Canadian festival Hot Docs has hired Charlotte Cook (pictured), a former BBC ‘Storyville’ exec and Edinburgh Film Festival programmer, to be its new director of programming.
Cook joins Hot Docs from the Frontline Club in London, England, where she has been the head of film programming for the past two years, overseeing a program that showcased more than 100 documentaries each year.
She replaces previous director of programming Sean Farnel, who left the festival in June after six years in the role, as previously reported.
In her new role, Cook will be responsible for developing the programming vision for North America’s biggest documentary festival, taking charge of a slate that last year saw more than 200 non-fiction titles playing over 10 days in Toronto.
She will manage a programming team that includes Lynne Fernie, Karina Rotenstein, Heather Haynes and Lynne Crocker.
“We had a number of interesting applicants for the role,” Hot Docs executive director Chris McDonald told realscreen, “commissioners, festival directors, programmers… but Charlotte had great energy, lots of ideas, and a solid reputation as a curator.
“She also knows how to build and connect with audiences, and really did her homework during the interview process. We are all convinced that she has the personality and the energy to bring Hot Docs into an even bigger documentary world.”
McDonald added that, with the notable exception of IDFA director Ally Derks, “festival programming can be a very male-dominated space, and I like that fact that we’ll have a female perspective on things.”
Prior to serving at the Frontline Club, Cook worked with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where she programmed the specialist strand ‘Conflict | Reportage’ and managed several events; and was also a strand coordinator at BBC ‘Storyville.’
Cook will re-locate to Toronto in December after attending various festivals and industry events throughout October and November, including the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, CPH:DOX and IDFA.
The 19th annual Hot Docs festival takes place next year from April 26 to May 6.