Hot Docs: Norway's 'Brothers' Doc Diary Takes Top Jury Prize

Brothers -Directed By Auslang Holm-H 2016
Courtesy of Hot Docs Festival

The special jury prize went to American directors Todd and Jedd Wider's 'God Knows Where I Am.'

Norway director Aslaug Holm's Brothers took the top jury prize on Friday night at the 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. 

Holm's film — seemingly a documentary version of Richard Linklater's Boyhood, about two brothers, Lukas and Markus, whose growth over eight years from toddlers to teenagers is captured by their filmmaker mother — earned the fest's best international feature documentary prize and $10,000. 

Hot Docs gave its special jury prize for an international feature documentary to the American doc God Knows Where I Am, by directors Todd and Jedd Wider. The film reveals a troubling account of mental illness through the mysterious death of a woman in a New Hampshire farmhouse.

Elsewhere, the best emerging foreign filmmaker award went to Mike Day for his U.K.-Denmark co-production The Islands and the Whales. And the best mid-length documentary prize was awarded to another Norwegian film, The Button, a doc by Paul S. Refsdal about two al-Qaeda suicide bombers in Syria.

Hot Docs also handed out prizes to local films, with the best Canadian feature doc prize going to Nettie Wild's Koneline, while the special jury prize for a Canadian doc went to The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, Brett Story's Canada-U.S. co-production about the American prison industry.

Highlights of Hot Docs this year included genre-defying films like Matt Johnson's Apollo 11 hoax thriller Operation Avalanche, which combined fact and fiction to reveal a CIA conspiracy to fake the moon landing, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Pierre Bismuth's docu/fiction hybrid, Where Is Rocky II?

Bismuth told the Hollywood Reporter his mystery thriller about the hunt for a fake rock reportedly placed among real ones in a California desert by famed artist Ed Ruscha is a new genre, fake fiction. "Everything is true, but it looks fake," he said.

Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, wraps Sunday in Toronto. In all, the event will have screened 232 documentaries from 51 countries during its April 28-May 8 run.