International documentary festival Hot Docs has partnered with Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary television program Witness to launch a new short pitch competition for the 2020 Toronto-set festival.
The inaugural Hot Docs Al Jazeera Short Pitch at Hot Docs 2020 prize will award up to US$50,000 to at least one winner and will premiere on the Witness strand across Al Jazeera branded platforms, including linear and digital.
Up to six filmmaking teams will pitch their short film concepts to a panel of judges during the festival on May 4, at the beginning of the festival’s industry week, with the winner announced during the Hot Docs awards presentation on May 8.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those with refugee status are all eligible to apply.
Applications for the Hot Docs Al Jazeera Short Pitch open Feb. 10.
The 2020 Hot Docs festival runs from April 30 to May 10.
“We champion the art of observational filmmaking in our Witness short films by placing human experiences at the heart of the story,” said Fiona Lawson-Baker, executive producer of AJE Witness, in a statement. “We can’t wait to connect with Canadian filmmakers, discover new voices and share their stories with our global audiences.”
“There are so many creative filmmakers who excel at telling compelling stories through short film, and we’re so pleased to be able to reward their remarkable talents and champion their work with this new partnership and prize,” added Elizabeth Radshaw, director of industry programs for Hot Docs.
With files from Playback’s Kelly Townsend