May 09, 2011

We are floored and elated to receive the Best Canadian Feature Award at the 2011 Hot Docs International Film Festival. As the jury put it, “The award for Best Canadian Feature goes to an intimate, poetic film that bravely confronts nuance and complexity in its characters and its world”. Five years of our lives, starting with an article in a Russian newspaper about Olga, culminated in this moment of absolute honour for both Julia and Boris.

We are further humbled to be chosen among all the competing features at this year’s festival. I have to say that Hot Docs is an amazing festival and presents films from every corner of the world. The international films that I watched like “Vodka Factory”, “Project Nim”, “Minka”, “Somewhere to Disappear” – all made me think and examine myself and how I relate to the world we live in. Hot Docs is a treasure and I hope will continue to prosper forever.

I also took part in the Hot Docs Forum and I can’t recommend it enough for anyone interested in making documentary films. The pitches this year were strong, interesting, and affecting. I really hope “A WHOLE LOTT MORE” gets made. Having main characters with disabilities is such a difficult sell in the current broadcasting world.

To finish up, here is a little excerpt from our acceptance speech Hot Docs Awards Ceremony

May 01, 2011

Arrived in Toronto today to get things started. Great pre-festival reviews so far. “An emotionally absorbing subject filled with layers of complexity” – Now Toronto; “Foster families are always complex subjects, but Julia Ivanova’s film about one such Ukrainian family is masterfully packed with more societal and psychological issues than any other film showing at HotDocs this year. Five Stars” – CritisizeThis.ca; “This film is one of the most complex pieces of filmmaking I have seen in years.” – Andrew Parker’s pics for Dorkshelf; “Ivanova’s graceful cinematography gives viewers a unique perspective.” – Torontoist.

Canadian premiere is May 2nd and is sold out. It’s now up to the audience. Will update shortly.