workshop 2013 bnr by-David-Spowart

Hot Docs Workshops

Our workshops help filmmakers of all levels develop new skills.

Advance sign-up and waitlist now closed.

Pass Level Required: Conference Pass, Conference and Networking Pass, All-Access Pass


2017 Hot Docs Workshops

Monday, May 1

3:30 - 5:00 PM
This Isn’t Brain Surgery, It’s Contract Surgery
Disparagement, limitation of liability, and grant of right? You don’t need to study for the bar in order to decode the language that stipulates your rights, power and authority in a legal contract. Attorney Raymond Tambe of Cohen Gardner LLP peels back the terminologies of real financing and distribution contracts, giving you the tools to understand the terms and conditions before you sign on the dotted line.

Tuesday, May 2

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Festival Strategy Lab
Get oriented and learn to navigate the festival maze with Kathleen McInnis, the director of programming at Aspen Film and festival strategist. Unmask the driver behind a film festival and look under the hood to demystify their processes. Develop a strategy for your film’s festival premieres and life on the festival circuit. And when you arrive at your festival destination, get a handle on how to maximize your film’s potential and achieve key goals for a successful launch into the international marketplace. Whether you’re a short or a feature, an emerging or master filmmaker, we want you to build you for the road ahead.

Wednesday, May 3

1:00 - 3:30 PM
Get on the Radar
You didn’t pour blood, sweat and tears into the making of your film only for it to remain unseen. What tools and strategies will you need to make your documentary marketable and discoverable? Darcy Heusel, VP of Audience Engagement and Impact at NEON, teaches the fundamentals of audience engagement. This workshop is ideal for filmmakers who have rough cuts, first assembly or completed films that require the building blocks to construct integrated marketing campaigns.

Thursday, May 4

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Strategic Partnerships in International Co-Productions
When it comes to film, the world is your oyster. Strategic partnerships in international co-production projects have financing, sales, festival and distribution possibilities. Academy Award-winning producer Judit Stalter (Son of Saul, Men with Balls) uses anecdotes and examples from her career to provide practical advice on how to tap into the co-production reservoir and have your story expand to a worldwide audience.

1:00 - 3:00 PM
Keep Your Film Close and Your Enemies Closer
How can you protect yourself, your documentary subject or your sensitive data in the digital age? It’s a responsibility that intensifies when documenting vulnerable subjects, conflict zones or repressive communities. Ron Deibert of The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs presents case studies on targeted digital attacks, discusses how photojournalists and documentary filmmakers may become increasingly targeted by highly sophisticated threat actors, and answers your questions on how to mitigate these risks. Sponsored by Bell Fund.

Friday, May 5

2:00 - 4:00 PM
Visual Research 101
Stock footage, film clips, news segments and still images: if you didn’t create it, you’ll need to clear it. Elspeth Domville, President of the Visual Researchers’ Society of Canada and a 25-year veteran of the profession, road maps the elusive world of rights and permissions, licensing terms, public domain and the art of negotiating a reduced cost for the materials essential to bringing your documentary to the screen. Co-presented with the Visual Researchers’ Society of Canada.

All >

Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotiabank

Presenting Partners

  • logo Bell-Media
  • logo documentary-Channel
  • logo Rogers

Major Supporters

  • logo Celebrate-Ontario
  • Logo Ontario150
  • logo telefilm

Official Airline Partner

  • logo Delta Web