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Who We Are

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, and takes place in Toronto, Canada. Each year, the Festival presents a selection of more than 180 cutting-edge documentaries from Canada and around the globe. Through its industry programs, Hot Docs also provides a full range of professional development, market and networking opportunities for documentary professionals.

Hot Docs was founded in 1993 by the Documentary Organization of Canada (formerly the Canadian Independent Film Caucus), a national association of independent documentary filmmakers. In 1996, Hot Docs became a separately incorporated organization with a mandate to showcase and support the work of Canadian and international documentary filmmakers and to promote excellence in documentary production.

To advance and celebrate the art of documentary, and to showcase the work of and create production opportunities for documentary filmmakers.

Hot Docs is a national, charitable organization dedicated to advancing and celebrating the art of documentary. The organization showcases Canadian and international documentaries to the public and delivers professional development, market and network opportunities to documentary professionals through the presentation of an annual documentary festival and complimentary activities. Hot Docs endeavours to provide the highest quality programmes and services to its constituents, and to earn an international reputation for excellence.

Hot Docs, running April 23 - May 3, 2015, will feature Canadian and international competitive programs, an international documentary market, The Doc Shop, and the Hot Docs Forum (April 29 & 30).

Hot Docs Conference and Market
With its lively mix of public and professional events, Hot Docs is the ideal North American market and meeting place for the documentary industry. Last year, the Festival attracted over 2000 delegates, including documentary filmmakers, buyers, programmers, distributors and commissioning editors from around the world.

Hot Docs Forum
During the Festival, Hot Docs also presents the renowned Hot Docs Forum. Launched in 2000 as the Toronto Documentary Forum, this limited-seating event is focused around a slate of pre-selected project-presentations and has established itself as North America’s essential international market event for buyers and sellers working in the social, cultural and political documentary genres. More than 190 broadcasters and distributors from Europe, Australia, the USA, Canada and elsewhere regularly participate and the Hot Docs Forum has proven highly successful for the projects presented, as well as the rest of the delegates. Because of its unusual format, it’s also a preeminent source of up-to-the-second market intelligence for both buyers and sellers. The Hot Docs Forum has evolved from a format developed by Amsterdam’s FORUM for the international co-financing of documentaries and their partner, the European Documentary Network (EDN).

Docs For Schools
Launched in 2006, Docs for Schools presents free daytime screenings for educators and students at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema during the Festival, with filmmakers present for discussions after the screenings. The program also provides opportunities to screen current documentaries in schools across Ontario. For each film showcased in the Docs for Schools program, Hot Docs – in consultation with professional educators – prepares detailed educational packages that include lesson plans and links to the Ontario curriculum.

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
In June 2011, Hot Docs and Blue Ice Group partnered to revive the historical Bloor Cinema, located in Toronto’s vibrant Annex neighbourhood. Operated and programmed by Hot Docs, the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema reopened in March 2012 and is a year-round home for first-run Canadian and international documentaries, as well as special documentary presentations and showcases. Continuing its longstanding role as a community cinema, it also hosts many of the city’s independent film festivals and offers audiences some repertory and specialized fiction film programming.

Production Funds and Crowdfunding
Throughout the year, Hot Docs supports documentary filmmakers through Doc Ignite, an online crowdfunding service. Launched in February 2012, Doc Ignite helps Canadian documentary filmmakers build audiences and raise financing for their projects in development.

Hot Docs also administers several production funds. The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds consist of a $3-million completion fund and a $1-million development fund which provide much-needed financial support to filmmakers facing financing gaps at critical stages in their projects. The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund is a $1-million production fund that provides financial support to independent documentary filmmakers based in developing African countries, with the goal of increasing the quality and quantity of social, cultural and political documentaries produced in the region. The CrossCurrents Doc Fund is an international production fund that aims to foster storytelling from within communities whose perspectives have been historically underrepresented or marginalized.

Doc Soup, Bell Media Best of Hot Docs and Bell Media Hot Docs Showcase
Doc Soup, a monthly screening and discussion series held at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, provides audiences an opportunity to view and discuss outstanding contemporary documentaries throughout the fall and winter. Now a national program, Calgary has a monthly Doc Soup series from October to April, and Vancouver and Winnipeg each host a Bell Media Best of Hot Docs weekend.

The Bell Media Hot Docs Showcase offers independent cinemas, film societies, student associations, museums, libraries and other non-traditional screening venues across Ontario access to a catalogue of recent, high-quality Canadian and international documentary films. Specially selected by Hot Docs, these films offer audiences unique viewing experiences through engaging and provocative true-life stories from around the globe.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
110 Spadina Avenue, Suite 333
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 2K4
Tel: (1) 416.203.2155
Fax: (1) 416.203.0446

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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