of the festival for me as well.

A full list of the winners, including the top twenty finalists is below. A large selection of festival titles are still available to stream until June 24th, the full lineup can be found here.

Rogers Audience Award Winners:

#1: The Walrus and the Whistleblower

#2: 9/11 Kids

#3: The Forbidden Reel

#4: First We Eat

#5: There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace

Top 20:

#1: The Walrus and the Whistleblower

#2: 9/11 Kids

#3: Welcome to Chechnya

#4: The Forbidden Reel

#5: The 8th

#6: Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story

#7: Breaking the Silence

#8: Transhood

#9: Coded Bias

#10: Green Blood

#11: If It Were Love (tie)

#11: Love and Fury (tie)

#13: First We Eat

#14: Sanmao. The Desert Bride

#15: There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace

#16: The Reason I Jump

#17: Mein Vietnam

#18: Softie

#19: The Last Archer

#20: Dope Is Death

Top 5 Short Films:

#1: Nancy’s Workshop

#2: Gun Killers

#3: The Lost Astronaut

#4: êmîcêtôcêt: Many Bloodlines

#5: Welcome Strangers

Top Mid-Length Films:

#1: Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story

#2: The Song of the Butterflies

#3: Dark City Beneath the Beat

#4: Mother-Child

#5: Daddy

Top Film by Program:

Artscapes: The Forbidden Reel

Canadian Spectrum: The Walrus and the Whistleblower

Deep Dive: Green Blood

International Spectrum: All That I Am

Made In Northern Ireland: The Dakota Entrapment Tapes

Markers: If It Were Love

Nightvision: Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist

Persister: The 8th

Revisionaries: Finding Sally

Special Presentations: Welcome to Chechnya

The Changing Face of Europe: Reunited

To Conserve & Protect: First We Eat

World Showcase: 9/11 Kids

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