John Zaritsky wins Special Jury Prize – Canadian – at Hot Docs

John Zaritsky hdshot
The Special Jury Prize - Canadian Feature was presented to Vancouver-based Academy Award-winning filmmaker John Zaritsky for LEAVE THEM LAUGHING

The Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature was presented to Vancouver-based Academy Award-winning filmmaker John Zaritsky for LEAVE THEM LAUGHING (P: Montana Berg, Canada/USA), which follows mother, performer, and darkly funny smart-ass Carla Zilbersmith in her battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Jury statement: “The Special Jury Prize goes to a film about an unimaginably horrifying disease that draws us in rather than making us turn away. The subject is someone approaching death, but the film is about how to live. We admire it most for bringing us into an intimate relationship between a mother and son without feeling voyeuristic or manipulative.”   

Sponsored by the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, the award features a $10,000 prize courtesy of the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.