The DOC Institute Awards include the Vanguard and Luminary Awards which are presented at the annual DOC Institute Honours Gala event.
Our Breakthrough Development award is presented to two Breakthrough Lab participants each year. 


The 2022 DOC Institute Honours Awards will be presented on December 8 at the 9th Annual DOC Honours Celebration. Learn more here.


DOC Vanguard Award
The DOC Vanguard Award is given to an emerging or mid-career professional filmmaker, who demonstrates a keen artistic sensibility and forward-thinking approach to the craft, with the potential to lead the next generation of doc-makers.

The DOC Vanguard Award is generously supported by SIM International and includes in-kind gear rental and a suite of goods and services. The winner of the award will also receive a Hot Docs Industry Pass for Hot Docs 30th Anniversary.

  • 2021: Tamara Mariam Dawit
  • 2020: Lisa Jackson
  • 2019: Millefiore Clarkes
  • 2018: Amar Wala
  • 2017: Victoria Lean
  • 2016: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
  • 2015: Chelsea McMullen
  • 2014: Brett Story

Rogers-DOC Luminary Award
The Rogers-DOC Luminary Award recognizes a person working in documentaries or is associated with the documentary industry. This person not only excels in their position but also is actively involved in supporting Canada’s robust documentary community. The Rogers-DOC Luminary Award is given to an individual who embodies the creative spirit of the Canadian documentary tradition and displays generosity by supporting the next generation of doc-makers through mentorship, working behind the scenes to ensure that the genre remains strong for generations to come. The winner of the award will also a Hot Docs Industry Pass for Hot Docs 30th Anniversary.

  • 2021: Sylvia D. Hamilton
  • 2020: Alanis Obomsawin
  • 2019: Anne Pick
  • 2018: Zoe Dirse
  • 2017: Daniel Cross
  • 2016: Chris McDonald
  • 2015: Marc Glassman
  • 2014: Elizabeth Klink

The DOC Institute
Breakthrough Award
The annual DOC Institute Breakthrough Award is presented to two Breakthrough Lab participants. Selected by a jury of industry experts, each filmmaker receives a $20,000 cash prize from the Rogers Group of Funds, a development deal from the CBC, and mentorship and professional development support from the DOC Institute.

  • 2022: Noa Im, Mariam Zaidi
  • 2021: Maria Markina, Erin Byrnes
  • 2020: Shazia Javed, Aïcha Diop
  • 2019: Polina Teif, Lulu Wei, Qais Pasha