Hot Docs Forum & Deal Maker Wrap




TORONTO – The Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs’ key international co-financing market event, and Hot Docs Deal Maker, Hot Docs’ curated one-on-one pitch meeting program, wrapped after two days of brisk pitching, networking and deal-making. At the Hot Docs Forum, 19 projects representing 15 countries were presented to a panel of over 300 key commissioning editors and other funders, while at Hot Docs Deal Maker, 50 projects were pitched to 69 buyers at approximately 535 meetings.

“Thank you to everyone from making the 16th annual Hot Docs Forum one of our most memorable yet! Congratulations to all pitch teams and our sincere gratitude to all attendees and supporters. The energy and talent was exceptional, not only at the pitching table, but throughout the community of observers and industry decision makers. Welcome to the Hot Docs family—you are outstanding and outspoken and we look forward to welcoming you next year,” says Hot Docs industry programmer and Forum producer Dorota Lech.

Over $10,000 in cash prizes were awarded to projects at this year’s Hot Docs Forum.

The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Forum Pitch Prize was awarded to MC2 Communication Media’s LIVING WITH GIANTS, a feature-length film project about the imaginative world of Paulusie Kasudluak, a young Inuk facing responsibilities and transitions into adulthood. Disbursed from the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds, the $10,000 cash prize is awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Forum as voted on by attending international buyers. Shaw Media’s Sarah Jane Flynn and Hot Docs’ Dorota Lech presented the award to pitch team members Sébastien Rist, Aude Leroux-Lévesque and Jean Simon-Chartier.

The Cuban Hat Award, which offers “real cash, no strings attached” support for powerful and unique projects, was presented to SEARCHING FOR MERCURY (Fine Point Films), pitched by Brendan Byrne, Trevor Birney and Andrew Reid. Established in 2009 in an impromptu display of collegial support, the Cuban Hat Award is decided from ballots collected from Hot Docs Forum Observers and the cash prize is raised by passing the hat. This year’s prize includes $489 CDN, $96.54 US, 6 euros, 20 Swiss francs, 1,000 Korean won, 200 dirhams, and 5,000 Colombian pesos, all of which is matched dollar-for-dollar by Hot Docs, bringing the total cash prize to $1,950.94 CDN. The prize also includes two 2016 Hot Docs All-Access Passes, one observer pass to IDFA, one observer pass to RIDM, as well as consulting sessions with various industry experts. The Cuban hat in which the prize money was collected was presented to Al Jazeera English’s Bilaal Hoosein, named favourite commissioning editor also by Observer ballot. The founders of the Cuban Hat Award, Diego Briceno (Cuibafilms/Pimiento, Montreal) and Giulia Frati (Zelectra Productions, Montreal) announced the winner at the Hot Docs Forum’s closing reception.

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