Hot Docs has wrapped its most successful festival to date this weekend, with audience numbers reaching an estimated 136,000. The 11-day event, which ran April 29 to May 9, featured 275 public screenings of 170+ films on 10 screens across Toronto, three Critical Mass speaker series events, two Rooftop Docs screenings, a conference and market for documentary professionals, and Docs for Schools, an education program for youth. The box office saw a 10 per cent increase in overall sales.
“This was by far our most successful Hot Docs to date,” says Hot Docs executive director, Chris McDonald, in a statement. “Our job is to source the best documentaries in the world, then pack local cinemas with eager film fans. We’ve accomplished both of these goals again this year, and, in the process, have seen larger audiences and more sold out screenings than ever before.”
After the final screening yesterday, votes were tallied for the Hot Docs Audience Award. The winner was Mark Landsman’s “Thunder Soul,” chronicling the reunion of the Kashmere High School Band – 35 years after their initial success – in honour of their mentor, Conrad “Prof” Johnson. John Walker’s “A Drummer’s Dream,” German Berger’s “My Life With Carlos,” and Jan Tenehaven’s “Autumn Gold” were runners-up for the award.
New this year is the Filmmakers Award, for which Hot Docs invited attending filmmakers with official selections in the 2010 Festival to vote for their favourite film. The winner of the inaugural Filmmakers Award was Jan Tenhaven’s “Autumn Gold.”