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Hot Docs Reports $54.7-Million Annual Economic Impact for 2018 Festival & Year-Round Activities

As the Hot Docs Festival gets ready to kick off its 26th edition, the organization is pleased to announce that an economic impact study conducted around the 2018 Hot Docs festival, conference and market, and the organization’s year-round operations at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, has revealed a total impact of $54.7-million on Ontario’s GDP, reflecting Hot Docs’ significant value to both Toronto and the province.

The study, the third of its kind Hot Docs has commissioned, reported $38.7 million in direct expenditure at the Hot Docs Festival, which includes attendee and delegate expenditure, business deals and the festival operating budget. The study also reported $15.7 million in non-Festival expenditure, which includes year-round activities at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Docs For Schools, the Hot Docs Showcase and Best of Hot Docs touring programs, and monthly subscription series, Doc Soup. These expenditures, combined with Hot Docs’ operating budget, translates to a positive estimated impact of $54.7-million on the total GDP of Ontario, 657 jobs and $19.4-million in tax revenue.

Previous economic impact studies commissioned by the organization in 2013 and 2015 focused on Hot Docs’ annual festival, conference and market. This study’s finding of $38.7 million in direct expenditure at the 2018 event represents an 18.8% increase over that of 2015, and a 24.5% increase over that of 2013, as reported in these previous studies.

The study also found that 66% of industry delegate respondents were visitors to Toronto, with a majority of these, 43%, coming from an international location. Additionally, 17.2% of public attendee respondents were visitors to Toronto. The study also recognized the contribution of visitors to local businesses, including restaurants, hotels, transportation and retail stores, with an average per visitor spending increase of 25.8% over 2015.

The 2018 edition of Hot Docs marked the Festival’s 25th anniversary year. From April 26 to May 6, 471 screenings of 247 documentaries representing 56 countries of production took place in 14 venues throughout Toronto. Hot Docs’ industry conference and market welcomed over 2,693 registered delegates, including over 300 documentary buyers who participated in full slate of professional development session and market initiatives, including the Hot Docs Forum and the Hot Docs Deal Maker. The total estimated audience of Hot Docs 2018 was 223,000.

Hot Docs is a charitable cultural organization with a mission to advance and celebrate the art of documentary, and to showcase the work of and create production opportunities for documentary filmmakers.

About the Study
The economic impact study was conducted by Co-op Interface and included: 1853 intercept questionnaires of screening attendees, and 471 electronic questionnaires received back from industry delegates. Expenditures were compiled and inputted into Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM) to determine the total economic impact of the Festival on the economies of Toronto, the GTA and Ontario.



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