2021 AWARD WINNERS
Best Canadian Feature Film Winner
Last of the Right Whales
Best Canadian Short Film Winner
Best International Feature Winner
Inhabitants: An Indigenous Perspective
Costa Boutsikaris, Anna Palmer
Best International Short Winner
Humanity Has Not Yet Failed
Norma V. Toraya & Jared P. Scott
Mark Haslam Award Winner
Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm: This Is Our Land!
Isael Maxakali, Sueli Maxakali, Carolina Canguçu, Roberto Romero
Green Pitch Winner
To Be Announced
Watch the Closing Night live stream on October 24th stream to see the final award winners!
2020 Winner Dogma pictured above.
Best Canadian Feature Jury
Sarah Li-Lun MacArthur
Sarah Li-Lun MacArthur is a film programmer at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, handling the organization’s year-round film and cultural offerings. She curates first-run and series offerings on the Hot Docs at Home VOD platform, as well as the 700-seat Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. Sarah also serves as a film programmer for the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, JAYU Human Rights Film Festival, and previously served as documentary programming pre-screener at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Jennifer Abbott is a Sundance and Genie award-winning filmmaker dedicated to filmmaking as art, philosophy, and activism. She is best known as the Co-Director and Editor of THE CORPORATION (2003), still the top grossing and most awarded documentary in Canadian history. In 2020, Abbott released two feature documentaries: THE NEW CORPORATION: THE UNFORTUNATELY NECESSARY SEQUEL (co-director and supervising editor) and THE MAGNITUDE OF ALL THINGS (writer, director, editor, sound design and co-producer) which has so far won awards at film festivals in Korea, Italy, California, Toronto, France and British Columbia and is currently nominated for the Japan Prize. THE MAGNITUDE OF ALL THINGS explores how we face and accept the reality of climate catastrophe while solidifying our determination to engage in the only thing we can now do – resist.
Linda Fong is a documentary programmer and production executive at TVO. She works with TVO’s Executive Producer commissioning and programming original documentary content for the network’s award-winning Canadian documentary anthology series. Recent commissions include Mellissa Fung’s Captive, Jennifer Holness’s Subjects of Desire, Shane Belcourt’s The Beautiful Scars of Tom Wilson (in production), and Karen Cho’s Big Fight in Little Chinatown (in production). Prior to TVO, Linda worked in marketing and distribution at the National Film Board of Canada’s Ontario Studio. She has worked in the Canadian film and television industry for more than 25 years and continues to support and amplify under-represented perspectives and stories.
Best International Feature Film Jury
Denae Peters is a Program Officer at Perspective Fund, a grant-making organization funding nonfiction media, where she oversees the documentary impact infrastructure portfolio. She is also a founding board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM), an advocacy initiative representing 4000+ women and non-binary people of color working across the documentary field, and has programmed for Hot Docs and the Toronto International Film Festival. Previously, she led non-theatrical impact campaigns at Picture Motion and Film Sprout and spent 5 years at the Toronto International Film Festival, overseeing guest/filmmaker relations.
Dr. Vasanti Rao
Dr (Ms) Vasanti Rao is the Director General of CMS (Centre for Media Studies) – a research based think tank in India. She also directs CMS VATAVARAN – Asia’s largest international film festival and forum on environment & wildlife. She has her PhD in Media Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University and has double Masters degrees in Psychology and Management. Vasanti specializes in strategy development, designing, researching and evaluating development programs communication initiatives. Her experiences are on a wide range of development issues, including health, gender, children, corruption, governance, rights and environment. She has to her credit numerous policy inputs, program evaluations, designing and organizing multi stakeholder events and research based publications.
Kendra Hodgson is the Director of Strategy & Innovation at Women Make Movies; she is passionate about social justice, gender equity, and the power of stories – especially when expressed through documentary film. Before joining WMM, she spent 18 years directing marketing and distribution at the nonprofit Media Education Foundation, a documentary producer and distributor that examines and educates about commercial mainstream media. She regularly consults with documentary filmmakers and distributors on distribution and impact strategy and is currently part of an Expanding Communities working group at the Gotham Institute. She is also an active member of the board of the Action Coalition for Media Education.
Best Canadian Short Film Jury
Jesse Cumming is a curator, writer, and researcher. He has served as a Consultant with the Berlinale Forum and Open City Documentary Festival, and as a Programming Associate with the Wavelengths section of the Toronto International Film Festival. His writing has appeared in Cinema Scope, Canadian Art, The Brooklyn Rail, MUBI Notebook, C Magazine, Hyperallergic, Another Gaze, and more.
Jennifer Dysart is a found footage enthusiast, an archive researcher, a filmmaker, a set dresser. She was selected as the Artist-In-Residence at Library and Archives Canada via the Archive/Counter-Archive project at York University in 2019-2021. As a commissioned filmmaker for the Home Made Visible project she created Caribou in the Archive (2018/2019) and won the Public Prize at the International Film Festival of Ottawa (2021) and Best Canadian Short Film at the Planet in Focus Film Festival (2020). For her found footage-heavy film about the flooding in northern Manitoba Kewekapawetan: Return After the Flood, Jennifer received the York University Master’s Thesis Prize in 2014. Jennifer has lived in too many places to count and has Cree roots on her Dad’s side from South Indian Lake, Manitoba.
Selina Crammond is a film programmer, writer, and arts administrator based in Vancouver B.C. on the unceded xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Selílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. From 2017-2021 she was the Director of Programming for DOXA Documentary Film Festival where is currently acting as a Programming Advisor.
Best International Short Film Jury
Elwood Jimmy is a learner, collaborator, writer, artist, facilitator, cultural manager, and gardener. He is originally from Thunderchild First Nation, a Nêhiyaw community in the global north. For over 20 years, he has played a leadership role in several art projects, collectives, and organizations locally and abroad. With Vanessa Andreotti and Sharon Stein, he is the co-author of Towards Braiding, a book that gestures towards centring the planet within the building of wiser relationships and futures between Indigenous and settler communities.
David Geary is a film and documentary maker, screenwriter, playwright, dramaturg, and poet. He teaches in the Documentary and Indigenous Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada. Originally from Aotearoa New Zealand, David is of Taranaki Māori, English, Irish and Scottish blood. His recent documentary work has been as a consultant on Indigenous leadership and language revival projects. David’s theatre work includes short plays for Climate Change Theatre Action. His article on Indigenous Theatre and the Climate Crisis can be found here. He writes haiku on Twitter @gearsgeary.
An adventure and documentary filmmaker from the Pacific Northwest, Chelsea Jolly’s work is focused on social justice and environmental protection. With a background in graphic communications and conflict resolution, her goal is to strengthen the voice of these important issues through a unique style of purposeful and creative storytelling. In addition to releasing the film “This Land”, a story of public lands conservation through access and inclusivity, Chelsea continues her efforts to support meaningful change in focusing on impact campaigns around her film work. Some of her clients and collaborators include Patagonia, Rivian, Hoka, Merrell, Coldwater Collective, and Arc’Teryx.
Whit Hassett is a filmmaker and drone specialist based in the Pacific Northwest. With a background in ecology and conservation, her goal is to communicate the human stories that tie us to our landscapes through impactful storytelling. In addition to releasing “This Land”, a film on public lands, access and inclusivity, additional collaborators and clients have included Patagonia, Matador Network, Merrell, Yeti, Earthjustice, Nature Conservancy and Ocean Conservancy.
Mark Haslam Award Jury
Planet in Focus Programmer
Julian Carrington is a freelance writer and film programmer based in Toronto. He has contributed to publications including The Globe & Mail, Indiewire, and Cinema Scope, and, in 2014, served as a programming associate with the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2015, he became manger of the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Festival Concierge initiative, supporting filmmakers in developing distribution and audience engagement strategies. Julian joined Planet in Focus as the festival’s associate programmer in 2016.
Planet in Focus Programmer
Lesley Johnson is a director, producer and programmer, based in Toronto and Yellowknife. She studied Film Production in York University’s MFA program, and holds degrees in wildlife and environmental sciences. Before becoming a filmmaker, she worked in community-based research in the Northwest Territories, and on studies chasing after the likes of terns and wolverines. She is the former director and programmer of the Yellowknife International Film Festival, and of a Cinema Politica chapter.