Hot Docs: German Kung Fu Documentary 'Dragon Girls' Takes Top Prize


TORONTO – The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on Friday gave its best international feature documentary jury prize to Inigo Westmeier’s Dragon Girls, a German film about young female warriors-in-training at a school and the birthplace of kung fu outside Beijing.

The ARTE doc had its North American premiere in Toronto after debuting at IDFA in Amsterdam as it shows the sacrifice and discipline of the young students.

And the Chinese documentary Cloudy Mountains by director Zhu Yu received a special jury prize in Toronto for a portrait of a son and his father who work amid toxic clouds during asbestos mining season in western China.

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Also Friday, the best Canadian feature documentary award went to Jason DaSilva’s When I Walk, about a young filmmaker fighting to live his dreams while struggling with multiple sclerosis.

And a special jury prize in the Canadian feature documentary category was given to the National Film Board of Canada film Alphee of the Stars, by director Hugo Latulippe.

The Quebec film earlier took the audience awards at the Swiss documentary film festival Visions du Réel, the Cinoche festival in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, and the grand jury prize at the Gaspé documentary film festival Vues sur mer.

And the Hot Docs’ documentary films emerging artist award was given to director Lotfy Nathan for the U.S. film 12 O’Clock Boys, about a young boy seeking to join a urban dirt-bike gang in Baltimore.

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