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Hot Docs Wraps 25th Anniversary Edition With Record-Breaking Audiences of 223,000

Hot Docs has wrapped its 25th edition with record-breaking audience numbers reaching an estimated 223,000. The 11-day event featured 471 public screenings of 247 films on 16 screens across Toronto, an internationally renowned conference and market for documentary professionals, and Docs For Schools, a phenomenally popular education program for youth. The Festival welcomed more than 300 guest filmmakers and subjects from across Canada and around the world to present their films and take part in special post-screening Q&A sessions with audiences. Official film selections were chosen from a record number of 3060 films submitted to the Festival.

At the Festival, Hot Docs presented the seventh edition of the Big Ideas Series, presented by Scotia Wealth Management, which featured screenings and live onstage discussions with prominent documentary subjects. DocX, an interdisciplinary section of the Festival celebrating documentary work that lives outside of the traditional format, ran an expanded program that featured 14 virtual reality and interactive exhibits, a video installation presented in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Toronto, and a special live performance. And the second edition of the Food & Film series, which provided in-depth conversations with special Festival guests and partners, was extremely popular with several sold-out events.

A full week of industry programming was attended by over 2698 delegates from around the world. Hot Docs mounted a roster of six workshops, 20 conference sessions, close to 15 networking events and parties, three Kickstart panels for emerging filmmakers, five micro-meetings, 18 Close Up With… sessions with broadcasters, the Doc Summit, and the Hot Docs Awards Presentation. Hot Docs also hosted 12 official delegations from Atlantic Canada, Bermuda, Chile, Europe, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Nordic Region, Northern Ireland, South Africa and the USA.

The Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs’ key international co-financing market event, Hot Docs Deal Maker, Hot Docs’ one-on-one curated pitch event, and Distribution Rendezvous, Hot Docs’ tailored meeting service for completed films seeking distribution, saw brisk pitching, networking and deal-making. In total, 21 projects— for which half of the producers and more than half of the directors attached were women—representing 20 countries were presented to a room of over 475 industry delegates including 220 key commissioning editors and funders at the Hot Docs Forum, and a total of 65 projects were pitched at approximately 800 meetings during Hot Docs Deal Maker.

Doc For Schools, Hot Docs’ education program that runs during the Festival and offers free in-theatre and in-school screenings of select Festival films, saw an estimated 101,086 students participate in the program in 2018 from schools in Toronto and throughout Ontario.



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Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Signature Partner

  • logo documentary-Channel

Presenting Partners

  • logo Bell-Media
  • logo Netflix
  • logo Rogers
  • Logo Samsung

Major Supporters

  • logo Celebrate-Ontario
  • logo telefilm