Media Room



For immediate release

Toronto, April 14, 2010 – Hot Docs will present Critical Mass, a new speaker series featuring international critics and media personalities that will take place during this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, running April 29 to May 9. Critical Mass will pair three high-profile critics in the fields of music, architecture and fashion with Canadian media personalities for three 90-minute conversations about the latest trends and ideas fuelling their field. The Critical Mass speaker series is programmed by Bob Ramsay, Ramsay Inc.

“Documentaries are often about individual ideas and perspectives, and examinations of the order of things, and as such share a great deal with the realm of criticism and journalism as a whole,” says Hot Docs executive director Chris McDonald. “We are delighted to welcome these three exceptional critics and interviewers to discuss their passion and share their celebrated voices with Hot Docs audiences.”

Critical Mass will launch on Saturday, May 1, at 7:00 p.m. at the Al Green Theatre – Miles Nadal Centre with a conversation with Sasha Frere-Jones. A musician and pop-music critic for The New Yorker, Frere-Jones was named one of the top 30 critics in the world by The Economist’s lifestyle publication, Intelligent Life. His controversial essay “A Paler Shade of White,” which examines the changing role of race in pop-music, generated more response mail for The New Yorker than any essay the magazine had published in the past ten years.

Critical Mass will present an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic and writer for The New Yorker, Paul Goldberger. Goldberger has written The New Yorker’s celebrated “Sky Line” column since 1997. The author of numerous books on architecture, he began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism. Goldberger will be in conversation with host of CBC Radio One’s “The Sunday Edition,” Michael Enright, on Monday, May 3, at 7:00 p.m. at the Al Green Theatre – Miles Nadal Centre, 750 Spadina Avenue.

The speaker series will conclude with guest Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic and style writer with The Washington Post, where she covers the news, trends and business of the international fashion industry. Her work is distinguished by the way in which it examines fashion through the lens of popular culture, politics and social anthropology. Givhan received the Eugenia Sheppard award for journalism from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and, in 2006, won the Pulitzer Prize in criticism for her fashion coverage. In 2009, she began covering Michelle Obama and the cultural and social shifts stirred by the first African American family in the White House. Givhan will be interviewed by iconic fashion reporter and host of “Fashion Television,” Jeanne Beker, on Friday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m. inside the University of Toronto’s Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle.

Tickets to each Critical Mass presentation are $12 and can be purchased at the Hot Docs documentary Box Office (Hazelton Lanes, 55 Avenue Road), by phone at 416-637-5150, or online at

Funding for Critical Mass is provided by the Government of Ontario.


Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. From April 29 to May 9, 2010, Hot Docs will present an outstanding selection of 170+ documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions, market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Toronto Documentary Forum, May 5 and 6, and The Doc Shop.

The Hot Docs documentary Box Office (55 Avenue Road, 2 blocks north of Bloor St. W., lower level of Hazelton Lanes) is open for advance ticket and pass sales. Tickets can be purchased in person, online at, or by phone at 416-637-5150. Single tickets to screenings are $12 each. Late night screenings (after 11 p.m.) are $5 each or $10 for an All-You-Can-Eat Late Night Pass (one ticket to each screening). A Festival Pass (10 tickets) is $98 and a Premium Pass (one ticket to every screening, excluding those running concurrently) is $180 ($300 for two passes). Free tickets for all screenings before 6 p.m. are available for students and seniors (subject to availability) with valid photo ID at the venue box offices on the day of the screening.

Hot Docs is proud to include Rogers, Telefilm Canada and documentary as its Presenting Partners, with special support from the Government of Ontario.

Media Contact:
Virginia Kelly
V Kelly & Associates
Phone: 416-466-9799

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Stay in touch

Sign up for the Hot Docs E-bulletin