Award-Winning Filmmaker Lalita Krishna Succeeds Long-Time Board Co-Chair Michael McMahon

At Hot Docs’ annual general meeting on Monday, November 19, the Board of Directors appointed multiple-award-winning filmmaker Lalita Krishna to succeed long-standing board member Michael McMahon as co-chair of the Hot Docs Board of Directors. Hot Docs is extremely grateful to Michael for his invaluable leadership and the generous contributions he made to the incredible growth of the organization over his 18-year tenure, 15 of which as co-chair.

“It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with the Hot Docs management and staff over the last 18 years—they truly are second to none. I have enjoyed every moment working alongside my fellow board members, all of whom share a dedicated passion and commitment to championing the art of documentary film,” said Michael McMahon. “I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this wonderful organization and I look forward to Hot Docs’ continued success in the years ahead.”

President and executive producer at Primitive Entertainment, Michael played a pivotal role on the board during his time at Hot Docs. Alongside co-chair Robin Mirsky, he helped to guide the phenomenal growth of Hot Docs Festival to its now internationally recognized role as North America’s leading documentary festival, conference and market, and to steward the development of the organization’s operational capacity, which culminated in the purchase of the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in 2016. A champion of emerging and independent filmmakers, Michael was instrumental in diversifying the funding opportunities Hot Docs provided filmmakers, including the inception and development of its family of production funds now valued at over $10-million.

“It is an honour to co-chair the most prestigious documentary festival in North America, especially at this juncture when there are so many exciting plans for growth and diversification,” said Lalita Krishna. “I had the privilege of having my first documentary screen at Hot Docs in 2000, and the Festival has always remained true to its commitment of giving filmmakers a platform for their creative work, and to provide the best documentary experience for the viewer.”

A celebrated filmmaker and founder of In Sync Media, Lalita Krishna’s work is often seen as a catalyst for change, bringing important stories and topics to the forefront. An early adopter of digital media, Lalita has created websites and mobile apps used to enhance and extend the viewer experience of documentaries. Her film Listen to Me won the Best Canadian Documentary at the 2015 Reel World Film Festival, and she was given the 2013 Crystal Award for mentorship by Women in Film and Television (WIFT). She is the recipient of the 2012 Reel World Film Festival’s Trailblazer Award, and the Dream Catcher Award given by the Hope and Dreams Festival in New Jersey for using her craft to better humanity. She has taught Diversity in Media at Ryerson University’s journalism program, Media Studies at George Brown College’s Community Worker program, and Media Literacy at Mount Saint Vincent University Summer Institute. Lalita is a former Hot Docs board member and is presently the co-chair of the Ontario chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada.

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