Media Room

Latest News

Hot Docs 2014 - Find Films

The 2014 Hot Docs Festival, April 24 to May 4, will feature 197 official selections from 43 countries, and will open with the international premiere of Brian Knappenberger’s The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz.

Find films online, or download a printable version of this year’s screening schedule.

Hot Docs tickets, packages, passes, can be purchased online, by phone at 416.637.5150, or in person at the Hot Docs documentary Box Office, newly located at 2 Bloor Street West (Cumberland Terrace – Lower Level).

For more information on this year’s Festival, visit

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 7:00 | #

Hot Docs Welcomes Special Guests to 2014 Festival

Hot Docs is honoured to welcome a number of guest subjects, and a record 186 directors to the 2014 Festival, April 24 - May 4, to introduce their films and participate in post-screening audience Q&As. Find films >>

Featured guests are listed below. In most cases, the guests will be present at one or more screenings.

  • Brandy Burre from ACTRESS (D: Robert Greene) – The Wire’s Brandy Burre returns to acting while balancing the demanding roles of mother, lover, wife and performer.
  • Ari Seth Cohen and several of the fashionable ladies from ADVANCED STYLE (D: Lina Plioplyte) – Blogger Ari Seth Cohen photographs the most stylish and creative older women on the streets of New York City.
  • Gruff Rhys from AMERICAN INTERIOR (D: Gruff Rhys, Dylan Goch) – Gruff Rhys is a Welsh musician who performs solo and with several bands, including Super Furry Animals.
  • Louis Ortiz from BRONX OBAMA (D: Ryan Murdock) – Louis Ortiz is an American impersonator with an uncanny resemblance to Barack Obama.
  • Ajit George and Vijay Veerappan from THE BACKWARD CLASS (D: Madeleine Grant) – Director of Operations Ajit George of the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, and Vijay Veerappan from the school’s inaugural graduating class.
  • Gerrit Becker and Danilo Povolo from BEFORE THE LAST CURTAIN FALLS (D: Thomas Wallner) – Members of Cabaret Follies, a comic transvestite theatre company that tours Belgium.
  • Paul Katami, Kris Perry, Sandy Stier and Jeff Zarrillo from THE CASE AGAINST 8 (D: Ben Cotner, Ryan White) – The brave plaintiffs who took part in the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
  • Justin from CHILDREN 404 (D: Pavel Loparev, Askold Kurov) – A courageous Russian LGBT teenager.
  • Jill Appel, Janet Rothrock and Adriana Cohen from DIVIDE IN CONCORD (D: Kris Kaczor) – Three Concord residents involved in the town’s fight over bottled water.
  • Anthony Lynch, Kasey White and Maria Rivera from THE HOMESTRETCH (D: Anne de Mare, Kirsten Kelly) – Two of the three teens featured in the film and selfless teacher Maria Rivera.
  • James Randi from AN HONEST LIAR (D: Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom) – The Amazing Randi, renowned magician and escape artist, is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal.
  • Ms. Cleo from HOTLINE (D: Tony Shaff) – An American psychic who achieved fame as spokeswoman for the Psychic Readers Network.
  • Caroll Spinney from I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY (D: Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina) – Master puppeteer who brought Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life.
  • Gabriella Coleman, Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig from THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ (D: Brian Knappenberger) – Best-selling author Cory Doctorow, hacker-culture expert Gabriella Coleman and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig speak about the issues raised in the film.
  • Kristin Beck from LADY VALOR: THE KRISTIN BECK STORY (D: Mark Herzog, Sandrine Orabona) – A former United States Navy SEAL who came out as a trans woman.
  • Poe Ballantine from LOVE AND TERROR ON THE HOWLING PLAINS OF NOWHERE (D: Dave Jannetta) – An American fiction and nonfiction writer.
  • Cenk Uygur from MAD AS HELL (D: Andrew Napier) – A Turkish-American political commentator, Internet personality, and political activist.
  • Giuseppe Marinoni from MARINONI (D: Tony Girardin) – A revered 75-year-old bicycle craftsman and competitive cyclist.
  • Sylvia Earle from MISSION BLUE (D: Robert Nixon, Fisher Stevens) – Internationally renowned oceanographer and eco-activist.
  • Allessandro Gualtieri from THE NOSE – SEARCHING FOR BLAMAGE (D: Paul Rigter) – A radical Italian perfumer who launched his own line in 2007.
  • Jay Reinke from THE OVERNIGHTERS (D: Jesse Moss) – The pastor who started “The Overnighters” to help down-on-their-luck men working in Williston, ND.
  • Matthew VanDyke from POINT AND SHOOT (D: Marshall Curry) – A freedom fighter, former POW, and documentary filmmaker.
  • Razan Shalab-al-Sham and Mouaz Moustafa from RED LINES (D: Andrea Kalin, Oliver Lukacs) – The Syrian Emergency Task Force executive director Mouaz Moustafa and field director Razan Shalab-al-Sham.
  • Sophie and Moe Harkat from THE SECRET TRIAL 5 (D: Amar Wala) – Security certificate detainee Moe Harkat and his wife Sophie.
  • The Iron Sheik from THE SHEIK (D: Igal Hecht) – Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri is known as legendary wrestler and performer The Iron Sheik.
  • Alice Cooper from SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER (D: Reginald Harkema, Scot McFadyen, Sam Dunn) – An American rock star whose career spans five decades.
  • George Takei from TO BE TAKEI (D: Jennifer Kroot, Bill Weber) – Pop culture icon, actor, author and activist, best known as Star Trek’s Hikaru Sulu.

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:55 | #

Special Docs at Dusk Screening of HARMONTOWN

Come join us for an outdoor screening of Harmontown in Burwash Quad, next to the Victoria College building on the University of Toronto campus. The evening starts at 8:00 p.m. with live music by The Modern Hearts, followed by a fantastic film. Refreshments available. Weather permitting.

Date: May 1, 9:00 p.m.

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:52 | #

Hot Docs Talk: Docs Change People. People Change the World.

Films, especially documentaries, can have an immense impact on a viewer’s knowledge and beliefs. How does this really work? Imagine if we could measure how our opinions and actions are being influenced by what we watch. Managing director and director of research at the Norman Lear Center Johanna Blakley will share her finding on her audience media analytics of Food, Inc. with some insightful and surprising results; producer Patricia Finneran will present several remarkable stories to illustrate how shifts in several issue areas have occurred due to a filmmaker’s work and their audiences’ response; and producer Lisa Valencai-Svensson and Picture Motion’s director of digital strategy Darcy Heusel will present the impact of Herman’s House.

Date: April 25, 2014
Tickets: FREE


Presented in partnership with the Inspirit Foundation.

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:50 | #

Interactive Installation AVATAR SECRETS on During Hot Docs

Avatar Secrets is an interactive large-scale, touch-screen installation on display in the TIFF Bell Lightbox main lobby from April 25 to May 4. Avatar Secrets explores the complexities of human connection in the wired world through director Ramona Pringle’s personal journey across borders and bandwidths in search of love, meaning and community in the 21st century. As she ventures into massive online game worlds, she comes to the conclusion that we’re not addicted to technology, but to each other—to love, empathy, camaraderie and compassion.


   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:45 | #

Scotiabank Big Ideas Series to Feature Five Docs with Special Guests

The Scotiabank Big Ideas series will offer audiences the opportunity to experience five thought-provoking documentaries and then hear first-hand from the notable subjects and experts on the issues featured in the films.

Films include:

FRI, APR 25, 6:30 PM
Special Guest: Sylvia Earle

SAT, APR 26, 6:00 PM
Special Guest: George Takei

SUN, APR 27, 6:00 PM
Special Guest: Caroll Spinney

TUE, APR 29, 6:30 PM
Special Guests: Ted Olson, Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier

WED, APR 30, 6:30 PM
Special Guests: Cory Doctorow, Gabriella Coleman and Lawrence Lessig

Big Ideas series sponsored by Scotiabank

Additional support by the Government of Ontario and Canada Arts Presentation Fund at Canadian Heritage

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:40 | #

Hot Docs Live! Welcomes Alice Cooper to Toronto and Screens Across Canada

Join Alice Cooper, the ultimate rock star of the twisted and bizarre, after the Canadian premiere of Super Duper Alice Cooper, as he and filmmakers Reginald Harkema, Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn answer audience questions about this long-anticipated look at his life and celebrated career.

Hot Docs Live! is presented in partnership with eOne Films. Front Row Centre will simulcast this special event into 45 Cineplex theatres coast to coast. Learn more.

Date: April 28, 9:00 p.m.

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:35 | #

DOCUMENTAL: MANIFESTO MEETS HOT DOCS Offers Special Discount on 10 Films

Hot Docs and Manifesto Community Projects are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership at this year’s Festival to showcase select films of interest to Manifesto’s diverse audiences. Ten official selections on a range of social and cultural issues will be promoted to Manifesto audiences as DOCUMENTAL: MANIFESTO MEETS HOT DOCS, with discounted admission offered for select screenings.

Manifesto will provide their community members with the discount code for this special offer.

Documental: Manifesto Meets Hot Docs films:

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:30 | #

Find the Fantastic in Mystery, Myth and Legend Program

This year’s Mystery, Myth and Legend program will showcase a selection of films that highlight the power of stories and storytelling around the world.

View the Mystery, Myth and Legend Program

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:20 | #

Love, Factually Program Gets to the Heart of the Matter

Films in the Love, Factually program will highlight the fight for marriage equality, the intimate world of love hotels in Japan, the resilience of love against all odds, a young autistic man’s search for physical love, and the Transylvanian village where single grannies outnumber elderly men.


   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:15 | #

Made In Denmark at Hot Docs 2014

Each year the Made In program celebrates a country or region’s contribution to documentary, offering revealing glimpses into the social, political, economic and cultural issues facing those societies. This year the Made In Denmark program will highlight the high calibre of filmmaking in the Danish documentary community, which consistently pushes the boundaries of the art form.

Films include:

The Made In Denmark program is supported by the Danish Film Institute.

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:10 | #

2014-15 Doc Soup Subscriptions Now On Sale

Subscriptions for the 2014-15 Doc Soup season are now on sale at a special Festival rate. Get yours today!
Festival Price Deadline: May 6, 2014
Subscribe Now

   Posted: Wed, April 23, 2014 - 6:05 | #

Hot Docs 2014 Opens This Week

Hot Docs opens this Thursday, presenting 197 films from 43 countries! Over 40 screenings have gone rush, and tickets and passes are selling fast! Don’t miss your chance to see these incredible docs.

Hot Docs tickets, packages and passes can be purchased online, by phone at 416.637.5150, or in person at the documentary Box Office located at 2 Bloor Street West, Cumberland Terrace – Lower Level.


   Posted: Tue, April 22, 2014 - 2:46 | #


The 2014 Hot Docs Festival opens Thursday, April 24, and it’s not too late to register! Registration is still available online, and on-site registration will open at noon on April 23.

With a strong slate of industry sessions and workshops, exclusive market and networking events, and over 200 decision makers in attendance, including representatives from ARTE/ZDF, CBC, Discovery Networks International, NHK, OWN: The Oprah Network, PBS, Shaw Media and more, Hot Docs 2014 is the place to be to get your projects financed, made and sold!


Haven’t registered yet?

   Posted: Mon, April 21, 2014 - 12:52 | #

Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds Applications Now Open

Applications for the first round of 2014 Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds disbursements are now open. The Funds offer completion grants and no-interest development loans with an aim to increase the quantity and quality of social, cultural and political one-off documentaries produced in Canada by Canadian-based production companies.

Deadline: May 21, 2014

   Posted: Thu, April 17, 2014 - 9:15 | #

Hot Docs Deal Maker Projects Announced

Hot Docs is pleased to announce the 50 projects that will be pitched at this year’s Hot Docs Deal Maker, a one-on-one pitch-meeting program for producers seeking financing from the international marketplace. Hot Docs Deal Maker will take place April 29 and 30, and May 1, during the Hot Docs Festival, April 24 to May 4.

In addition to Deal Maker, the afternoons of April 30 and May 1, will feature Close Up With… round tables, which provide opportunities to connect with broadcast financiers, funders and buyers.

View the 2014 selected projects.

Hot Docs Deal Maker is supported by Telefilm Canada and OMDC, and sponsored by Realscreen.

   Posted: Thu, April 17, 2014 - 9:10 | #

Register for the 2014 Industry Conference and Market

Online registration for the 2014 Hot Docs industry conference and market is now open! Choose from three great industry passes, each tailored to help you make the most of your Festival experience. Last minute pricing in effect. REGISTER TODAY

   Posted: Thu, April 17, 2014 - 9:05 | #

Workshop Sign-Up Deadline April 21

The following workshops will be offered as part of the 2014 Hot Docs Industry Conference:

  • ASTOUND Business Model Canvas: In continued partnership with the ASTOUND Initiative, Hot Docs and CFC Medal Lab facilitators will walk doc project teams through creating a business model canvas inspired by the Alexander Osterwalder method and his Business Model Generation.

  • Seeking Private Investment? A Workshop on the Essentials for Doc Filmmakers: This workshop, led by advisor Anne Marie Maduri of Maduri + Associates, provides a strategic approach to raising capital by accessing private investment.

  • Theatrical On Demand®: This workshop will help participants develop strategies for a theatrical-on-demand distribution plan and address best practices for activating communities and engaging audiences.

Advance sign-up is required for these workshops. Registered delegates can sign up via the Online Community.
Sign-Up Deadline: April 21, 2014


   Posted: Wed, April 16, 2014 - 11:08 | #

Rent-an-Expert Sign-Up Now Open

Connect with industry experts and senior producers at our Rent-an-Expert sessions. These intimate and informal eight-person sessions will take place April 29 and 30, and May 1, during the 2014 Hot Docs Festival, April 24 - May 4.

Sign-Up Period: April 21-28, 2014

   Posted: Wed, April 16, 2014 - 11:03 | #

Gardiner Roberts LLP Welcomed as Official Law Firm of the Hot Docs Forum

Hot Docs is please to welcome Gardiner Roberts LLP as the Official Law Firm of the 2014 Hot Docs Forum.

Learn more about the Hot Docs Forum.

   Posted: Wed, April 16, 2014 - 10:44 | #

Kickstart your Doc Making Career at Hot Docs 2014

Kickstart is a half-day long series of dynamic sessions that provide the essentials for emerging and mid-career doc-makers.

Tickets to this event include access to all three Kickstart sessions:

My First Doc (9:30 AM - 10:45 AM)
Building Identities for Films and Filmmakers (11:30 AM - 12:30 PM)
Documentary Research and the Art of Truth (1:30 PM - 2:30 PM)


   Posted: Tue, April 15, 2014 - 2:35 | #

Air Canada enRoute Film Festival Call for Submissions

Canadian students and emerging filmmakers are invited to submit their short film to the Air Canada enRoute Film Festival. Selected films will be broadcast on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment system and viewed by millions of Air Canada passengers around the world. Finalists will receive amazing prizes and public screenings will be held in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

To submit your film, visit Submissions deadline is May 31, 2014.

   Posted: Mon, April 14, 2014 - 6:46 | #

Hot Docs Honours Passing of Peter Liechti

Peter Liechti, celebrated Swiss director, cinematographer and author, passed away on Friday, April 4, at the age of 63. Mr. Liechti had a tremendous impact on the international documentary world, and leaves behind a comprehensive opus, including The Sounds of Insects: Record of a Mummy, which was an Official Selection at Hot Docs and won the European Film Award in 2009. As script consultant and producer, he helped many young filmmakers find their own cinematic voice. Friend and mentor to so many, Peter Liechti will be missed.

   Posted: Thu, April 10, 2014 - 11:00 | #

Spotlight on Canadian Co-Productions at Hot Docs 2014

Canadian co-productions are gaining ground with audiences at home and around the world, and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) is proud to have contributed more than $240-million to over 1000 documentary productions since 2010.

On April 28, join CMF at Hot Docs for the Canadian Co-Production Documentary Showcase and discover projects that enhance the viewer’s experience and provide a deeper understanding of the subject at hand. Find out how leading Canadian documentary projects have pushed the boundaries to engage with and reach new Canadian and international audiences through various platforms.

Date: April 28, 2:30 p.m.
Sign-up now via the Online Community.

   Posted: Wed, April 09, 2014 - 1:47 | #

CMF Funds at Rent-an-Expert

On May 1, join CMF’s Melissa Amer for Rent-an-Expert. Intimate and informal group discussions, Rent-an-Expert connects delegates with leading executives and specialists in film and television to learn from their expertise. Sign-up will be available beginning April 21, via the Online Community.

Date: May 1, 2014, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

   Posted: Wed, April 09, 2014 - 1:40 | #

Hot Docs Offers Discount to ICC Cultural Access Pass Holders

Hot Docs is extending a special invitation for Institute for Canadian Citizenship Cultural Access Pass (CAP) members to attend this year’s Festival. CAP members with a valid membership card can get up to two tickets per screening to select screenings (please note that tickets are subject to availability). With a selection of screenings to choose from, there is something everyone will love.


   Posted: Tue, April 08, 2014 - 1:33 | #

2014 Programmers’ Picks and Film Trailers on YouTube

Check out Hot Docs on YouTube, where you can view trailers for this year’s Festival and view exclusive Hot Docs content.

Now available:

Stay tuned for new videos each week on the the Hot Docs YouTube channel.
Subscribe now!

   Posted: Tue, April 08, 2014 - 1:32 | #

2014 Micro-Meeting Schedule Now Available

Micro-meetings are intimate sessions that offer industry intelligence from broadcasters, funders and those on the cutting edge of technology. This year eleven micro-meetings will take place April 28 - 30.

Registered delegates can sign up via the Online Community.
Sign-Up Deadline: April 30, 2014


   Posted: Wed, April 02, 2014 - 11:29 | #

documentary Box Office Open For Ticket, Pass and Package Sales

Hot Docs 2014 tickets, passes and packages are now available!
Buy Now!

Find Films

   Posted: Wed, April 02, 2014 - 10:50 | #

Hot Docs 2014 Industry Schedule Now Available

Ready to start planning your Hot Docs 2014 industry experience? This year’s industry schedule is now available online.

Stay tuned for updates in the weeks leading up to the Festival.

   Posted: Wed, April 02, 2014 - 10:45 | #

Host Hotel Rooms Filling Fast—Book Now and Save!

Hot Docs delegates can take advantage of preferred rates for stays during the 2014 Festival. Book your stay at either our host hotel the Park Hyatt Toronto, located in the fashionable Yorkdale area just a stone’s throw away from the Hot Docs Festival hub, or with our accommodation partner the Courtyard Toronto Downtown by Marriott, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Learn more about Hot Docs accommodation and travel deals.

   Posted: Wed, April 02, 2014 - 10:35 | #

2014 Festival to Screen Live Doc THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS

Academy award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green and acclaimed New York musicians The Quavers take the stage for one night only to present The Measure of All Things, a special “live documentary.” Inspired by the most curious, wonderful and shocking stories from the Guinness World Records book, this show weaves together portraits, interviews and archival footage of the book’s most memorable characters (including the world’s tallest man, the person trapped for longest in an elevator and the person hit most by lightning) with Sam Green’s live narration and The Quavers’ stirring live soundtrack. Finding our common humanity through the funniest, most tragic and most lyrical stories, The Measure of All Things is a performance you’ll never forget.

Date: Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.

   Posted: Wed, April 02, 2014 - 10:15 | #

Join Us for Doc Mogul Luncheon Honouring Mette Hoffmann Meyer

Hot Docs will present Mette Hoffmann Meyer with the 2014 Doc Mogul Award, recognizing an individual who has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry. Commissioning editor of documentaries for DR TV, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Hoffmann Meyer will be presented with the Doc Mogul Award at a luncheon in her honour to be held on Tuesday, April 29, during the 2014 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, April 24 to May 4, in Toronto.

Learn More

   Posted: Wed, March 26, 2014 - 8:33 | #

2014 Hot Docs Forum Projects Announced

Hot Docs is pleased to announce the 19 projects that will be presented during this year’s Hot Docs Forum, North America’s essential market for the international documentary community. The Forum will take place the mornings of April 30 and May 1, during the 2014 edition of Hot Docs, April 24 to May 4. This year’s projects represent 13 different countries and were selected from 128 submissions. View the 2014 projects.

In addition to the Forum, Hot Docs’ market program includes Deal Maker meetings, Distribution Rendezvous meetings, and Close-Up With… round tables, all of which provide opportunities to connect with broadcast financiers, funders and buyers.

Don’t miss this year’s Forum!

   Posted: Wed, March 12, 2014 - 9:55 | #

Apply to Distribution Rendezvous

Project applications for Distribution Rendezvous are now open. Registered delegates can apply through the Online Community.

Distribution Rendezvous
Finished and rough cut films can solidify their future in these pre-arranged one-on-one meetings with distributors, sales agents and festival programmers. Continue the conversation during an exclusive mingle for participating delegates and decision makers.

  • Pass Level Required: Conference and Networking Pass, All-Access Pass
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2014

   Posted: Fri, March 07, 2014 - 5:06 | #

ALIVE INSIDE at April’s Doc Soup Toronto

April’s Doc Soup will present the international premiere of ALIVE INSIDE, an exploration of the remarkable way music can awaken deeply locked memories and re-start lives that have faded away.

ALIVE INSIDE will screen at 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2, and at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Director Michael Rossato-Bennett will be in attendance to introduce the film and answer questions following the screenings.

Buy Tickets

   Posted: Thu, March 06, 2014 - 4:30 | #

April’s Doc Soup Calgary: TIM’S VERMEER

On April 2, Doc Soup Calgary will screen TIM’S VERMEER, about inventor Tim Jenison’s search to uncover how Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”) manage to paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography.

The film will screen at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2, at the Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas, 200 Barclay Parade Southwest. Learn more >>

   Posted: Thu, March 06, 2014 - 4:25 | #

Hot Docs Announces 14 Titles in Special Presentations Program

Hot Docs is pleased to announce 14 documentary features that will be part of the Special Presentations program at the 2014 Hot Docs Festival, April 24 to May 4. Packed full of premieres, festival award winners, works by master filmmakers or featuring star subjects, this program will bring this year’s biggest doc titles to Canada for the first time.

The full Special Presentations program, and complete selection of Hot Docs 2014 films will be announced on March 18, 2014.
Ticket packages and passes are now on sale online.
Single tickets and package redemption will be available beginning March 18, 2014.

Special Presentation titles appears below, ordered alphabetically:

D: Askold Kurov, Pavel Loparev | Russia | 2014 | 70 min | World Premiere
An intimate firsthand account of how Russian’s LGBT youth are fighting with extreme courage against President Vladimir Putin’s law forbidding “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.”

D: Anthony Baxter | UK | 2014 | 90 min | World Premiere
In this explosive tale, everyday heroes battle against Donald Trump and a cast of greedy Goliaths who want to turn some of the earth’s most precious places into golf courses for the super-rich.

D: Victor Kossakovsky, 32 film students VVAA | Russia, Spain | 2013 | 70 min | Canadian Premiere
Legendary director Victor Kossakovsky sends 32 film students to document Barcelona’s massive and violent anti-austerity street protest in 2012. Set to an operatic score, his stunning collage transforms into a brilliant crowd-sourced street ballet.

D: Arash T. Riahi, Arman T. Riahi | Austria, Switzerland, Germany | 2013 | 118 min | Canadian Premiere
What do topless Ukrainian women, Syrian dissidents and Wall Street Occupiers have in common? A colourful new tactic—creative non-violent protest. See why and how modern pacifism is winning in this slick tribute to disobedience.

D: Margaret Brown | USA | 2014 | 92 min | Canadian Premiere
With unprecedented access, this comprehensive documentary utilizes an investigative eye and a humanizing touch to examine the causes and impacts of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

D: Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina | USA | 2014 | 85 min | World Premiere
With an incredible archive of home videos, the story of Caroll Spinney reveals how a big heart and unstoppable talent created two of the world’s most beloved Sesame Street Muppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

D: Robert Nixon, Fisher Stevens | USA | 2013 | 95 min | Canadian Premiere
The trailblazing career of internationally renowned oceanographer and eco-activist Sylvia Earle is celebrated in this beautifully shot testament to her passionate commitment to saving the world’s oceans and its imperiled inhabitants.

D: Marshall Curry | USA | 2014 | 82 min | International Premiere
Baltimore native Matthew VanDyke shares extraordinary visual tales of his adventures motorcycling across the Middle East—including when he joins forces with Libyan rebels to oust Muammar Gaddafi, is captured and held in solitary confinement for six months.

D: Talal Derki | Syria, Germany | 2013 | 87 min | Canadian Premiere
Filmed over the course of two years, Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-winner RETURN TO HOMS takes us into the lives of two friends caught in the middle of the raging civil war in Syria.

D: Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos | USA | 2014 | 92 min | International Premiere
In a small rural town, three young residents find themselves dreaming big but living small in this achingly beautiful, Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning depiction of adolescence.

D: Gianfranco Rosi | Italy, France | 2013 | 93 min | Canadian Premiere
Following the stories and endeavours of citizens living and working along the giant ring road that encircles Rome, this Venice Golden Lion winner paints an enchanting portrait of everyday moments in The Eternal City.

D: Igal Hecht | Canada | 2014 | 95 min | World Premiere
Every hero needs a villain. Without the Iron Sheik there could be no Hulkamania. Khosrow Vaziri’s transformation from Olympic wrestler to American pop culture icon is a personal and emotional tale that will “make you humble.”

D: Kitty Green | Australia, Ukraine | 2013 | 80 min | Canadian Premiere
Ukraine’s gorgeous group of topless feminist activists, FEMEN, take off their shirts to take on their government, exposing gender inequality and government corruption through their provocative public protests.

D: Joe Berlinger | USA | 2014 | 107 min | International Premiere
Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger strips away the myths surrounding infamous Boston gangster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger, exposing the truth behind his criminal empire and revealing shocking new allegations of government corruption and complicity.

   Posted: Thu, March 06, 2014 - 4:20 | #

2014 Conference to Feature Keynote by Johanna Blakley

This year’s Hot Docs Industry Conference Doc (r)Evolution will feature a keynote presentation by Johanna Blakley, PhD, managing director and director of research at the Norman Lear Center. An expert on a wide variety of topics, including global entertainment, cultural diplomacy, entertainment education, digital media and intellectual property law, Blakley has two talks on and she speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad about her research.

Doc (r)Evolution will also feature a variety of workshops and sessions, including International Co-Production Day, Kickstart, Micro Meetings, and Doc Summit, and will provide delegates with opportunities for one-on-one and small-table meetings with leading thinkers and industry experts.

The conference will take place April 28-May 2, during the Hot Docs Festival, which runs April 24-May 4.


   Posted: Thu, March 06, 2014 - 4:15 | #

Peter Wintonick’s BE HERE NOW Raises $17,673 On Doc Ignite

Congratulations to the BE HERE NOW filmmaking team, who have exceeded their goal of raising $15,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed and helped spread the word about BE HERE NOW.

Check out the Doc Ignite BE HERE NOW blog for more information.

   Posted: Thu, March 06, 2014 - 4:10 | #

EDN Financing Guide Discount for 2014 Forum Delegates

The European Documentary Network Financing Guide is an essential tool for filmmakers containing detailed profiles for over 100 European and international broadcasters acquiring documentaries, as well as information on film funds, distributors, VoD platforms, crowd-funding tools and more.

For further details, visit:

As a Hot Docs Forum delegate, you will receive a 25 per cent discount and can purchase the Guide for 75 Euro. (Please note that if you live in an EU country and do not have an international VAT number, 25% VAT will be added to the 75 Euro.)

To order, email by Monday, April 8, 2014. Include “HDF delegate” in the subject line and your contact info in the e-mail. You will be able to pick up your copy of the guide at the Industry Registration Desk during the Festival.

   Posted: Wed, March 05, 2014 - 11:41 | #

documentary Box Office Now Open for Pass and Package Sales

The documentary Box Office is now open for pass and package sales. Passes and ticket packages can be purchased online now.

Single ticket sales and ticket package redemption will be available starting on March 18, 2014, when the full Hot Docs 2014 film selection is announced.

   Posted: Tue, March 04, 2014 - 2:05 | #

Call for Submission: 2014 Doc Summit

On Friday, May 2, 2014, Canadian documentary makers will gather at Hot Docs’ annual Doc Summit to share revolutionary concepts, ideas and tools that can transform the Canadian documentary market. The goal of the event is to communicate ideas that support documentary practice and create an environment of collegiality and collaboration.

We are looking for five speakers to present brilliant and viable solutions to issues facing the Canadian documentary industry. Each presentation should be five minutes or less.

If you have a solution to present, please submit your idea to industry conference programmer Jane Kim at by March 14.

Submissions should be two short paragraphs: one that states the issue and a brief description of the solution, such as a technological hack, a cooperative initiative or a new way to engage audiences; and another that states the presentation method, such as a slide presentation or a short video.

Presentations will be selected based on originality of idea, feasibility of solution and presentation style. Selected presenters will be notified by March 28.

   Posted: Tue, March 04, 2014 - 10:41 | #

Industry Early-Bird Deadline March 3 - Register Now

Don’t miss your chance to attend the 2014 Hot Docs Industry Conference and Market! This year’s conference program Doc (r)Evolution will offer sessions and workshops focused on new ways to connect with audiences, harnessing new technologies to expand practices, taking creative collaboration to the next level and changing the way we value and talk about docs.

Doc (r)Evolution will take place April 28-May 2, during the Hot Docs Festival April 24-May 4.

Early-Bird Deadline: March 3, 2014

   Posted: Wed, February 26, 2014 - 3:56 | #

Seven Official Delegations to Attend Hot Docs 2014

Seven official delegations have been confirmed for Hot Docs 2014. Official delegations from China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Nordic Region, South Africa and the USA attending this year’s Festival will take part in International Co-Production Day, a day-long gathering of Canadian and international producers that focuses on networking and facilitating new co-production opportunities. Official delegations will also participate in International Co-Production Day producer-to-producer meetings, which allow delegates to meet one-on-one with potential producing partners from attending international delegations.


   Posted: Wed, February 26, 2014 - 3:52 | #

Submissions Now Open for 2014 Lindalee Tracey Award

Submissions are now open for the 2014 Lindalee Tracey Award. The Lindalee Tracey Award honours an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice, and a sense of humour. The final deadline to apply is March 14, 2014. Apply now!

   Posted: Wed, February 19, 2014 - 5:01 | #

New CrossCurrents Doc Fund Awards $10,000 to Quipu Project

Hot Docs and the R & M Lang Foundation are pleased to announce the first CrossCurrents Doc Fund recipient QUIPU PROJECT (D: Maria Court, Rosemarie Lerner; England, Peru), an interactive doc that shares first-hand accounts of people affected by Peru’s forced sterilization policy, which targeted over 300,000 indigenous women and men in the 1990s. The project will receive a $10,000 grant from the Fund, which was established in 2013 to support short and mid-length documentaries from emerging filmmakers working within communities whose perspectives have been historically underrepresented or marginalized.

Learn more

   Posted: Tue, February 18, 2014 - 12:30 | #

Outstanding Achievement and Focus On Honourees Announced

The Hot Docs Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has chosen journalist and multiple BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis as the recipient of its 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award. As part of the honour, Hot Docs will screen a retrospective during the 21st annual Festival, April 24 to May 4, celebrating Curtis’ distinguished career as a director, producer and writer.

Adam Curtis is known for his distinctive visual style. He has been closely associated with the BBC throughout his career, and currently writes a blog for the public service broadcaster Curtis’ credits as director include ITALIANS (1984); MODERN TIMES (1997); THE CENTURY OF THE SELF (2002); THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES: THE RISE OF THE POLITICS OF FEAR (2004), winner of the Directors Guild of Great Britain award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television Documentary; THE TRAP: WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR DREAM OF FREEDOM (2007); IT FELT LIKE A KISS (2009); and ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE (2011). His producer credits include BAFTA award-winning television series PANDORA’S BOX (1992) and THE MAYFAIR SET (1999).

Hot Docs will also pay tribute to Canadian filmmaker John Zaritsky with the 2014 Focus On retrospective. As part of the retrospective, Hot Docs will screen Zaritsky’s ROMEO AND JULIET IN SARAJEVO, in partnership with Toronto Public Library’s One Book program, a city-wide book club that is part of the library’s annual Keep Toronto Reading Festival, running April 1-31.

John Zaritsky has been making documentary films for almost 40 years, and his films have been honoured with more than 30 major awards, been broadcast in 35 countries, and have screened at more than 40 film festivals around the world, including Sundance, TIFF, VIFF, IDFA, Hot Docs and SXSW. Notable awards include: an Academy Award® for JUST ANOTHER MISSING KID (1982); seven Geminis; the Hot Docs Special Jury Prize - Canadian Feature for LEAVE THEM LAUGHING (2010); and Emmy Award nominations for BROKEN PROMISES (1989), BORN IN AFRICA (1990), and ROMEO AND JULIET IN SARAJEVO (1994). Recently, Zaritsky has directed Gemini Award winners COLLEGE DAYS, COLLEGE NIGHTS (2004), THE SUICIDE TOURIST (2007) and THE WILD HORSE REDEMPTION (2007) for his Vancouver-based production company Point Grey Pictures. He is currently working on ECCENTRICS and NO LIMITS with Real to Reel Productions.

Films in the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective and Focus On John Zaritsky programs will be announced in March.


   Posted: Mon, February 10, 2014 - 5:51 | #

LA MAISON DE LA RADIO at March’s Doc Soup Toronto

March’s Doc Soup will present the Toronto premiere of LA MAISON DE LA RADIO, master documentarian Nicolas Philibert’s enchanting, enlightening and frequently humorous look at the inner workings of the inspirational public broadcaster Radio France—the French equivalent of NPR.

LA MAISON DE LA RADIO will screen at 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, and at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

Buy Tickets

   Posted: Thu, February 06, 2014 - 11:17 | #

March’s Doc Soup Calgary: THE UNBELIEVERS

On March 5, Doc Soup Calgary will screen THE UNBELIEVERS, about renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss crusade to replace religion and politics with reason.

The film will screen at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, at the Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas, 200 Barclay Parade Southwest. Learn more >>

   Posted: Thu, February 06, 2014 - 11:14 | #

2014 Attending Decision Makers List Now Online

A preliminary list of the 2014 attending buyers, distributors, agents and funders is now available. The list includes delegates participating in Hot Docs market activities, including the Hot Docs Forum, and will be updated as more buyers confirm. View the complete list.

With representatives from ARTE/ZDF, CBC, Discovery Networks International, NHK, OWN: The Oprah Network, PBS, Shaw Media and more, you won’t want to miss this year’s Hot Docs Conference and Market. Industry registration is open now, with special early-bird pricing until March 3. REGISTER NOW

   Posted: Wed, February 05, 2014 - 9:24 | #

Eight Emerging Filmmakers Selected for New documentary Doc Accelerator Program

Eight participants have been selected for the documentary Doc Accelerator Scholarship Program, which is designed to help them accelerate their careers with an intensive Festival-based curriculum and an extended mentorship job training opportunity. The goal of the program is to foster a new generation of Canadian documentary filmmakers by providing real-world skills development and economic opportunities within the documentary film, television and digital media industries.

The 2014 participants are:

  • Ryan Barnett (Toronto, ON)
  • Amy Bohigian (Nelson, BC)
  • Francesca Fionda (Toronto, ON)
  • Sophie Guérin (Montreal, QC)
  • Danielle Noble (Lunenburg, NS)
  • Claire Sanford (Montreal, QC)
  • Farzana Shammi (Scarborough, ON)
  • Steve Suderman (Winnipeg, MB)


   Posted: Wed, February 05, 2014 - 9:20 | #

2014 Made In Program to Showcase Denmark

Hot Docs is pleased to announce that the 2014 Made In program will showcase recent works from Denmark at this year’s Festival, April 24 to May 4. Each year the Made In program celebrates a country or region’s contribution to documentary, offering revealing glimpses into the social, political, economic and cultural issues facing those societies. This year the Made In Denmark program will highlight the high calibre of filmmaking in the Danish documentary community, which consistently pushes the boundaries of the art form. Film titles will be announced in March.

   Posted: Wed, February 05, 2014 - 9:15 | #

IF YOU BUILD IT at February’s Doc Soup Toronto

February’s Doc Soup will present the Canadian premiere of IF YOU BUILD IT, a compelling and hopeful vision for a new kind of classroom where students learn the power of design-thinking and how to reinvent their own sense of what’s possible.

IF YOU BUILD IT will screen at 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, and at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Director Patrick Creadon will be in attendance to introduce the film and answer questions following the screenings.

Buy Tickets

   Posted: Wed, February 05, 2014 - 9:00 | #

Call for Submissions: 2014 Durban Filmmart

Submissions are now open for the 2014 Durban Filmmart.

Deadline: February 18. 2014

   Posted: Wed, January 29, 2014 - 11:01 | #

February’s Doc Soup Calgary: THE ARMSTRONG LIE

On February 5, Doc Soup Calgary will screen THE ARMSTRONG LIE, a riveting insider’s story about the collapse of one of the greatest athletic legends of our time.

The film will screen at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, at the Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas, 200 Barclay Parade Southwest. Learn more >>

   Posted: Thu, January 09, 2014 - 10:51 | #

Hot Docs Hits Sundance and Realscreen

Hot Docs executive director Brett Hendrie, director of programming Charlotte Cook, industry programs director Elizabeth Radshaw, director of operations Alan Black and programming manager Sarafina DiFelice will be in attendance at the Sundance Film Festival, January 16 to 26. While there, Charlotte Cook will serve on the U.S. Documentary Jury. Industry programmer Chloe Sosa-Sims will be in attendance at the Realscreen Summit, January 26 to 29.

   Posted: Wed, January 08, 2014 - 6:05 | #

Doc Institute Announces New Breakthrough Program for Producers

The newly arrived DOC Institute is pleased to announce its first Producer’s Exchange initiative. The Breakthrough Program is a rigorous and intimate market-preparation course that mentors eight high-potential producers as they get ready to successfully pitch and sell their projects at Hot Docs. Applications due January 30, 2014, before midnight.


   Posted: Wed, January 08, 2014 - 2:05 | #

Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds Recipients Announced

Hot Docs and Shaw Media are pleased to announce that nine projects have been chosen to receive a total of $236,000 in grants and no-interest loans from the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds in its twelfth round of disbursements. With these nine projects, a total of 120 projects have received funding via the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds to date, with funding totalling $2,729,000 in completion grants and no-interest loans. The application process for the first round of 2014 funding will open April 2014.

Discover which Canadian projects received funding.

   Posted: Wed, January 08, 2014 - 2:01 | #

Ten Hot Docs Alumni Nominated for Canadian Screen Awards

Congratulations to the Hot Docs alumni who have been nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards. Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds recipient QUALITY BALLS—The David Steinberg Story has been nominated for the Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research; Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds recipient WATERMARK and 2011 Hot Docs Official Selection PEOPLE OF A FEATHER have been nominated for the Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary award; 2012 Official Selection HERMAN’S HOUSE has been nominated for the Best Original Music for a Non‐Fiction Program or Series, Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series and the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social Political/Documentary Program;  2012 Official Selection THE MYSTERY OF MAZO DE LA ROCHE has been nominated for Best Photography in a Documentary Program or Series; 2013 Hot Docs Official Selection BLOOD RELATIVE has been nominated for Best Direction in a Documentary Program, Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series, and the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social Political/Documentary Program; 2013 Hot Docs Official Selection THE DEFECTOR: ESCAPE FROM NORTH KOREA has been nominated for Best Direction in a Documentary Program and Best Documentary Program; and 2013 Hot Docs Official Selections CHI, JUST AS I REMEMBER and MARY & MYSELF have been nominated for Best Short Documentary. The awards will be announced at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday March 9, 2014.

   Posted: Wed, January 08, 2014 - 2:00 | #

Submit to the 2014 Festival Doc Shop

Submissions to the 2014 Festival Doc Shop are now open, with a final deadline of March 24. The Doc Shop offers an interactive, on-demand viewing experience for programmers, distributors and buyers from around the world. During the Hot Docs Festival, April 24-May 4, The Festival Doc Shop’s fully digital, on-site video library will offer users access to over 2000 documentaries at one of the 40 on-site computer terminals. Following the Festival, registered buyers can still view your film at The Doc Shop Online.

Deadline: March 24, 2014

   Posted: Wed, January 08, 2014 - 1:57 | #

Stay in touch

Sign up for the Hot Docs E-bulletin