'Losers' big winner at Hot Docs

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TORONTO -- The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on Friday gave the jury prize for best international feature documentary to "Losers and Winners," a German film from Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken about a German factory taken apart to be rebuilt in China.

A special jury prize in the international feature film category went to U.S. filmmaker Michael Skolnik's "Without the King," a portrait of the impoverished nation of Swaziland, home of Africa's last remaining absolute monarchy.

Elsewhere, the best Canadian feature documentary category saw the top prize go to Bryan Friedman's "The Bodybuilder and I," a feature film about the estranged relationship between the filmmaker and his elderly, bodybuilding father.

In the same category, the special jury prize went to Serge Giguere's "Driven by Dreams," an inspiring feature about seniors passionately enjoying life in their twilight years.

And the best mid-length documentary trophy went to Canadian filmmaker Johanna Lunn's "Forgiveness: Stories for Our Time," a groundbreaking National Film Board of Canada documentary about victims of murder and terrorism who struggle to forgive the aggressors.

Hot Docs gave the best short documentary award to U.S. filmmaker Arturo Cabanas's "Man Up," an 11-minute film about father enduring belittlement and punishment to raise his son to be a soldier. Meanwhile, the Don Haig Award for emerging Canadian directors went to Toronto-based filmmaker Hubert Davis, whose short documentary "Hardwood" was nominated for an Oscar two years ago.

In all, 129 films from 25 countries will have unspooled in Toronto by the time the festival wraps Sunday. The festival will announce its audience award for best documentary on Monday.
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