Canada’s International Documentary Festival is showing signs of growth. In a year marked by cut-backs and pink slips, Hot Docs (April 26 to May 5) is announcing new programs and rewards.
Interactive entertainment is thriving. CyberDocs, an exhibition premiering at this year’s event, will showcase seven interactive documentary projects. Among the featured films is Tightrope, winner of Hot Docs’ 2001 Cyber Pitch, produced by Samantha Hodder, Karen Rehner, Colin Salter and Geoff Siskind.
The inaugural RealKids, RealTeens also has an eye on the future with films that target the next generation of documentary enthusiasts. The series will screen six films that examine youth-oriented issues.
Absolut Vodka has sponsored Absolut Hot Docs. Three directors chosen from this year’s line-up will be given the cameras and equipment to produce a film that captures their personal vision of the festival. The films will be shown at the closing ceremonies on Sunday May 5.
Close to 1,100 submissions vied for the 104 slots available at this year’s event, and at least 25 countries will be represented by the chosen line-up. Four of the selected titles were formerly pitched at the Toronto Documentary Forum, which boasts a 50% success rate for pitched projects, and has resulted in about CDN$2.5 million (US$1.5 million)of film financing. Largely thanks to the TDF, about 1,300 industry delegates will mingle among the 20,000 expected attendees.