The big winners at the 20th edition of the all-documentary fest included director Jason DaSilva, whose When I Walk took the prize for best Canadian feature doc. The autobiographical film recounts DaSilva’s diagnosis, at age 25, with a severe form of multiple sclerosis and his resulting struggle to adapt to life without the use of his legs. The film also played earlier this year at the Sundance festival.
The Hot Docs prize comes with $10,000.
“I hope this allows me to get the film out there even further,” said DaSilva. “More than just me being a filmmaker, it’s about raising awareness of MS and other disabilities. Through my film I hope to get the word out.”
Best international feature went to Dragon Girls by Germany’s Inigo Westmeier, which follows three young students at a famous kung fu academy in China.
Other winners included:
- Alphee of the Stars, directed by Hugo Latulippe (Special jury prize for a Canadian feature documentary).
- Cloudy Mountains, directed by Zhu Yu (Special jury prize for an international feature documentary).
- The Circle, directed by Bram Conjaerts (Best mid-length documentary).
- Notes on Blindness: Rainfall, directed by James Spinney (Best short documentary).
The festival concludes this weekend and will hand out a final audience award on Monday.