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The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on Friday gave the top jury prize for best international feature documentary to We Could be Heroes, a Moroccan film from director Hind Bensari about Paralympian Azzedine Nouiri.
The feature, which had its world premiere at Hot Docs, focuses on the two-time Paralympic gold medalist in the seated shot put who found himself abandoned by his national sports federation and battling for respect and equal rights as he prepared for the 2016 Rio Games.
“The Hot Docs community and their support means a lot to our film and the action it requires. As independent filmmakers, we need a launch pad for the stories that change the world,” Bensari said after her win.
The fest’s special jury prize was shared by Shameela Seedat’s Whispering Truth to Power, a film about South Africa’s Public Protector facing a backlash while investigating former president Jacob Zuma, and Corrado Punzi’s Wind of Swabia, which chronicles environmental damage to a southern Italian port city.
Elsewhere, the best Canadian feature documentary category saw the top prize go to Yuqi Kang’s A Little Wisdom, a film about an isolated Buddhist monastery in Nepal. In the same category, the special jury prize went to Christy Garland’s What Walaa Wants, a doc about a young woman trying to join the Palestinian Security Forces.
The emerging international filmmaker prize in the international category went to directors Elan Bogarin and Jonathan Bogarin for 306 Hollywood, which tells of two siblings dismantling their grandmother’s home after her death to discover her past.
The festival will announce its audience award for best documentary on Sunday.
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