Canadian Producer Bonnie Thompson Honored at Hot Docs With Don Haig Award

Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival has decided that Canadian media producer Bonnie Thompson will be the recipient of this year’s prestigious Don Haig Award. Thompson is the producer behind Cam Christiansen’s “Echo of Everything,” a feature length documentary exploring the power of music, which will have its world premiere at Hot Docs’ 30th-anniversary festival, on now until May 7.

The Don Haig Award is presented to an outstanding Canadian independent producer with a feature-length film at the festival, with the recipient being selected by a jury of independent filmmakers. The award recognizes creative vision and entrepreneurship, as reflected in the recipient’s body of work, as well as a track record of mentoring emerging Canadian filmmakers. Thompson will be presented with a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation.

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Thompson said: “As a producer, it’s been a privilege to experience incredibly diverse worlds and communities and help bring these stories to screens for audiences. It’s especially meaningful to have worked again with filmmaker Cam Christiansen, who has created a striking documentary of stunning images and emotional power in ‘Echo of Everything.’”

Bonnie Thompson
Bonnie Thompson

Thompson produces independently with her company Dreaming Bird Productions. She worked with the Northwest Studio of the National Film Board of Canada – producing from 2001 to 2018 – on documentary, animation and interactive projects. She has “a commitment to productions that have strong social issue components, push boundaries in both form and content, and which give voice to under-represented communities,” according to the festival.

Her productions have received numerous awards and nominations, including Gary Burns and Jim Brown’s “Radiant City,” winner of the best feature documentary at the 2008 Genie Awards; Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’ animated short “Wildlife,” nominated for a 2012 Academy Award; the interactive documentary “Bear 71,” directed by Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes, winner of a 2013 Webby Award, the 2012 FWD Site of the Year Award, and the 2012 CSA Award for best web program; Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s feature documentary “Angry Inuk,” winner of the 2016 Hot Docs audience award, best documentary award at imagineNATIVE, and Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award; PBS NOVA’s “Transplanting Hope, directed by Niobe Thompson, nominated for an Emmy; and Tasha Hubbard’s “nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up,” the opening night film and winner of best Canadian documentary at Hot Docs in 2019, and winner of the 2020 CSA best feature length documentary.

Thompson is currently producing Wendy Hill Tout’s “Insanity,” and executive producing Tasha Hubbard’s “Singing Back the Buffalo.” She is a board member of the Alberta Media Producer’s Industry Association, from which she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

The award will be presented at the Hot Docs Awards presentation on May 6 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

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