Media Room



Toronto, January 31, 2012 – Hot Docs is pleased to announce that on February 13 it will launch Doc Ignite, an exciting new online crowd-funding service that will assist Canadian documentary filmmakers in building audiences and raising financing for their projects in development.

“Filmmakers have greater direct access to their audiences, and crowd-funding is one tool of many to engage with their public, raise funds, and ‘ignite’ their film.” says Elizabeth Radshaw, Hot Docs Forum and Market Director. “We’re excited to cultivate a culture of crowd-funding in Canada with Doc Ignite.”

Filmmakers selected for Doc Ignite will set crowd-funding targets around specific production or post-production needs for their film projects, and run campaigns to reach their goals. In return for their financial support, those who pledge will receive a variety of benefits from the filmmakers, as well as incentives from Hot Docs, depending on the level of their support. On the Doc Ignite platform, filmmakers can keep followers up to date on their campaigns and film projects through blog and video posts and social media channels. Campaigns will be jointly promoted by the filmmakers to their online communities and by Hot Docs to its considerable public and industry followings.

Doc Ignite projects will be selected and supported by Hot Docs industry experts, with only one project’s campaign being run and promoted at a time. The first six projects featured on Doc Ignite will receive an additional boost: Toronto’s Open Roof Films, presenters of the popular summer outdoor film and music series Open Roof Festival (, has generously ignited each campaign with a $1000 advance pledge.

The inaugural Doc Ignite project will be announced with the site’s launch in February. Filmmakers interested in submitting projects for consideration will be able to do so through the site once it is live.

Hot Docs’ Doc Ignite is the latest effort in the organization’s ongoing mission to assist documentary filmmakers in getting their films made and seen. In addition to the Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs’ renowned international co-financing pitch event, The Doc Shop online market, and a wealth of other market events and services offered each year during the Festival, Hot Docs also administers several production funds. The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Documentary Funds have provided more than $1.8 million in grants and no-interest loans to 73 Canadian projects over the past four years. The newly launched Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund, a $1-million development and production fund for African filmmakers, will announce the recipients for the first round of disbursements in February 2012.

Doc Ignite was made possible by the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Telefilm Canada, the City of Toronto, and the Toronto Community Foundation.


Hot Docs (, 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, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood, which will reopen in 2012.

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

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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