(January 17, 2018 – Toronto, ON) When the 2018 edition of Hot Docs opens in Toronto on April 26, two renowned filmmakers will be honoured. First is U.S., two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple who will be given the Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award, recognizing her enduring contribution to the documentary form. Filmmaker John Walker, who Northernstars interviewed in 2016, will be in the spotlight with the festival’s Focus On program, an annual showcase of the work of a Canadian filmmaker.
Walker is one of Canada’s most prolific and respected documentary filmmakers. His films have won international acclaim and appeared at major film festivals from Toronto to Tokyo. He has received 19 nominations and awards from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, including the coveted Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary. His 2016 feature Quebec My Country Mon Pays had its world premiere at Hot Docs in 2016. He also co-produced, wrote and directed the provocative feature film Passage, a fiction/documentary about the Sir John Franklin search for the fabled Northwest Passage.
John Walker is the first Canadian to receive the Organization of American Historians – Eric Barnouw Award, and his passionate commitment to the documentary form led him to co-found DOC, Documentary Organization of Canada, and act as a mentor to numerous emerging filmmakers across the country.
Barbara Kopple is a highly respected director and producer of documentaries, narrative film and commercials spots. She has won two Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature—one for American Dream (1991), and the other for Harlan County USA (1977). Her most recent documentary, A Murder in Mansfield, premiered at the 2017 DOC NYC Film Festival, and This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, which she directed and produced, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Her doc Running from Crazy received a 2014 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, and her film The House of Steinbrenner was part of ESPN’s Emmy nominated “30 for 30” series and received a 2010 Peabody Award as well as the International Documentary Association Award for Best Continuing Series.
Kopple also directed and produced, with Cecilia Peck, Shut Up and Sing, following the Dixie Chicks and the fallout they faced after publicly criticizing President Bush; and directed and produced Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson, for which she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing. With her numerous film credits, Kopple has received several prestigious awards from her peers and colleagues, including the Human Rights Watch Film Festival Irene Diamond Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, DC Women of Vision Award, the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, the White House Project’s EPIC Award, DC Women of Vision Award, and the New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award, to name just a few.
This year’s Canadian International Documentary Film Festival runs from April 26 to May 6. Click here for more information about Hot Docs.