HOT DOCS ANNOUNCES ROBIN SMITH AS NEW PROGRAMMER OF THE REVITALIZED BLOOR CINEMA
BUILDING RENOVATIONS HELMED BY HARIRI PONTARINI ARCHITECTS NOW UNDERWAY
Toronto, September 21, 2011 – Hot Docs is pleased to announce that Robin Smith will join the Hot Docs team as the programmer for the revitalized Bloor Cinema. In this role, Smith will be responsible for selecting and booking films to screen at the cinema, including first-run documentary titles and some fiction films, as well as the programming of documentary retrospectives and other non-fiction programs and special events.
“Robin is a great fit for Hot Docs and the Bloor Cinema,” says Hot Docs executive director Chris McDonald. “He is a pleasure to work with and, in joining our team, he brings with him a wealth of industry and academic experience, a passion for documentary, and a genuine desire to share incredible films with Toronto audiences.”
“I’m ecstatic to be involved with Hot Docs in the programming one of Canada’s oldest and largest cinemas,” says Smith. “I’ve been a loyal fan and friend of both Hot Docs and the Bloor throughout my whole career, so having a chance to be involved in this new venture is beyond belief for me. I couldn’t be happier to be given such an exciting opportunity.”
Smith is currently owner and president of the Canadian film distribution company KinoSmith Inc., which provides full distribution for a variety of fiction and non-fiction film projects. Through his work with KinoSmith, Smith offers marketing advice to completed productions as well as those in development, and acts as executive producer on a variety of upcoming Canadian feature film and television works. Previous to starting KinoSmith, Smith worked at Capri Releasing Inc. as their vice-president of distribution, and held positions at Seville Pictures as their director of sales and marketing, at Lions Gate Film Entertainment as director of marketing and distribution in the company’s video and theatrical divisions, and at Blackwatch Releasing as vice president of marketing and distribution. Previous to Blackwatch, Smith worked for two years in sales at Alliance Atlantis’ motion picture division, and spent eight years in various roles at the Toronto International Film Festival. Smith graduated from York University’s film and video production BFA program, and is currently teaching feature film and video distribution and movie marketing courses at Ryerson University.
Hot Docs is also pleased to announce that cinema renovations are now underway, with a construction crew onsite at 506 Bloor Street West to bring to fruition the plans laid out by Toronto-based architectural practice Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA), with feedback from Bloor Cinema patrons and the Annex and Harbord Village communities. One of Canada’s most acclaimed architectural films, HPA is helmed by partners Siamak Hariri and David Pontarini, and is the recipient of one of the world’s top architecture awards – the Progressive Architecture Award – for the winning international entry for the Bahá’í Temple for South America, as well as the Governor General’s Medal for the Schulich School of Business at York University and a 2009 Award of Excellence from the Toronto Urban Design Awards for the Pape/Danforth Public Library. Bloor Cinema renovations and improvements include the installation of a larger screen, a larger and revitalized lobby and concession area, improvements to the seating and building façade, a wheelchair accessible washroom facility on the main floor and improvements to the second floor washroom facilities, as well as a refresh of the interior design that aims to draw attention to the building’s celebrated history as an over 100-year-old cinema. Additional details around the re-opening of the cinema will be announced in the coming months.
Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca), North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 19th annual edition from April 26 – May 6, 2012. An outstanding selection of 150+ documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the recently acquired Bloor Cinema (www.bloorcinema.com), a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.