Hot Docs will present Debra Zimmerman with the 2013 Doc Mogul Award, which recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both at home and abroad. Executive director of Women Make Movies, Zimmerman will be presented with the Doc Mogul Award at a luncheon in her honour, to be held on Tuesday, April 30, during the 2013 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, April 25 to May 5, in Toronto.
“Debra’s passion, energy and leadership have had a remarkable impact on the world of film,” says Hot Docs executive director Chris McDonald. “During her tenure, Women Make Movies has helped hundreds of female filmmakers create and distribute game-changing, award-winning and mind-blowing films. We look forward to welcoming her back to Hot Docs and celebrating her as the 2013 Doc Mogul.”
Since her appointment as executive director of Women Make Movies in 1983, Zimmerman has overseen the non-profit film organization’s growth into the world’s largest distributor of films by and about women, as well as helped hundreds of women get their films made through the internationally recognized Production Assistance Program. Films from Women Make Movies programs have won prizes at the last five Sundance Film Festivals and have been nominated or won Academy Awards in the last seven years. Zimmerman frequently speaks on independent film distribution, marketing, financing, and women’s film, in addition to moderating panels and leading master classes at film festivals around the world. Some of the festivals and initiatives she has been involved with include Amsterdam’s International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA), the Australian International Documentary Conference, True/False Film Festival, the Cinema Eye Awards, Cinema Tropical, and the National Alliance of Latino Independent Producers’ (NALIP) Academy. Zimmerman has consulted with foundations and non-profit arts organizations, is a member of numerous Advisory Boards for media and film organizations, and has been a jury member for many international film festivals. She also served on the Selection Committee for the Museum of Modern Art’s 2011 Documentary Fortnight Exhibition. Zimmerman is the recipient of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Award at the Rochester International Film Festival, the Halfway to Hollywood Award, an Athena Film Festival award, the Sarasota Film Festival’s IMPACT Award, and most recently, the Loreen Arbus Award for Those Who Take Action & Effect Change from New York Women in Film and Television.
Past winners of the Doc Mogul Award include Participant Media’s Diane Weyermann (2012), IDFA’s Ally Derks (2011), Films Transit International’s Jan Rofekamp (2010), HBO’s Sheila Nevins (2009), BBC’s Nick Fraser (2008), and The Knowledge Network’s Rudy Buttignol (2007).