AIDC 2020: ‘Laura’s Choice’ wins Hot Docs prize

Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel. 

Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel’s documentary Laura’s Choice won the inaugural Hot Docs Prize from last week’s Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Melbourne, as well as a Doc Edge festival and forum pass.

The film explores the family experience of three generations of women coming to terms with a radical approach to dying, and was pitched as part of AIDC’s FACTory Pitch program.

The Hot Docs prize involves travel support to attend Toronto’s Hot Docs International Documentary Conference in May, and the filmmakers will also receive a complimentary festival and forum pass to New Zealand’s Doc Edge.

Laura’s Choice also won Screenwest’s annual Brian Beaton Award in 2019, awarded social impact projects that need further support to reach their full potential, and has received development funding from Screenwest.

Director and producer Lara said: “We are completely blown away to have won these awards at AIDC. It’s been very special sharing this incredibly personal experience, and we are both really moved to see how many people have resonated with Laura’s story. The teaser we screened garnered such a positive response and prompted lots of tears and discussion. It all left me feeling very proud of my Grandma and her legacy.”

CEO of Screenwest, Willie Rowe explained, “Laura’s Choice is such an exceptional Western Australian story which will have lasting impact for years to come. This is ground‐breaking documentary at its finest, presenting a familiar family story in anticipating the passing of a loved one, that most can relate to. Screenwest is proud to have supported its journey so far. We look forward to the reception it receives upon release.”

Correction: This article original stated that Laura’s Choice won the Doc Edge Pitch Prize. This was incorrect; Laura’s Choice won a festival and forum pass to Doc Edge, but the winner of the Doc Edge Pitch Prize was Sam Griffin and Larissa Berhendt’s project The Fight Together.