Hot Docs reveals Forum picks

The 25 projects from around the world selected to take part in this year's pitch forum include TIFF Pitch This! winner Leone Stars (pictured), and Let the Fire Burn, winner of the Realscreen Summit's So You Think You Can Pitch? competition in 2010.
March 27, 2012

The Hot Docs Forum has selected 25 projects from 150 submissions to take part in this year’s edition, to be held May 2 and 3, during the Hot Docs conference and festival in Toronto.

Projects run the gamut from TIFF’s Pitch This! winner, Leone Stars (pictured), to Let the Fire Burn, the winner of the Realscreen Summit’s So You Think You Can Pitch? competition in 2010. Other projects making the list include Jamie Kastner’s latest, Inside Joke: How Humour Invented the Jews, and the latest from Sons of Perdition prodco Left Turn Films, An Honest Liar, which also made the cut as a finalist for this Friday’s MIPDoc International Pitch competition.

This year, the entrants in the annual pitching forum represent 15 different countries, while participating buyers confirmed to date include ARTE, Autlook Filmsales, BBC, CBC/SRC, China Central Television, E1 Entertainment, Ford Foundation, HBO, High Fidelity HDTV, Impact Partners, NHK, Participant Productions, PBS, RAI, SBS, SVT, TVOntario, YLE, and ZDF among others.

The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds pitch prize will also return, awarding CDN$40,000 in cash to the best Canadian pitch. The Cuban Hat Award, which presents money raised over the Forum’s two days to the observers’ favourite project, will also come back this year, while Entertainment One’s Mountie’s Hat will offer two Forum observers the chance to score a last-minute presentation slot during the event.

The projects chosen for this year’s Forum are:

112 WEDDINGS – 112 Weddings, LLC (U.S.)

AN HONEST LIAR – Left Turn Films (U.S.)

THE AUDACITY OF LOUIS ORTIZ – Saving Daylight Productions/Trilogy Films (U.S.)

THE BATTLE FOR RIO – Pumpernickel Films / FORTIES BB ltc (France, U.S.)

CAUGHT IN THE NET – Know Productions (U.S.)

ELEPHANT SOLDIERS – Bars Media (Armenia)

HOLY GHETTO – OneWorld Group (Israel)

HUMANIA – Momento Film/Adomeit Films (Sweden, Denmark)

INDIAN SPACEMEN – Sequoia Films (UK)

INSIDE JOKE: HOW HUMOUR INVENTED THE JEWS – Cave 7 Productions/Ventana Film-Und Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft MBH (Canada, Germany)

LEONE STARS – Mattru Media (Canada)

LET THE FIRE BURN – The George Washington University (U.S.)

MEN’S CHOICE – Ethnogeographic Research Foundation (Russia, Norway)

MERKATO – A Dopest Ethiopian Productions (U.S.)

THE PLEASURES OF THE SCENTS – Lowik Média Inc. (Canada)

SAND WARS – La Compagnie des Taxi Brousse/Rappi Production (France)

SANDS OF THE SKEI QUEEN – Marie-Vérité Films (South Africa)

SECRET DAUGHTER – Lotus Films (U.S.)

SHADOW GIRL – Storyline Entertainment Inc./Maremoto Productions (Chile, Canada)

SHATTERED PIECES OF PEACE – Nonhlanhla Dlamini (Swaziland)

SVALKA: YULA’S JOURNEY – Hanna Polak Films/Goats Hill (U.S.)

THESE BIRDS WALK – Paperbag Rider Films (U.S.)

TREND BEACONS – Markell Productions/Spier Films (Iceland, UK)

VIDAL V. BUCKLEY – Tremolo Productions/Media Ranch Productions (USA)

ZANTA – Tripod Media LLC (USA)

Hot Docs has also announced the six recipients of the inaugural round of disbursements for the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund, which awards financial support to independent filmmakers based in developing African countries.

Grant recipients will be attending this year’s conference, including International Co-production Day, taking place April 30.

Grantees are as follows:

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund Development Grant:


Director and Producer: Nicole Schafer

Production Company: Thinking Strings Media

Country: South Africa/Malawi


Producer: Sellou Diallo

Director: Mame Woury Thioubou

Production Company: Les Films de l’Atelier

Country: Senegal

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund Production Grant


Producer: Nadège Ndembo

Director: Camille Mouyeke

Production Company: Horten’s Films

Country: Congo


Producers and Directors: Wanuri Kahiu & Anjali Nayar

Country: Kenya


Producer and Director: Djo Tunda Munga

Production Company: Suka! Productions

Country: Democratic Republic of Congo


Director and Producer: Mohamed Siam

Production Company: Arthkhana

Country: Egypt

The application process for the second round of disbursements runs from June 25 to August 20, 2012. Click here for more info.

The Hot Docs conference and festival runs from April 26 to May 6.

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