Canadian festival Hot Docs has appointed Robin Smith, founder and president of indie distributor KinoSmith, to be the programmer for the under-renovation Bloor Cinema (pictured), which the festival took control of earlier this year.
In the new role, Smith will be responsible for selecting and booking films to screen at the cinema, including first-run documentary titles and some fiction films, as well as the programming of documentary retrospectives and other non-fiction programs and special events.
“Robin is a great fit for Hot Docs and the Bloor Cinema,” said Hot Docs executive director Chris McDonald. “He is a pleasure to work with and, in joining our team, he brings with him a wealth of industry and academic experience, a passion for documentary, and a genuine desire to share incredible films with Toronto audiences.”
Smith, who takes on the role in addition to his KinoSmith duties, added: “I’ve been a loyal fan and friend of both Hot Docs and the Bloor throughout my whole career, so having a chance to be involved in this new venture is beyond belief for me. I couldn’t be happier to be given such an exciting opportunity.”
As reported in July, Hot Docs teamed up with Blue Ice Film to take control of the Bloor Cinema, an iconic and century-old film house located in Toronto’s Annex neighborhood.
The theater will reopen this autumn under Hot Docs’ management, after the parties agreed upon a deal with the previous owners for an undisclosed sum. Hot Docs as leaseholder assumes responsibility for managing and programming the venue year round, in addition to using it for its annual spring festival and monthly Doc Soup screening series.