For Viola Bnr Rev

For Viola

A screening series centering Black, Indigenous, and People Of Colour (BIPOC)-led stories and filmmakers, named in honour of Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond.

To minimize barriers to audience participation, this series will always be free of charge. However, we ask that you consider a $10 donation in recognition of the value of work presented and to honour Viola Desmond (featured on the $10 banknote). As a non-profit, Hot Docs relies of donations; and half of the donations from this series will be shared with the filmmakers, who also receive screening fees.

Read Hot Docs’ Anti-Racism statement>>

Who Was Viola Desmond?
Viola Desmond (1914–1965) was a Black Nova Scotian entrepreneur and pioneer in the struggle against anti-Black racism in Canada. In 1946, Desmond was arrested and jailed when she refused to leave the whites-only seating area of a Nova Scotia cinema and was subsequently convicted and fined. In one of the first known legal challenges to racial segregation in Canada, she fought to overturn her conviction. She received a posthumous pardon from the Nova Scotia government in 2010.

Now playing…

Chinatown Rising 1

Chinatown Rising

  • USA
  • 112
  • Harry Chuck
  • Josh Chuck

Includes Q&A with directors Harry and Josh Chuck, moderated by Min Sook Lee


At the height of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-1960s, a young San Francisco Chinatown resident turned his 16mm camera on his neighbourhood, and the young activists rattling its once quiet streets by publicly defying the conservative views of their elders. Harry Chuck's exquisite footage—spanning three generations of demonstrations and protests—would capture a divided community’s fight for self determination, and what would come to be known as the Asian American Movement. 45 years later, with the help of his son Josh, Harry's personal treasure trove is resurrected alongside timely interviews with some of the pioneering Chinatown activists who recall what it means to be on the frontlines of social change.

Meet the For Viola series programmers

Past films…

  • In My Blood It Runs (D: Maya Newell, Australia)
  • Is the Crown at war with us? (D: Alanis Obomsawin, Canada)
  • Lessons Injustice (D: Karen Chapman, Canada)
  • No Visible Trauma (D: Marc Serpa Francoeur, Robinder Uppal; Canada)
  • Unarmed Verses (D: Charles Officer, Canada)
  • Two Gods (D: Zeshawn Ali, USA)

For Viola is supported by


All >

Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Founding Partner

  • logo Rogers

Signature Partner

  • Logo Cbc Gem

Presenting Partners

  • logo Crave
  • logo Netflix

Major Supporters

  • logo telefilm
  • logo tourism_Celebrate-Ontario