2020 Awards

Congratulations to our 2020 Award Winners!

The Beating Heart Award recognizes a filmmaker from an equity-seeking group to help support these important voices in film. Women, non-binary, LGBTQ, persons of colour or Indigenous filmmakers are eligible for this award. The recipient is voted on by CLiFF Board members and the award includes a $100.00 CAD prize.

When Asians Audition is a punchy 1 min comedy sketch from Canada and Director Philip UK Yang. This satire depicts on the job racism when Asians audition for acting roles.



2020 is the first year we are awarding the LabourStart Award for Working Class Solidarity recognizes the festival film that speaks the most to building worker-to-worker global solidarity. This award is funded by LabourStart and the recipient is voted on by the global executive of LabourStart. The award includes a $100 CAD prize.

There are two recipients of the award: Birth of a Union and Filadelphia.

Birth of a Union is a 19.5 min documentary from the United States and Director Josh Karan. The film chronicles the historic effort to organize low wage workers in North Carolina, where it is illegal for any State agency to agree to a Union contract.

Filadelphia is a 7 min documentary from Brazil and Director Dani Drumond. The film reveals the work and voices of 16 women in a recycling sorting cooperative. As they work and talk, a subject inevitably comes up: why do men give up so early on work in the cooperative?


The Best Canadian Film award recognizes the Canadian film which best meets CLiFF’s purpose of telling stories of workers, unionized and non-unionized, thorough film by sharing the voice of those who seek justice on the job and dignity in the workplace. This year’s award was voted on by Canadian festival attendees.

The Miguel Cifuentes Radical Change Award was created in memory of CLiFF’s late board member and a longtime labour activist, Miguel Cifuentes, who passed away in 2014. The award goes to the film that best reflects his passion for social justice and commitment to social change and is chosen by his family.

The CLiFF Best-in-Festival Award is the film judged by CLiFF Board members to be the best in the festival.

Each of these three awards carries with it a $100 CAD prize.

Company Town is a 52 min documentary from Canada and Director Peter Findlay. On the anniversary of General Motors’ 100th year of manufacturing vehicles in Oshawa, Canada, the company announces it will be shuttering its plant in a year and the union mobilizes to fight to save jobs – and the future of the community – against huge odds.