Cope took home the top prize at the first-ever RTA Top Docs film festival Tuesday night.

The documentary, created by four third-year media production students, tells the story of Taylor Lindsay-Noel and the life-changing incident that made her a quadriplegic. The film beat out four other finalists to win a $1,000 prize.

(Aaron Navarro/Ryersonian Staff)

Crew members of the film Cope are excited to be the first winners of RTA’s Top Docs festival. (Aaron Navarro/Ryersonian Staff)

“Our group is just really excited and proud of the outcome,” said Lindsay-Noel. “Making top five was amazing, especially after all the trials we had to go through.”

Dahkil’s Role, a film that follows Dahkil Faraj Al Bahrani’s journey from Iraq to Canada, placed second and won a Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) workshop. Gary, which tells the life of retired art teacher Gary Low, placed third.

Every student from the top three teams will also be given DOC memberships.

“This is a fabulous opportunity to show (the film) to our colleagues, our professor, and other industry professionals,” said Hayley Butler, who placed first with Lindsay-Noel. “This was the first documentary that all of us had ever made, so actually going through it, it made me more passionate about it.”

The films were judged by four professional Canadian filmmakers, including: Cornelia Principe, Nadine Pequeneza, Karen Shopsowitz and David Oppenheim, all DOC members.

The five films were chosen among 13 projects submitted from David Tucker’s third-year documentary production course. Tucker is a Gemini award-winning documentary director and has been teaching the course at Ryerson for five years.



Aaron graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2015.