‘Man’ on top at Hot Docs festival

Habre's 'Village' wins top prize

Helmer Simon El Habre’s “The One Man Village,” about the last inhabitant of a Lebanese village destroyed during the civil war, continued its successful fest circuit run by scooping Hot Docs’ international feature prize and C$10,000 ($8,700) on Friday.

North America’s largest annual nonfiction fest, confab and meet, which ended Sunday, handed out 10 awards and over $52,000.

El Habre’s doc focuses on his uncle, Semaan El Habre, who is the only person living in Ain El Halazoun, in the mountains above Beirut. After being besieged by Christian and Druze militias during the 1975-1990 civil war, the village became a ghost town as the inhabitants moved away and the buildings were destroyed or fell into disrepair.

The special jury prize for international feature went to Czech helmer Peter Kerekes’ “Cooking History,” about European military cooks.

Toronto helmer Hubert Davis scooped the Canadian feature award and $13,000 for “Invisible City,” which follows two black teenagers over three years in Toronto’s Regent Park community.

Veteran Toronto helmer Kevin McMahon nabbed the special jury prize and $8,700 for “Waterlife,” about the beauty and enviromental crisis at the Great Lakes.

The HBO Emerging Artist Award went to South Korea’s Chung-ryoul Lee, for his pic “Old Partner,” about an elderly farmer, his wife and their ox.

Bartek Konopka’s “Rabbit a la Berlin” picked up the mid-length doc award, while best short went to Canuck Kara Blake’s “The Delian Mode.”

As previously announced, Canuck veteran helmer Alanis Obomsawin received an outstanding achievement award on Friday, followed by the world preem of her latest doc, “Professor Norman Cornett.”

“RiP! A Remix Manifesto” helmer Brett Gaylor picked up the Don Haig Award, honoring an emerging producer working in fiction and non-fiction, while the Lindalee Tracey Award — a Canuck filmmaker whose work displays strong sense of social justice — was shared by Montreal’s Laura Bari and Ottawa’s Will Inrig.

The Hot Docs audience awards will be announced today.

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