The Best in Short Documentary Filmmaking: The 9th Annual 2014 Doc Challenge Premier at Hot Docs, Winners Announced

May 16, 2014

Paige Hot Docs

Embarking on its 10th year, The International Documentary Challenge is an annual timed filmmaking competition where filmmakers have 5 days to make a short documentary. In addition to being restricted on time, the filmmakers choose between 2 assigned documentary genres and are assigned a specific theme. The top 12 films are determined by an elite industry jury and premiered at Hot Docs on May 1, 2014. Sponsored by P.O.V. and Documentary Educational Resources, Doc Challenge films go on to screen on television, at film festivals, on The Audience Awards and receive Emmy nods.


The premiere at Hot Docs was a sold out success and received with great enthusiasm. This year’s showcase of films is exceptional. Out of 103 international participating teams, twelve were chosen.

The general audience will be able to watch and vote for their favorite Doc Challenge films in August at The film with the most votes wins $1000 from VideoBlocks.



Here’s what the filmmakers are saying about their 2014 Doc Challenge Premiere at Hot Docs:


 “Attending the Hot Docs International Film Festival for the premiere screening of the 2014 Doc Challenge finalists was an amazing experience. Getting the opportunity to see our film screened along side other great documentaries in a large theater is one of the great rewards for all the work we put in to making our film. I was able to meet nearly all of the talented filmmakers who were finalists in the challenge, and got to discuss their methods and challenges while celebrating in the beautiful city of Toronto.

20140501_183253_resized Best Film team “Nobody Loves Joel Romeo”

In addition, our complementary industry passes gave me and my team an opportunity to see dozens of interesting documentaries screened in unique theaters all over the city. I made new friends in the industry, and had an unforgettable vacation. “The International Doc Challenge is a gift that keeps on giving, Marcy Stone-Francois, Producer/ Director, Nobody Loves Joel Romeo

IMG_20140502_192400_resized DER ED Alicey Apley speaks with filmmakers at the Doc Challenge after party.


“I was blown away as we sat there watching the films from the International Documentary Challenge— they were all incredible. I was certain that 20/Nothing’s highest award would be showing a film that we made and love at Hot Docs alongside talented filmmakers from all over the world. When they announced ‘This year’s P.O.V. Award goes to 20/Nothing, directed by Rachel Stevens,’ we were absolutely shocked. Throughout the rest of the weekend we learned to trust that strong feeling we had during the making of 20/Nothing, which was “this is something good.” We want to make more things like that, together. You will see more from us. Guaranteed.” Rachel Stevens, 20/Nothing

20140501_231111_resizedDoc Challenge Directors, Amanda Harryman & Rachel Stevens

“Having my film premiere at the Hot Docs Film Festival was amazing. The venue, the audience, the staff and volunteers all being in a great city really make a filmmaker feel rewarded to be a part of it all!” Amanda Harryman, “Maikaru”

“I was blown away by the experience of attending Hot Docs. One of the great film festivals in one of the world’s best cinema cities, Hot Docs provided one stimulation after another. The quality of the International Documentary Challenge finalists was tremendous, as the sold out audience at the premiere screening can attest.”Greg Carlson, “The Hammer and the Axe”


“Screening at Hot Docs was an invaluable opportunity to have our independent work displayed professionally. Not only were we inspired by the work of our fellow contributors, but the connections forged help build and support a vibrant community of artists.” Carla Sinclair  “Much Love, Scott”

The Doc Challenge is looking for future festival screenings of this powerful showcase. To inquire about screening the films at your festival or reviewing the films, please contact:


The 2014 Doc Challenge Showcase Winners

Best Doc Challenge Film – received $1000

Nobody Loves Joel Romeo


“Nobody Loves Joel Romeo” explores the mystery behind local celebrity, Joel Romeo.

Directed by Marcy Stone-Francois, Seattle, WA

Best Doc Challenge Film winner, $1000 prize



P.O.V. Winner – received $1000


“20/Nothing” An in-depth film about no depth.

Directed by Rachel Stevens, Missoula, MT


Documentary Educational Resources Winner – received $1000


In “Second Chance,” a woman discovers that retirement is only the beginning.

Co-Directed by Bill Finnegan & Charlotte Mackie, London, England



DocuMentors Pick – $500 in cash + $1000 in doc resources



“Bruise Ballet” Renata is an MMA fighter and coach, Aggressions and emotions drive her, but behind the violent sport you can find gentile tactics.

Directed by Katarzyna Gondek, Poznan, Poland

Other Awards & Recognition:



“Maikaru” directed by Amanda Harryman


“ Hoofer” Directed by Brandon Faris

“Maikaru” directed by Amanda Harryman


LL poster copy
“Lady Leung: Cursed Blessings” – directed by Seth Henderson

“Hoofer” directed by Brandon Faris

“Nobody Loves Joel Romeo” – directed by Marcy Stone-Francois

“Showered” – directed by Casey Atkins

Best Genres Films

“A Sexual Life” directed by Dima Krochek & Bianca Zanini

“20 / Nothing” – directed by Rachel Stevens

Best 1ST PERSON film

Much Love, Scott Poster Frame
“Much Love, Scott” – directed by Carla Sinclair & Colin Burell

“Bruise Ballet” – directed by Katarzyna Gondez

Paige Williams

Doc Challenge Producer


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