For Viola Bnr Rev

For Viola

A new and important screening series centering Black, Indigenous, and People Of Colour (BIPOC)-led stories and filmmakers, named in honour of Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond. The series seeks to affirm Hot Docs as a space of inclusion for BIPOC creators and audience members alike.

In order to minimize barriers to audience participation, all presentations in this series will be free of charge.

While For Viola will always be presented free of charge, if you wish to support the series, please consider a donation of $10 in recognition of the value of the work presented, and in honour of Viola Desmond, featured on the $10 banknote. As a non-profit, Hot Docs relies on donations like yours to continue to develop and expand inclusive programming and reach wider audiences. Half the proceeds from all donations will be shared directly with the filmmakers, who also receive screening fees. Thank you for your consideration.

<< Return to 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. Though her conviction was not reversed in her lifetime, she received a posthumous pardon from the Nova Scotia government in 2010.

Unarmed Verses

Now Streaming: Unarmed Verses

  • Canada
  • 86
  • Charles Officer

12-year old Francine Valentine uses creative expression to help endure struggles as her family faces eviction from their Toronto home in this award-winning festival hit from director Charles Officer.

For Viola Lessons Injustice460

Past Screening: Lessons Injustice (Short Documentary)

  • Canada
  • 9
  • Karen Chapman

A father sets out on a car ride with his teenage son and reflects on the conversation he knows he will soon have to have: how to conduct himself as a young black man in Canadian society.

For Viola is supported by


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Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Founding Partner

  • logo Rogers

Signature Partner

  • logo CBC Docs

Presenting Partners

  • Logo Crave 2019
  • logo Netflix

Major Supporters

  • logo telefilm
  • logo tourism_Celebrate-Ontario