Linda Goldstein Knowlton's "Somewhere Between" - which follows four remarkable Chinese-born adoptees as they come of age between two cultures - took the audience award at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which came to a close this weekend. The festival saw its attendance reach a record 151,000. The 11-day event featured 360 public screenings of 199 films on 16 screens across Toronto, three Rooftop Docs screenings, a conference and market for documentary professionals, and Docs for Schools, a phenomenally popular education program for youth. A total 168 screenings went rush, and the box office saw a 24 per cent increase in revenue.
"Attendance at Hot Docs jumped by 11 per cent this year," said Hot Docs executive director, Chris McDonald in a statement. "Our audiences are clamouring for great docs, and our filmmakers are raving about the Festival's fantastic audiences. It is a perfect storm!"
Hot Docs announced its juried awards Friday night. Besides "Somewhere Between," its top ten audience favorites were as follows:
1. SOMEWHERE BETWEEN (D: Linda Goldstein Knowlton, USA)
2. GIVE UP TOMORROW (D: Michael Collins, USA/UK)
3. HOW TO DIE IN OREGON (D: Peter D. Richardson, USA)
4. WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE (D: Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus, USA)
5. SENNA (D: Asif Kapadia, UK)
6. BUCK (D: Cindy Meehl, USA)
7. JIG (D: Sue Bourne, Scotland)
8. ECO PIRATE: THE STORY OF PAUL WATSON (D: Trish Dolman, Canada)
9. BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY (D: Constance Marks, Philip Shane (Co-Director), USA)
10. KORAN BY HEART (D: Greg Barker, USA)
Also during this year's Hot Docs, attending filmmakers with official selections in the 2011 Festival were invited to vote for their favourite film. The winner of the Filmmakers Award was Michael Marczak's "At The Edge of Russia." In addition to the film and industry prizes presented over the course of the Festival, Hot Docs today announced that "PC Bang: The Rise of the Esports Hero," from producer Erica Landrock is the winner of the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Rendezvous Pitch Prize and recipient of a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Shaw Media-Hot Docs Development Funds.