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Cinema Politica is technically non-competitive in that we are not a festival and we do not have juries judging the films we screen. However, each year we give out the Cinema Politica Audience Choice Award, based on audience voting results from a shortlist of the ten most screened films of the past year. We have also created the Alanis Obomsawin Award for Commitment to Community and Resistance, given out depending on the accumulation of screening activity from one Canadian filmmaker who meets the criteria of the prize.



The Audience Choice Award will be awarded to the filmmaker whose film is chosen based on entries put forward by each local within the Canadian component of the Cinema Politica Network. Audiences will then be encouraged to vote online, through the CP website. Nominations must have production dates no more than two years prior to the award year and must have been screened at least twice in the Cinema Politica Network.


CAMFRANGLAISCP Audience Choice Award 2019 Winner:

Melding streams of Indigenous futurism with Afrofuturism, CAMFRANGLAIS imagines a not-so-distant world, looking ahead to Summer 2117, a year that will be revealing for 18-year-old Cameroonian girl, Sam. Freshly elected to the tribal council that governs her country, she joins the national delegation that is invited to Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). A fantastical achievement of Quebec cinema, CAMFRANGLAIS was produced and featured as part of Cinema Politica’s The Next 150: Documentary Futurism project, which seeks to usher in a new kind of filmmaking that brings actuality into conversation with speculation, realism with fantasy.

I AM ROHINGYA by Yusuf ZineCP Audience Choice Award 2018 Winner:

Directed by Yusuf Zine, I AM ROHINGYA: A GENOCIDE IN FOUR ACTS chronicles the journey of fourteen refugee youth who take the stage (in front of a live audience) to re-enact their families’ harrowing experiences in Burma and beyond; before, during, and immediately after the escalation of military violence in their native homeland, Rakhine state; their unforgiving escape by foot and by boat to makeshift camps in Bangladesh; and their event; resettlement in the strikingly unfamiliar Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

Angry Inuk by Alethea Arnaquq-BarilCP Audience Choice Award 2017 Winner:

Directed by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, ANGRY INUK is a paradigm-shifting, colonial corrective, Inuit high-kick doc that follows Alethea as she joins Inuit activists to challenge anti-sealing NGOs while correcting misrepresentations of sealing and Inuit culture.

Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan ValleyCP Audience Choice Award 2017 Special Mention:

Directed by Jesse Freeston, RESISTENCIA follows farmers of the Aguan Valley, who responded to the 2009 military coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya by taking over 10,000 acres of palm oil plantations under illegal control of the most powerful man in the country, as they continue to fight for their right to land, safety, security and peace.

Out in the NightCP Audience Choice Award 2016 Winner:

Directed by blair dorosh-walther and produced by Yoruba Richen, OUT IN THE NIGHT is a compelling and alarming look into the case of four black lesbians who were unfairly convicted of assault in a case of self-defense against a violent homophobic attacker.

CP Audience Choice Award 2015 Winner:

Directed by Avi Lewis and with Naomi Klein serving as narrator and guide, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING explores how our violent disregard for our planet has endangered both it and ourselves and how resisting this abuse and opposing the forces that propagate it can have a profound impact upon the makeup of our society.


CP Audience Choice Award 2014 Winner:

MY BROOKLYN is a documentary about Director Kelly Anderson’s personal journey, as a Brooklyn “gentrifier,” to understand the forces reshaping her neighbourhood along lines of race and class.


CP Audience Choice Award Winner 2013CP Audience Choice Award 2013 Winner: 

Woven throughout the moving, action oriented backbone of the story, is a deep exploration of the heart of the Occupy movement, the meaning of love, and concrete examples of just what “another world” could look like, featuring some of the world’s key visionaries on alternative systems of economics, sustainability, and empathy.

Cinema Politica 2012 Winner CP Audience Choice Award 2012 Winner:

An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 BROKEN CAMERAS is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements.

CP Audience Choice Award 2011 Winner:

Set against a stunning backdrop of Niger Delta footage, the film gives voice to the region’s complex mix of stakeholders and invites the audience to learn the deeper story. It shows the humanity behind the statistics, events and highly sensationalized media portrayal of the region.

CP Audience Choice Award 2010 Winner:

How much unspoiled nature should we preserve and what do we sacrifice for clean, renewable energy? DREAMLAND is a film about a nation standing at cross-roads, which gradually turns into a disturbing picture of corporate power taking over small communities.

CP Audience Choice Award 2009 Winner:

AMERICAN RADICAL is a probing documentary about American academic Norman Finkelstein—a devoted son of holocaust survivors, ardent critic of Israel and US Mid-East policy, and author of five provocative books who has been steadfast at the center of many intractable controversies.

CP Audience Choice Award 2008 Winner:

Over a period of three years, the stencil artist Peter Gibson, aka Roadsworth, made his mark on Montreal with pieces that begged the question, Who owns public space? ROADSWORTH details the artist's prosecution at home and his travels abroad to France, London and Amsterdam, as he imprints himself legitimately (and illegitimately) on foreign streets.


This Cinema Politica award was launched in 2010 and is presented to a Canadian (or individual whose permanent residence is inside the political boundaries of Canada) filmmaker who has shown a commitment to community and resistance in documentary filmmaking. The Alanis Obomsawin Award celebrates achievement and talent in bringing the stories of communities who are underrepresented in media, and who are engaged in struggles or acts of resistance in order to activate positive social change. Alanis Obomsawin is one of Canada's greatest documentary filmmakers and has made it her life's work to tell the stories of First Nations communities in Canada, while reaching a larger audience and encouraging understanding and solidarity with Canada's publics. In the spirit of Ms. Obomsawin and her work, this juried award will honour Canadian filmmakers who have had their work exhibited at one or more of the Cinema Politica locals across Canada, and who have brought the stories of underrepresented communities to the screen with careful craft, creative talent, and an ongoing commitment to social justice and cultural citizenship. For more information on Ms. Obomsawin, visit the NFB's portrait page. Eligible films must have a production date no more than two years prior to the award year date and must have been screened at least twice in the Cinema Politica Network during the year of the award.


Min Sook Lee and Alanis ObomsawinCP Alanis Obomsawin Award 2016 Winner:
Min Sook Lee

Throughout her career, Lee has shown a stalwart dedication to both human rights and environmental protection. In particular, her efforts to raise awareness and realize concrete changes concerning the lives of new immigrants and migrant workers in Canada resonates with Cinema Politica’s mandate to showcase alternative perspectives and strengthen communities engaged in struggle against oppressive systems.

john_alanis_0.jpgCP Alanis Obomsawin Award 2010 Winner:
John Greyson

John Greyson has represented and worked with divergent communities struggling for justice and equality around issues like apartheid in South Africa, queer rights, AIDS awareness and rights for victims, and ending the occupation of Palestine. Over the years his focus has shifted and expanded between such diverse battles, but he has never, ever wavered in his steadfast commitment to community and resistance.


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