Entertainment

'Riveting and unflinching' clergy abuse trial film Prey wins $50K Hot Docs audience prize

Prey, a 'riveting and unflinching' account of a sexual abuse survivor's legal fight against the Catholic Church, has won the top award at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival.

Courtroom account takes audience prize after winning special jury honour

Directed by Matt Gallagher, clergy abuse trial film Prey won the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award for best Canadian documentary on Sunday at Hot Docs. (Hot Docs)

Prey, a "riveting and unflinching" account of a sexual abuse survivor's legal fight against the Catholic Church, has won the top award at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival.

Directed by Matt Gallagher, Prey was named winner of the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award for best Canadian documentary on Sunday, the final day of Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival. 

Immediately after the announcement, organizers held a free encore screening of the film.

Most cases of clergy sex abuse are settled quietly and out-of-court. Gallagher's film follows a Canadian man who chooses to pursue a public trial in order to shine a light on these cases of abuse and attempt to hold the Catholic Church accountable.

Rod MacLeod, who as a boy was abused for years by a Catholic priest and teacher, enlists civil lawyer Rob Talach, who has filed approximately 400 suits against the church, for the case.

In addition to the audience award, Prey also won a $5,000 special jury prize during an earlier Hot Docs awards ceremony in Toronto on Friday.

Other winners announced Friday include Tasha Hubbard's Colten Boushie doc nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, which opened this year's edition of Hot Docs.

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