Explore our full timeline below:
Hot Docs is founded by the Canadian Independent Film Caucus, now the Documentary Organization of Canada, as an initiative for Canadian documentary filmmakers to gather and share their work. Paul Jay is the founding board chairperson and Debbie Nightingale is the event producer.
The first ever Hot Docs Festival is presented in February.
Twenty-one films are presented, including opening night selection André Mathieu, Musicien and Nick Broomfield’s Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer.
The first industry conference, consisting of four workshops, and the National Documentary Film Awards are also presented.
Hot Docs presents 29 films in February, including opening night film L'Affaire Norman William and Steve James’s Hoop Dreams.
Juries in Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Halifax decide on films in competition.
Hot Docs becomes a separately incorporated organization with a mission to showcase and support the work of Canadian and international documentary filmmakers, and to promote excellence in documentary production.
The Festival screens 52 films in March, including a new international program that features films from Germany, France and the UK, and introduces the Industry Centre and videotape library.
Hot Docs presents 97 films in March, including Best Feature Documentary Award-winner Chronicle of a Genocide Foretold and Project Grizzly.
Hot Docs launches its first website, which features a comprehensive film list and schedule, daily festival news and highlights, and industry features.
Chris McDonald is appointed executive director of Hot Docs and becomes the organization’s first full-time employee.
The fifth annual Festival presents 69 films in March, including the opening night film Wild Man Blues, directed by Barbara Kopple, and a Spotlight on Arte program showcasing the Franco-German arts and culture broadcaster.
Hot Docs names Canadian documentary legend Allan King the recipient of its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, now known as the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Hot Docs moves to May and relocates to bars, cafes and cinemas of Toronto’s vibrant Little Italy neighbourhood. Significantly expanding its public screenings, the Festival presents 69 films and draws audiences of 7,000 over five days.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Albert and David Maysles, and the national spotlight program is introduced, featuring France in its inaugural year.
Hot Docs presents 84 films over seven days in May, including opening night film Home Game and the Canadian premiere of Long Night's Journey Into Day, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, and Australia is featured in the Festival’s Spotlight On Program.
Festival audience numbers more than double to 16,700.
Hot Docs launches the Toronto Documentary Forum, now known as the Hot Docs Forum, an international co-financing pitch event. In its inaugural year, the Canadian film The Corporation is pitched, which later wins the Best Documentary Genie in 2005.
Hot Docs leads a delegation of 12 Canadian producers to the Australian International Documentary Conference.
Hot Docs presents 70 films in the spring, including the opening night presentation of Startup.com and LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
The “godfather of Canadian film” Don Haig is honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Festival introduces the Audience Award.
Hot Docs introduces market initiatives such as The Doc Shop and Rendezvous one-on-one meetings, and development sessions such as Kickstart panels for emerging filmmakers. Master classes with Albert Maysles, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus are also offered.
Danish director Lars von Trier’s project The Five Obstructions is pitched at the second annual Toronto Documentary Forum.
Festival audience numbers hit 20,000.
Hot Docs introduces Doc Soup, its popular monthly screening series.
Hot Docs expands to 10 days in the spring and adds venues in Toronto’s Bloor Annex neighbourhood.
The Festival presents 98 films from 26 countries, including the Canadian premiere of opening night film Blue Vinyl, Audience Award-winner The Last Just Man, and the Canadian premiere of Daughter from Danang, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
American director Frederick Wiseman receives the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Festival celebrates Zacharias Kunuk in its new Focus On retrospective program, which showcases the work of a mid-career Canadian filmmaker.
Hot Docs’ industry conference presents Cyberdocs, an interactive media exhibition and discussion.
God Grew Tired of Us: Lost Boys of Sudan is pitched at the 2002 Toronto Documentary Forum, and later wins multiple awards at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
Hot Docs presents 122 films from 32 countries at its 10th annual Festival, including the Canadian premiere of opening night film My Flesh and Blood and Audience Award-winning War Babies.
The renamed Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to British filmmaker Nick Broomfield, and the Focus On program celebrates Shelley Saywell.
Hot Docs presents a Spotlight on the UK and introduces the Made in… program, which features Taiwan in its inaugural year. A record number of countries are represented in the Festival, including first-time appearances for films from Bangladesh, Uruguay, Taiwan, Portugal, Cambodia and the Republic of Georgia.
Popular free daytime screenings for seniors and students are introduced.
Hot Docs presents 106 films from 24 countries, including the world premiere of the Toronto Documentary Forum alum The Ritchie Boys, Audience Award-winner Death in Gaza, the Canadian premiere of Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and the Canadian premiere of Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
The Outstanding Achievement Award is given to Canadian Michael Maclear, Nettie Wild is celebrated in the Focus On retrospective, and films from South Africa and the Netherlands are showcased in national themed programs.
The Festival’s village shifts to the Bloor Annex and Yorkville neighbourhoods, and audience numbers climb to 37,000.
Hot Docs presents 100 films from 24 countries, including the international premiere of opening night film Murderball and the world premiere of Audience Award-winner Street Fight, both of which are later nominated for an Academy Award.
Hot Docs rebrands itself, introducing its current speech-bubble logo and “Outspoken. Outstanding.” tagline.
Errol Morris is honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award and participates in a sold-out on-stage interview, and Larry Weinstein is celebrated with a Focus On retrospective.
The animated Israeli documentary Waltz with Bashir is pitched and secures financing at the Toronto Documentary Forum. It later wins Golden Globe and César awards and is nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar.
Hot Docs’ industry conference hosts the Doc Policy Summit, a joint initiative with the National Film Board, Telefilm and Canadian Television Fund.
Festival audience numbers rise to 41,000.
Hot Docs presents 99 films from 24 countries, including: the North American premiere of opening night film The Railroad All-Stars; the Canadian Spectrum opening night film Mozartballs; the international premiere of Audience Award-winner Lion in the House; and the Canadian premiere of Iraq in Fragments, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
Werner Herzog is honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award and participates in a sold-out on-stage interview. Serge Giguère is celebrated in a Focus On retrospective.
The Festival becomes the ongoing host of the Don Haig Award.
Hot Docs introduces its free Docs For Schools education program at the Festival and over 7,000 Toronto students participate in its first year.
Hot Docs’ professional development programs expand to include Doc U, Doc Lab and the Quebecor Documentary Fellowship Bursary for emerging filmmakers from diverse communities.
The Doc Shop goes digital, offering over 1,500 docs for sale during the Festival and year-round.
Up the Yangtze is pitched at the Toronto Documentary Forum, and later wins the 2009 Best Documentary Genie Award and sets box office records in Canada.
Festival audience numbers leap to 51,500.
Hot Docs presents 131 films from 30 countries, including the Canadian premiere of the opening night film In the Shadow of the Moon, the international premiere of Helvetica, and the international premiere of Audience Award-winner War/Dance, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
Dutch filmmaker Heddy Honigmann receives the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Festival presents Focus on Kevin McMahon, celebrating the Toronto-based filmmaker.
Participation in Docs for Schools climbs to over 17,000 students, and Doc It!, a showcase for teen filmmakers, is introduced.
The Festival becomes the ongoing host for the Lindalee Tracey Award, and introduces the Doc Mogul Award to honour those who’ve made essential contributions to the creative vitality of the documentary industry. Canadian broadcast executive Rudy Buttignol is the first recipient.
Hot Docs’ new International Co-Production Day draws delegations from Italy, Germany and Brazil, and industry attendance grows to 2,000.
Audience numbers climb to 68,000.
The 15th annual Hot Docs Festival screens 170 films from 36 countries, including: the opening night selection Sacha Gervasi’s Anvil! Story of Anvil; the international premiere of Audience Award-winner Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai; the Canadian premiere of Betrayal, which is later nominated for an Academy Award; and the Canadian premiere of Man on Wire, which later wins an Academy Award.
Richard Leacock receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, Jennifer Baichwal is celebrated in the Focus On program, and BBC’s Nick Fraser is named Doc Mogul.
Notable guests at the Festival include Isabella Rossellini, co-director of Green Porno; Canadian heavy metal icons Anvil; and humanitarian Dr. James Orbinski.
The Festival increases its screenings by 25 per cent and attracts audiences of 85,000.
Hot Docs announces the $4-million Canwest-Hot Docs Documentary Funds, now known as the Corus-Hot Docs Funds, which supports 21 Canadian projects in its first year including: Last Train Home (Best Documentary, IDFA 2009); Waterlife (Canadian Feature Special Jury Prize, Hot Docs 2009); Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell (Best Documentary Canadian Screen Award, 2013); and Life with Murder (Best Documentary International Emmy Award, 2011).
Doc Soup series launch in Vancouver and Calgary.
Hot Docs screens 171 films from 39 countries, including: the world premiere of Jennifer Baichwal’s Act of God, a Canwest-Hot Docs Funds recipient; the international premiere of Audience Award-winner The Cove, which later wins an Academy Award; the Canadian premiere of Burma VJ – Reporting from a Closed Country, and the international premiere of Which Way Home, both of which are later nominated for Academy Awards.
The Festival also hosts the world premieres of Inside Hana's Suitcase and A Hard Name, and the Canadian premiere of Prom Night in Mississippi, all of which are later nominated for a Genie Award.
Indigenous Canadian filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, Ron Mann is celebrated with the Focus On retrospective program and HBO’s Sheila Nevins is named Doc Mogul.
Docs For Schools expands province-wide to provide 50,000 students from 257 schools with free documentary screenings.
Festival audience numbers explode to 122,000.
The Guantanamo Trap is pitched at the Toronto Documentary Forum, and later ties for a Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs 2011 and is nominated for a Genie Award. Inocente also pitched and later wins an Academy Award for best short documentary.
Doc Soup launches in Edmonton.
Hot Docs presents 166 films from 41 countries, including: opening night films Babies and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage; the international premiere of Audience Award-winner Thunder Soul; the international premiere of Gasland and the Canadian premiere of Lucy Walker’s Waste Land, both of which are later nominated for an Academy Award.
The Festival screens the world premieres of In the Name of the Family and Leave Them Laughing, as well as Ladies in Blue and La Belle Visite, which are all later nominated for a Genie Award.
Special guests include Canadian rock legends Rush, and Adrian Grenier, director of Teenage Paparazzo.
British filmmaker Kim Longinotto receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, Tahani Rached’s work is showcased in Focus On, and Films Transit International’s Jan Rofekamp is named Doc Mogul.
The Festival holds its first Rooftop Docs outdoor screening.
Festival audience numbers climb to 136,000.
Hot Docs launches the Doc Library, a free online archive of over 100 Canadian documentaries, educational resources and industry conference knowledge capture videos.
Hot Docs presents 199 films from 43 countries, including: the Canadian premiere of opening night film POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, directed by Morgan Spurlock; the world premiere of Audience Award-winner Somewhere Between; and the international premiere of Hell and Back Again and the Canadian premiere of If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, both of which are later nominated for Academy Awards.
At Night, They Dance, Weibo's War, Beauty Day, Family Portrait in Black and White, and The Guantanamo Trap all screen at the Festival and are all later nominated for the Best Documentary Genie Award, with At Night, They Dance winning. Four of the films received support from the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds and/or the Hot Docs Forum.
Hot Docs increases screenings by 27 per cent and welcomes audiences of 150,000.
British-Canadian filmmaker Terence Macartney-Filgate receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, Alan Zweig is celebrated in Focus On, and IDFA’s Ally Derks is honoured as the Doc Mogul.
The new Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund, a production fund to support African filmmakers, is announced at the newly renamed Hot Docs Forum.
Finding Vivian Maier and How to Survive a Plague are both pitched at the Hot Docs Forum, and are both later nominated for Academy Awards for best feature-length documentary.
Doc Soup launches in Winnipeg as a Best of Hot Docs weekend.
Hot Docs presents 189 films from 51 countries, including: the Canadian premiere of opening night film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry; the Canadian premiere of Audience Award-winner Chasing Ice; and the international premiere of The Invisible War and the Canadian premiere of 5 Broken Cameras, both of which are later nominated for Academy Awards.
Hot Docs production fund recipient The World Before Her wins awards at the Festival and Tribeca, and is later nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.
Canadian filmmaker Michel Brault is honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award, John Kastner is celebrated with the Focus On retrospective and Participant Media’s Diane Weyermann is named Doc Mogul.
Hot Docs presents Hot Docs Live!, which simulcasts Festival screenings of Indie Game: The Movie and China Heavyweight to 37 Cineplex cinemas across the country.
The Festival welcomes pop idol Rick Springfield and director Jennifer Lynch.
Audience numbers hit 165,000.
In March, Hot Docs and Blue Ice Docs open the newly rechristened Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, which at the time is the world’s only documentary-focused cinema, after a multi-million-dollar revitalization.
Hot Docs celebrates its 20th anniversary with 204 films from 43 countries, including the world premiere of opening night selection The Manor, a Hot Docs production fund recipient, and the international premiere of Cutie and the Boxer, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
Docs at Dusk is launched, offering a free outdoor screening of Brothers Hypnotic.
American filmmaker Les Blank, who sadly passed away a week before the Festival, is posthumously honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award, Peter Mettler is celebrated with a Focus On retrospective, and Women Make Movies’ Debra Zimmerman is named Doc Mogul.
The Scotiabank Big Ideas Series is launched, welcoming film subjects the Honorable Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, Anita Hill, Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss for extended post-screening conversations.
Hot Docs Deal Maker is launched, offering curated one-on-one pitch meetings for attending filmmakers to meet potential financial partners from the international marketplace.
Festival audience numbers hit 180,000.
Hot Docs presents 197 films from 43 countries, including the opening night presentation of the international premiere of The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, and the Canadian premiere of Virunga, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
Hot Docs production fund recipients screened at the Festival include the world premieres of Out of Mind, Out of Sight, which wins the Best Canadian Feature Award, and David & Me.
David McCallum, the subject of David & Me, is exonerated and released from prison after new evidence is revealed in the film. He later appears with the filmmakers at a special screening at the Hot Docs Cinema.
During the Festival, Hot Docs Live! simulcasts the Canadian premiere of Super Duper Alice Cooper to 50 cinemas across Canada and the iconic rocker takes part in a post-screening discussion of his career. The film later wins a Canadian Screen Award.
Notable guests in attendance at the Festival include George Takei, Caroll “Big Bird” Spinney and eco-activist Dr. Sylvia Earle.
British filmmaker Adam Curtis receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, John Zaritsky’s work is showcased in Focus On, and Mette Hoffmann Meyer of DR TV receives the Doc Mogul Award.
Professional development programs Doc Accelerator and documentary Channel Doc Accelerator are launched for emerging filmmakers.
Festival audience numbers grow to 192,000.
Brett Hendrie is named Hot Docs’ new executive director and Chris McDonald becomes the organization’s president.
Hot Docs partners with Quark Expeditions to offer the Floating Polar Film Festival on an Antarctic adventure cruise.
The Hot Docs collection on iTunes grows to over 200 titles.
Hot Docs presents 210 films from 45 countries, including the international premiere of opening night selection Tig, and the Canadian premiere of What Happened, Miss Simone?, which is later nominated for an Academy Award.
Five films that received Hot Docs production fund support screen at the Festival, including the world premiere of Hadwin’s Judgement and the Toronto premiere of The Amina Profile, both of which are later nominated for Canadian Screen Awards.
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, a Hot Docs production fund recipient, receives its world premiere at the Festival and is later nominated for an Academy Award.
Notable guests in attendance include comedians Tig Notaro and Howie Mandel, former Premier Danny Williams, former Fugee Pras, Monty Python member Terry Jones and musician Paul Shaffer.
Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, Carole Laganière is celebrated with a Focus On retrospective and NHK’s Takahiro Hamano is named Doc Mogul.
The DocX virtual reality showcase is introduced to present new forms of documentary storytelling.
Legendary director Frederick Wiseman pitches In Jackson Heights at the Hot Docs Forum, and participates in an onstage interview to discuss his film in progress.
The industry conference and market host a record of 11 delegations from countries such as Chile, Germany, India, Japan and South Africa.
The Festival screens at a record 13 venues and audiences climb to 200,500.
Best of Hot Docs Edmonton joins ongoing screening series and events in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.
Hot Docs presents 232 films from 51 countries with a record 69 world premieres, including the opening night selection League of Exotique Dancers. Films include the international premieres of OJ: Made in America and Life, Animated, both of which are later nominated for Academy Awards, with OJ: Made in America winning.
A record 11 titles that received Hot Docs production funding are screened at the Festival, including the world premiere of Angry Inuk, which wins both the Canadian Documentary Promotion Award and the Audience Award, and KONELINE: our land beautiful, which wins the Best Canadian Feature.
Four films in the Canadian Spectrum program are later nominated for Canadian Screen Awards, including The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, and KONELINE: our land beautiful—which both pick up awards at the Festival—Gulistan, Land of Roses and I Am the Blues, which wins.
American filmmaker Steve James receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, Rosie Dransfeld is the subject of the Focus On retrospective and Iikka Vehkalahti is named Doc Mogul.
The Festival introduces the $25,000 Canadian Documentary Promotion Award, bringing the total of Festival awards and market pitch prizes to $177,000.
Notable guests include Tony Robbins, celebrity chef Daniel Giusti, burlesque legend Tempest Storm and hip-hop pioneers Scorpio and Grandmaster Melle Mel.
DocX expands to 22 experiences, including virtual reality, interactive installations, exhibitions and live performances.
Festival audience numbers hit 211,000.
A generous $5-million gift from the Rogers Foundation is announced to establish the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund for Canadian filmmakers and to enable Hot Docs to purchase the newly renamed Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
The cinema launches the Curious Minds Morning Speakers Series and Doc Soup Sundays, and welcomes notable guests including former Governor General Michaëlle Jean and musician Natalie Merchant.
Hot Docs goes Down Under with Hot Docs Oz, a touring screening series that hits Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
Hot Docs presents 228 films from a record of 58 countries. A record of 64 Canadian films are presented, including the world premiere of opening night selection Bee Nation.
Three Hot Docs production fund recipients have their world premieres at the Festival, including My Enemy My Brother, Mermaids, and Babe, I Hate to Go.
A record $223,000 in free tickets are made accessible for students, seniors, newcomers and other audiences.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie participates in The Charter at 35 on-stage discussion at the Festival in advance of the summer’s world premiere of Hot Docs’ In the Name of All Canadians, a commissioned compilation of short documentaries commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial.
British filmmaker Tony Palmer receives the Outstanding Achievement Award, Maya Gallus is celebrated with a Focus On retrospective and SODEC’s Monique Simard is named Doc Mogul.
Hot Docs introduces the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award and the $100,000 first look Hot Docs Forum prizes, bringing the total of Festival awards and market pitch prizes to a record of $305,000.
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World wins both the Audience Award (feature length) and the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Doc, and wins a Canadian Screen Award for best feature documentary.
Docs For Schools reaches a record of over 114,000 students in its Festival and year-round programming.
The Festival hits record audience numbers of 215,000.
The Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema reaches a milestone, having screened over 1,000 documentaries to more than one million people.
Hot Docs screening series extend to Saskatoon and St. John’s, joining Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. International screenings take place in Bogotá and London.
At its 25th anniversary Festival, Hot Docs presents a record 247 films from 56 countries and opens with the world premiere of Maya Gallus’ The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution. Notable films include Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers, Active Measures and The Fourth Estate.
Hot Docs celebrates this milestone edition with a free IMAX screening of The Trolley at Ontario Place’s Cinesphere and 25th anniversary screenings of The War Room with directors Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker in attendance and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance with director Alanis Obomsawin in attendance.
Six Hot Docs fund recipients screen at the Festival, including The Guardians, Take Light and Transformer, which wins the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award. A total of $272,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to filmmakers.
Oscar-winning American filmmaker Barbara Kopple receives the Outstanding Achievement Award and John Walker is the subject of the Focus On retrospective.
Notable guests at the Festival include musician M.I.A., rock legend Randy Bachman, former president of Kiribati Anote Tong and Lakota activist Madonna Thunder Hawk.
Festival audience numbers climb to 223,000.
Hot Docs launches Hot Docs Partners, a $2M financing initiative that connects a select group of committed investors with Canadian and international featuring length documentary productions seeking financing.
Hot Docs launches Canadian Storytellers Project, a five-year initiative in core funding and professional development programs for Canadian filmmakers generously sponsored by Netflix that aims to address the systemic barriers that continue to exist in the industry. The initiative establishes the CrossCurrent Canada Doc Fund.
In June 2017, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema hosts the world permiere of In the Name of All Canadians, a feature-length shorts compilation on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that Hot Docs commissioned in commemoration of Canada’s sesquicentennial. The film goes on to screen across Canada and in countries around the world.
Hot Docs partners with Colombia’s Cinemateca Distral to present Hot Docs Bogota, a screening series featuring seven Festival selections, and with UK’s Bertha DocHouse to present Hot Docs London featuring a selection of ten titles, including In the Name of All Canadians.
The second annual Hot Docs Podcast Festival welcomes ten chart-topping podcasts, including Ear Hustle, Another Round and The New York Times: Modern Love, which features a special appearance by Tony-nominated performer Andrew Rannells.
The second edition of Curious Minds Weekend brings notable speakers to the Hot Docs stage, including The Washington Post’s Marty Baron, legendary magazine editor Tina Brown and Toronto Raptor’s president Masai Ujiri.
Hot Docs presents 234 films from 56 countries with female directors represented in a milestone 54% of the official selection. The world premiere of Tasha Hubbard’s nipawistamasowin: We Will Stand Up, a Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund recipient, opens the Festival and six other Hot Docs fund recipients also screen in the official selection. Notable films include Framing John Delorean, Killing Patient Zero, Knock Down the House, Toxic Beauty and Willie.
Notable guests at the Festival include sex therapist Dr. Ruth, drag sensation Trixie Mattel, Canadian music legend Gordon Lightfoot, actor John Cleese, hockey legend Willie O’Ree, artist and activist Ai Weiwei and journalist Dan Rather.
American filmmaker Julia Reichert receives the Outstanding Achievement Award and a retrospective of her films screens alongside the international premiere of American Factory, which later wins the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Julia Ivanova is the subject of the Focus On retrospective.
Over $208,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to filmmakers, including the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award which goes to Prey.
Festival audiences reach a record 228,000.
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema welcomes over 255,000 patrons and reaches a record of close to 10,000 members.
Hot Docs Podcast Festival returns for a third year and presents more than ten live shows over five days and a new Creators Forum offering a series of industry panels, master classes and networking events. Notable podcasts include StartUp, Buzzfeed’s Thirst Aid Kit and Levar Burton Reads LIVE!
Curious Minds Weekend also returns for a third year, welcoming such notable speakers as best-selling author and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James, and American political strategists Donna Brazile and Leah Daughtry.
Doc Ignite filmmaker training program hosts workshops in eight cities across Canada, from Lunenburg to Kamloops.
Hot Docs Partners announces the first two films financed through the initiative, including Werner Herzog’s Fireball.
With the onset of the pandemic, Hot Docs becomes one of the first major international film festivals to pivot online.
At the beginning of May, over 1,500 delegates from around the world participate in Hot Docs online market, featuring a virtual version of the Hot Docs Forum and a curated series of sessions, including a keynote by award-winning director Sam Soko. Over $190,000 in cash prizes are awarded to projects, including up to $100,000 at the first Al Jazeera Short Pitch competition.
At the end of May, a curated selection of over 140 films stream to audiences across Ontario with 69 virtual filmmaker Q&As and five Big Ideas webinars, presented by Scotia Wealth Management. Notable films include opening night selection and Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund recipient Softie, The Walrus and the Whistleblower, Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, Coded Bias and There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace.
Over $92,000 in cash and prizes are awarded to Festival films, including the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award, which is split between the top five Canadian features in the audience poll.
Hot Docs at Home streaming platform launches in the spring and by the fall grows to offer a broad range of content, including new documentaries, curates series, author talks and Curious Minds courses.
The Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund, which supports filmmakers telling engaging, high-quality stories that embrace music artists in all their forms, is launched.
Hot Docs streams its Festival for a second year, offering 222 films from 66 countries to audiences across Canada, along with 129 recorded filmmaker Q&As and 11 live-streamed events. The Festival opens with the world premiere of Ann Shin’s A.rtificial I.mmortality and features a live-streamed discussion with the director and special guest Deepack Chopra.
Notable films include Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, Subjects of Desire, Playing with Sharks, Dirty Tricks, Nike’s Big Bet and Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
Citizen Minutes, a collection of short films commissioned by Hot Docs aimed at celebrating and inspiring civic engagement, has its world premier at the Festival, with individual shorts going on to screen at festivals across the country.
Dear Future Children tops the audience poll, winning the overall Audience Award and sharing in the $50,000 prize for the Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Feature.
Offering a fully virtual program, Hot Docs’ industry conference and market welcomes a record 3,377 delegates and 214 decisionmakers from 86 countries. The program features two keynote interviews with Jenna Wortham and Questlove, three Masterclasses featuring Stanley Nelson, Jennifer Holness and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, ten conference sessions and much more.
In response to the ongoing pandemic, the Hot Docs Independent Cinemas Relief Fund is launched and festivalgoers donate more than $72,000 to support independent cinemas across the country.
Hot Docs at Home continues to offer audiences across Canada quality content throughout the pandemic and in January the Hot Docs Podcast Festival is streamed online to audiences around the world.
The 2022 Festival returns to Toronto cinemas offering 225 films from 63 countries and continues to build its national audience by streaming across Canada. Hot Docs’ first-ever hybrid festival opens with the world premiere of Jennifer Baichwal’s Into the Weeds: Dewayne ‘Lee’ Johnson vs. Monsanto Company, a Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund recipient.
Other notable films include Navalny, We Feed People, The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales and Category: Woman.
Notable guests include groundbreaking comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, filmmaker and activist Abigail Disney, actor Jay Baruchel and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés.
Indian filmmaker Anand Patwardhan receives the Outstanding Achievement Award and Raymonde Provencher is the subject of the Focus On retrospective. 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient Stanley Nelson is also recognized with a retrospective.
$165,000 in cash and prizes are awarded to filmmakers. The Rogers Audience Award goes to Eternal Spring, with the top three films in the poll splitting the $50,000 prize.
Hot Docs offers 1,941 delegates a hybrid industry experience at the Festival with an online market featuring a virtual Hot Docs Forum and an in-person Hot Docs LIVE program, featuring networking events and knowledge sessions.
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema reopens in the fall with successful runs of Road Runner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain and Questlove’s Oscar-winning Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). In March, the Cinema celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Hot Docs and Netflix join forces on It’s Funny Because It’s True, an initiative to provide five filmmaking teams with funding, mentorship and career opportunities to produce short comedic docs.
Streaming continues on Hot Docs at Home with curated film programs, Curious Minds courses and author talks, including such notable figures as Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein, Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie, Obama advisor Ben Rhodes, and The New York Times's Nikole Hannah-Jones.
In addition to the sixth annual Hot Docs Podcast Festival, which welcomed guests such as This American Life’s Ira Glass and comedian Samantha Bee, Hot Docs at Home was also home to content collaborations with Human Right’s Watch Film Festival, the Mosaic Institute and many others.
Docs For Schools reaches a record 150,733 students with its Festival and year-round programs. Hot Docs’ Citizen Minutes short film collection aimed at celebrating and inspiring civic action is a key offering of the program.