Lebanese documentary The One Man Village won the Best International Feature Award and Hubert Davis’ Invisible City won the Best Canadian Feature prize as the Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival wrapped in Toronto over the weekend.
Directed and co-produced by Simon El Habre, One Man Village looks at the last remaining inhabitant of a Lebanese village destroyed and deserted after the civil war. The jury complimented the filmmakers for the “exceptional clarity” of the “enchanting and gripping film”. The film took at $8,676 (C$10,000) cash prize.
Davis’ Invisible City, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, follows the lives of two underprivileged black teenagers in Toronto over three years. Presenting Davis with the $13,015 (C$15,000) prize, the jury commended the film for its “extraordinary grace and intelligence” and for maintaining “the dignity of its subjects’ lives while asking difficult questions about the conditions under which those lives are lived.”
A Special Jury Prize for International Feature was presented to Cooking History, by Peter Kerekes, an Austria-Czech Republic-Slovakia co-production that looks at armed conflict through the eyes of military cooks. A Special Jury Prize for Canadian feature was presented to Kevin McMahon’s Waterlife, an exploration of the ecosystem that is Canada’s Great Lakes. The award also comes with a $8,676 (C$10,000) cash prize.
Meanwhile, Toronto documentary production house White Pine Pictures was awarded the $34,700 (C$40,000) Canwest-Hot Docs TDF Pitch Prize for the best proposed project presented at the Toronto Documentary Forum.
The pitch, The Team, proposed to explore the 2007 election in Kenya where a television production company is creating a soap opera that may change the course of the nation’s history. White Pine has been behind several acclaimed documentaries including Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey Of Romeo Dallaireand A Promise To The Dead: The Exile Journey Of Ariel Dorfman