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The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival awarded its best international feature film prize to Danish filmmaker Christian Einshøj’s The Mountains, a portrait of a Scandinavian family struck by a tragedy.
Einshøj also won the best emerging international filmmaker award at the Toronto festival, which handed out its top jury prizes on Saturday. Hot Docs opened its 30th edition with another Danish film, Twice Colonized, Lin Alluna’s feature about Greenlandic Inuit lawyer and protector of her ancestral lands, Aaju Peter, after a world premiere at Sundance.
The Canadian documentary festival also gave its special jury prize for best international feature to director Edward Lovelace’s Name Me Lawand, which follows a young deaf Kurdish boy joyfully learning communication skills at a U.K. school after a treacherous journey from Iraq, only to later face deportation from his new home.
Other winners included the best Canadian feature documentary award going to director Denys Desjardins’ I Lost My Mom. The best short doc award went to Iranian director Milad Khosravi’s Mrs. Iran’s Husband, an exploration of family and labor in Iran.
There was also an honorable mention for Micah Levin’s Dear Ani, about an aspiring songwriter’s creatively obsessive correspondence with music icon Ani DiFranco.
The prize for best mid-length doc went to Being in a Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait, by director Luke Fowler, and the special jury prize for best Canadian feature doc was picked up by Caiti Blues, from director Justine Harbonnier.
In all, 214 films from 72 countries will screen at Hot Docs in Toronto from April 27 to May 7.
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