In May 2019, DOC recognized director Tiffany Hsiung (The Apology) as the recipient of the Allan King Memorial Award. The award marks the 10th anniversary of Allan's passing and recognizes a documentary filmmaker who embodies Allan's philosophy that filmmakers should be fearless, free-thinking, and independent. Hsiung receives $4,000, made possible by a donation from Allan’s widow, Colleen Murphy.
Tiffany Hsiung is an international award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto. She is a graduate of Ryerson University, where she studied film production. Her award-winning short film, Binding Borders(2007), screened in film festivals internationally and propelled her to direct the RCI/CBC six-part mini-series on Beijing’s first-ever Olympic Games, “A New Face for Beijing” (2008).
Hsiung was nominated for an Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary by the Director’s Guild of Canada, and her digital interactive documentary she co-created, The Space We Hold based on The Apology, was a recipient of a Peabody - Futures of Media Award, as well as a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Digital Production.
Tiffany Hsiung: “Allan King’s groundbreaking approach to storytelling has always inspired me to capture the human condition through cinéma vérité. When I first met these resilient women who survived military sexual slavery during WWII for our film The Apology, it was their everyday life that captured my heart and made me better understand the impact of the atrocities that took place. It is a tremendous honour to receive the Allan King Memorial Award, as it symbolizes the power of the human story and how it ultimately connects us all.”
About Allan King:
Allan King was a pioneer with a vision, who forged a new path in the field of documentary film and became one of Canada’s most beloved filmmakers. His work sat deeply with audiences, exposing them to the rawness of the human condition. He explored intimate connections between people; uncovering what makes us unique and what binds us together in the spaces and experiences we share.
"He was unusual in treating his subjects as collaborators, developing relationships before the cameras ever rolled. His films are notable for their intense empathy and a kind of experimental boundary-pushing into the extremes of how and why we behave the way we do.” – Lacey, Liam. "Allan King: a filmmaker of intense empathy." The Globe and Mail, June 16, 2009
“I’ve always been interested in politics and social issues since I was a little kid. I was a debater from the age of 10 on. I led my first strike when I was 17 and led another walkout in a logging camp when I was 19 or 20. I’ve always been involved in, and concerned, about social issues. The central theme for me is: how do you make life better, personally and socially?” King, Allan. (2007) "The POV Interview: Allan King, The King of Verité." Interviewed by Marc Glassman. POV Point of View Magazine, 1 February
For over fifty years Allan made films using a compassionate and distinct style he called actuality drama. The purpose of this style of work was to film the drama of everyday life as it happens. His films like Warrendale, A Married Couple, Dying at Grace, Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company, Come on Children, to name but a few, illuminated the complexities of human behaviour.
Retrospectives of his work have been shown all over the world and in 2002 Allan was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In June 2008 he was inducted into the Canadian Film and Television Hall of Fame and was also awarded the Dragon of Dragons Prize for lifetime achievement at the Krakow Film festival in Poland.
Film editor, Nick Hector, Allan King’s long time collaborator, describes working with Allan as, “being given more freedom than I have ever experienced working on a film. He paints a picture of the idea he wants you to explore and gives you complete freedom within the parameters of that picture he has drawn”. The framework of this award is built around Allan’s name, work, and legacy, but we want applicants to tell us their unique vision for their film. This award will celebrate a filmmaker who, like Allan, takes an exploratory approach to documentary filmmaking by pushing the boundaries within the industry.
"There are few filmmakers whose impact has been central to the medium but Allan King is unquestionably one of them," Handling, Piers. (2009) as cited in "Canadian documentary maker Allan King dies at 79." CBC Canadian Broadcasting Coporation, 15 June