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'Dear Future Children' takes top audience prize at Hot Docs film festival


TORONTO — A film about three women on the frontlines of social activism in Chile, Hong Kong and Uganda has picked up the top audience prize at Hot Docs.

The Canadian documentary film festival says "Dear Future Children" won the Hot Docs Audience Award, which celebrates the movie that's rated strongest by viewers.

As the winner, the Germany-U.K.-Austria co-production from filmmaker Franz Böhm now qualifies for next year’s documentary category at the Academy Awards without requiring a standard theatrical release.

"Dear Future Children" emerged the overall audience favourite as Hot Docs expanded its streaming availability outside Ontario for the first time this year, giving access to viewers across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other winners at this year’s festival included "Fanny: The Right to Rock," one of five titles that each took home $10,000 for the Rogers Audience Award, which goes to the top Canadian films chosen by audience vote.

"Fanny" traces the story of one of the first female rock bands to break through the barriers in the 1970s, winning fans in fellow musicians including David Bowie. 

Fellow audience prize recipients included "Someone Like Me," about a group of LGBTQ supporters in Vancouver who raise funds to help a queer youth escape life-threatening violence in Uganda and "Still Max," a dive into the creative world of Toronto artist Max Dean as he faces a cancer diagnosis.

Rounding out the five was "Hell or Clean Water," about a diver seeking to clean Newfoundland’s shoreline, and "Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy," which goes inside the Kainai First Nation in Alberta to show the community’s efforts to heal from the opioid crisis.

"Kímmapiiyipitssini" also won filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers the emerging Canadian filmmaker award, which comes with a $3,000 cash prize. The festival wrapped Sunday.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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