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Hot Docs 2009 Award Winners

Hot Docs 2009 - Award Winning Documentaries in All Categories


Hot Docs, held annualy in Toronto, is the largest documentaries film festival in North America. This is a list of the 2009 awards, including those with monetary prizes.

Best International Feature - One Man Village - $10,000 Cash Prize

Hot Docs

The One Man Village - Director: Simon El Habre - Lebanon.

The film is about Semaan El Habre, who has since his childhood wanted to raise cows. Sick of city pollution and crowds, he moved to an abandoned village, Aïn el-Halazoun, in a valley near Beirut. The village was inhabited by 45 families who were displaced during the 15-year civil war. Some of the villagers return during spring and fall to attend to the land. As one of them explains, "We can't neglect the land. We can neglect ourselves but not the land. Our children know nothing about land and planting. When our generation passes away no one will visit anymore." The One Man Village chroncles one man's attempt to preserve a pastoral way of life.

Prize presented by A&E.

Special Jury Prize - International Feature - Cooking History

Hot Docs

Cooking History - Director: Peter Kerekes - Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia.

Recounts the untold history of military chefs who've had unique influence on battlefields through six wars, starting with World War II. The personal stories of the chefs humanize war's unrecorded battles and reveal their costs. Six wars, ten recipes, and 60,361,024 dead.

The Special Jury Prize is sponsored by OMDC.

Best Canadian Feature - Invisible City - $15,000 Cash

Hot Docs

Invisible City - Director: Hubert Davis - Canada.

The film follows Mikey and Kendell, two Regent Park boys, as they transition from youth to manhood, running into trouble at school, with the police and in court, despite their supportive mothers and mentors. Surrouned by poverty, disadvantage and inherent racism, they struggle to turn their lives around.

The award is sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada and the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, which contributes the cash prize.

Special Jury Prize - Canadian Feature - Waterlife - $10,000 Cash

Hot Docs

Waterlife - Director Kevin McMahon - Canada.

The film, about the Great Lakes, immerses us in the beauty, ecological complexity, and extreme distress of Earth's largest remaining source of fresh water. Beseiged by industrial toxins, sewage, invasive species, climate change and profound apathy, the Great Lakes are on the verge of irreversible collapse. The film shows how the well being of the Great Lakes and human beings are linked and inspires is to take action before it's too late.

The cash prize is provided by the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.

Best Mid-Length Documentary - Rabbit A La Berlin

Hot Docs

Rabbit A La Berlin - Director Bartek Konopka - Germany, Poland.

This fanciful documentary is about the fate of the population of rabbits trapped in the no man's land between the two barriers that were built to isolate West Berlin from the surrounding territory of East Germany, and what happened to the rabbits when the wall was torn down. The film is a sort of allegorical history lesson, as seen from the rabbits' perspective.

The award is sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Best Short Documentary - The Delian Mode

Hot Docs

The Delian Mode - Director Kara Blake - Canada.

A provociative profile of Delia Derbyshire, the electronic music mastermind behind the chilling and distinctive Doctor Who theme song.

The Best Short Documentary Award is sponsored by Playback.

HBO Emerging Artist - Chung-ryoul Lee - Old Partner

Chung-ryoul Lee is the director of Old Partner, a lovely film about an aging South Korean farmer and his loyal, hard working 40-year-old ox.

The HBO Emerging Artist Award is sponsored by HBO Documentary Films.

Outstanding Director - Alanis Obomsawin

The award is presented by the Hot Docs Board of Directors.

Don Haig Award - Brett Gaylot - RiP! A Remix Manifesto - $10,000 Cash

The award was presented to Brett Gaylor, director of RiP!: A Remix Manifesto.

The runner-up was Tracey Deer, director of Club Native.

The award is presented annually to an emerging Canadian documentary filmmaker. This year, each filmmaker received a $10,000 cash prize.

Lindalee Tracey Award - Laura Bari and Will Inrig - $4,500 Cash and Film Stock

Awarded to filmmakers Laura Bari and Will Inrig.

The award honours an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice and a sense of humour.

This year, the award was presented to two filmmakers determined to be equally deserving. Each filmmaker received a cash prize of $3000 from the Lindalee Tracey Long-Term Fund and $1500 in film stock, courtesy of Kodak Canada.

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