DOC Institute Awards



Breakthrough Award

The DOC Institute is pleased to announce the winners of the second annual DOC Institute Breakthrough Development Award, sponsored by the Rogers Group of Funds and the CBC.

The 2020 Breakthrough Development Award was presented to filmmakers Shazia Javed and Aïcha Diop. Selected by a jury of industry experts, Javed and Diop each received 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.

Shazia Javed won for her film “Sister Don’t Go That Far’ about a woman who pushes the boundaries of defined gender roles and challenges the status quo that is maintained in the name of God. Aïcha Diop’s “Gawlo” is a story about complete strangers finding connections by tracing family ancestry.

The DOC Institute Breakthrough Lab is made possible by the generous support of our founding partner Ontario Creates. Participants have gone on to successfully launch their careers and have been associated with prestigious accolades, winning Canadian Screen Awards, landing on the Academy Award shortlist, and receiving the Rogers Best Canadian Feature from the TFCA, the richest film prize in Canada. These exceptional filmmakers include Hugh Gibson (The Stairs), Shasha Nakhai (Take Light), and Sherien Barsoum (Babe, I Hate to Go).


DOC Institute Honours Awards

The DOC Institute Honours recognizes and celebrates the community of professionals working in the Canadian documentary field. The annual Honours are community driven, with nominations that are submitted nationally by current DOC members, and a jury of industry professionals selecting the recipients.

Millefiore Clarkes was awarded the BMO-DOC Vanguard Award, reserved for emerging creatives and most recently awarded to Amar Wala, Victoria Lean and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril. 

Hailing from Canada’s smallest province, Clarkes has put P.E.I. on the map as a producer of talented and innovative creatives. Through her company One Thousand Flowers Productions she has produced a variety of media work: short and feature documentaries, music videos, drama, experimental shorts, and video installations.. The jury notes Clarkes work as highly emotive and visionary. Along with the Vanguard Award, Millefiore Clarkes will be receiving $40,000 in in-kind services from Canadian production supplier Sim-International and a thousand-dollar cash prize from the Bank of Montreal.

The Rogers-DOC Luminary Award was awarded to industry veteran and trailblazer Anne Pick. Pick’s long career as a filmmaker began in 1970’s at CBC where she produced CBC’s first documentary series, shot and edited on videotape in the late 70’s; put camcorders in the hands of viewers in the early 80’s; created a new lifestyle genre with the series Harrowsmith Country Life which launched the Life Network and produced Canada’s first official treaty documentary co-production with Australian partners in early 2000, among many other milestones throughout her career. Pick is also a highly regarded, tireless advocate for the Canadian documentary filmmaking communityThe jury notes Pick as a legendary filmmaker with unwavering passion and dedication.

Both Pick and Clarkes were selected by the peer jury as awards recipients. The response for nominations was strong throughout the country, with nominees including directors, producers, craftspeople and other key visionaries making their mark on the Canadian documentary tradition. 

We are looking forward to another strong pool of nominations from across the country in future years!




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. Read about last year’s recipient, Zoe Dirse here.

Rogers-DOC Luminary Award is generously supported by the Rogers Group of Funds



The BMO-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. Read about last year’s recipient, Amar Wala here.

BMO-DOC Vanguard Award is generously supported by the Bank of Montreal.