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Crowd at Hot Docs Forum
Photo by Joseph Michael Howarth
Each year, projects find the financing they need at Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker.

Hot Docs Forum

At the 2023 Festival, 19 Forum projects representing 16 countries and 23 filmmakers, 12 of whom are women and 11 of whom are BIPOC, pitched to international decision makers.

A huge thank you to Hot Docs Forum producer Dorota Lech and to this year’s Selection Committee: Amelia Hanibelsz, Leah Giblin, and Monika Navarro.

Production Companies: Jo image Productions (Jordan), YN Films Inc. (Canada)
Director: Mahmoud al Massad
Producers: Munire Armstrong, Su Baloglu
When a hidden lens through an old cinema ticket office becomes a confessional.

Production Company: Vida Vida Productions, LLC (USA)
Director: Ilse Fernandez
Producers: Ilse Fernandez, Michele Farinola
Through intimate access, Exodus Stories follows the high-stakes journeys of three Central American immigrants who join the migrant caravans fleeing violence and hoping to find refuge in the United States at a time when asylum is under siege. Capturing their resilience every step of the way, they prove the American Dream is a beacon for those living in a nightmare.
Production Company: Making Waves Films LLC (USA)
Director: Kimberlee Bassford
Producers: Kimberlee Bassford, Marilyn McFadyen, Vilsoni Hereniko, Leanne K. Ferrer, Cheryl Hirasa, Linda Goldstein Knowlton
After a painful experience pushes her into self-exile, acclaimed Samoan writer Sia Figiel untangles her complicated past, revealing hidden trauma and initiating a journey toward healing.

Production Companies: Les Films Cosmos Inc. (Canada), Hutong Production (France), MoonMan (Ukraine)
Director: Oksana Karpovych
Producers: Giacomo Nudi, Rocío Barba Fuentes, Pauline Tran Van Lieu, Lucie Rego, Darya Bassel
A journey through Ukraine that reveals the banality of evil behind the Russian invasion.
Production Company: Capital K Pictures LLC (USA)
Director: Sofian Khan
Producer: Faisal Azam
Memoir meets in memoriam in this personal journey through a filmmaker's twenty year archive and the relationship that changed the course of his life.
Production Companies: Anima Films Ltd. (UK), Thulsa Doom Limited (UK), Levon Gharibian (UK), Inuvik Productions (Greenland)
Directors: Johnny Langenheim, Sebastian Feehan
Producers: Andrea Land, Paninnguaq Heilmann, Cyrus Mirzashafa, Levon Gharibian, Hector N. Helsing, James Reed
Haunted by his best friend’s death and his own violent past, Nuka Aqissiaq travels across Greenland giving counsel to the desperate as an epidemic of suicide ravages this Inuit nation.
Production Company: Marriage Cops LLC (USA)
Directors: Cheryl Hess, Shashwati Talukdar
Producer: Diana Chiawen Lee
In a small city in northern India, unhappy couples seek relationship advice in the most unlikely of places—the local police station.
Production Companies: Old Chilly Pictures, LLC (USA)
Director: Emelie Mahdavian
Producers: John D. Sutter, Emelie Mahdavian
How do you watch the climate crisis unfold without losing hope? Planet A (WT) tells the story of a female-led science team's visit to an Antarctic ice shelf that holds back several feet of sea level rise. They will be the last seven humans to set foot on this crumbling ice.

Production Companies: Bindubot Communication (India), Touch Narrative (India), Marx Film OÜ (Estonia), Les Steppes Productions SARL (France), JW Documentaries Oy (Finland), VFS Films (Latvia)
Director: Bipuljit Basu
Producers: Nilotpal Majumdar, Max Tuula, Maria Gavrilova, Louis Beaudemont, Nicolaï Iarochenko, John Webster, Uldis Cekulis
The dream of telling their own stories brings sex workers and their children together to form a tiny self-taught film unit in a Kolkata brothel. The amateur but resilient film crew eventually scales the battle up through their films to make the brothel a better place to live.
Production Company: Venom Limited (Ireland)
Director: Gar O'Rourke
Producers: Samantha Corr, Andrew Freedman, Ken Wardrop
Despite a war raging close-by, mud treatments, lasers, and electro-shock therapies continue at the Ukrainian Kuyalnik Sanatorium, where a small group searches for love, healing and happiness.
Production Company: GreenGround Productions Inc. (Canada)
Director: Julien Elie
Producers: Andreas Mendritzki, Aonan Yang, Julien Elie
Where the Rio Grande meets the sea, the rockets of SpaceX prepare to launch; astronomers come to gaze skyward, philosophers come to gaze inwards, hawkers come to make a buck and environmentalists come to survey the damage. Welcome to Boca Chica, USA.
Production Companies: Younger Daughter Films (Canada), Parkside Films (USA), Fit Via Vi Films (USA)
Director: Charlie Tyrell
Producers: Julie Baldassi, Mona Panchal, Shannon Riggs, Clay Tweel, Bill Way, Elliott Whitton
The objects we treasure hold magical meaning for us. But can we really save the past?
Production Companies: CAUCASO Società Cooperativa (Italy), Rai Cinema (Italy), LES ALCHIMISTES SAS (France)
Director: Enrico Masi
Producers: Stefano Migliore, Loïs Rocque
A group of colossal magnets are traveling on cargo ships through the Mediterranean Sea, while in parallel, a family lives voluntarily without electricity in the Western Alps. Beyond the mountains, in the South of France, an experiment is ongoing at ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), an advanced lab aimed at bringing the sun to earth. Terra Incognita is a psychogeographic detour into the core of the political ecology debate.
Production Companies: Medalia Productions Ltd. (Israel), Intuitive Pictures Inc. (Canada)
Director: Hilla Medalia
Producers: Ina Fichman and Hilla Medalia
Binary Option trading promised quick money and easy profits but ultimately led thousands to lose their life savings. This film follows a precedent-setting legal case of an international scam gone awry, and the investigators and informants that would ultimately topple this house of cards.
Production Company: Compy Films Inc. (Canada)
Director: Kenya-Jade Pinto
Producers: Shasha Nakhai, Kenya-Jade Pinto, Jennifer Baichwal, Rich Williamson
Your future is being written in the sand.
Production Companies: One Story Up LLC (USA), We are not the machine Ltd (Kenya)
Directors: Pete Murimi, Daphne Matziaraki
Producers: Toni Kamau, Maya Craig, Roger Ross Williams, Geoff Martz
Climate change and unresolved historical injustices raise the stakes in a generations-old conflict between indigenous pastoralists and white landowners in a wildlife conservation haven.
Production Companies: In Proportion LLC (USA), Little By Little Films Limited (UK), Multitude Films (USA)
Director: Julie Wyman
Producers: Julie Wyman, Lindsey Dryden, Jonna McKone, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous
A new drug promises to make Little People taller, threatening the community it claims to serve. Meanwhile, director Julie Wyman confronts her own dwarfism diagnosis. As Little People grapple with the choice to give up difference, the film poses an urgent question: can we see and be seen differently?
Production Company: Ayvision Ltd (Iran)
Director: Mohammad Tabarsa
Producers: Mahnaz Tafaghi, Mohammad Tabarsa
The announcement of the first ever music competition on Iranian television sparks an inner fire for Hanif in a forbidden atmosphere.

Production Companies: NoCut Film Collective (India), CinemaPaar Productions (India)
Directors: Deeksha Ketkar, Nachiket Guttikar
Producers: Arya Rothe, Isabella Rinaldi, Cristina Hanes, Nachiket Guttikar, Deeksha Ketkar
An intimate portrait of a politician from a deceptively quiet Indian village, who must choose between his career ambitions and his family’s demands, after his teenage son takes a radical step behind his back.

The Hot Docs Forum wishes to thank 2023 Presenting Forum Sponsor the Directors Guild of Canada and Founding Partner Telefilm Canada. The Hot Docs Forum receives additional support from Banff World Media Festival, Blue Ice Pictures, C21 Media, Canada Media Fund, Canadian Media Producers Association, CBC, Chiledoc, Crave, European Film Promotion, Front Row Insurance, Gardiner Roberts LLP, Italian Trade Commission, L'Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC), National Film Board of Canada, Netflix, Ontario Creates, Realscreen, Rogers Group of Funds, Scotia Wealth Management, SODEC and the City of Toronto.

Deal Maker

At the 2023 edition of Hot Docs Deal Maker, 35 documentary projects representing 25 countries pitched to international decision makers.

A Capitol Case
Director: Andrea Kalin Producer: Andrea Kalin, Ethan Oser, Kate Woodsome
Production Companies: Spark Media (USA), Pulitzer Center (USA)

Aunty Untitled Film
Director: Haohao Yan Producer: Guo Guo
Production Company: Aunty Untitled Film LLC (USA)

Company Of Steel
Director: Yuliia Hontaruk
Producers: Yuliia Hontaruk, Ivanna Khitsinska, Alexandra Bratyshchenko, Uldis Cekulis, Katarina Krnacova
Executive producer: Kenan Aliyev
Production Companies: Babylon`13 Production LLC (Ukraine), VFS Films (Latvia), Silverart (Slovakia), Current Time TV (USA)

Crimea, 5 AM
Director: Dmytro Kostiumynskyi
Producer: Anna Palenchuk
Production Company: 435 FILMS LLC (Ukraine)

Director: Sherien Barsoum
Producers: Bryn Hughes, Sherien Barsoum
Executive Producers: Bryn Hughes, Michelle Shephard
Production Company: 2715077 Ontario Inc. (Canada)

Emergent City
Directors: Kelly Anderson, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg
Producers: Brenda Avila-Hanna, Kelly Anderson
Executive Producer: Stephen Maing
Production Company: Emergent City, LLC (USA)

EVO: The Burnt Palace 
Directors: Noah Friedman-Rudovsky, Martin Sivak
Producers: Justine Nagan, Irene Cajias  
Executive Producer: Rebecca Lichtenfeld  
Production Company: Actual Films (USA)

Finding Seyoum  
Directors: Vanessa Tsehaye, William Martin 
Producers: James Costa, Simon Kilmurry  
Production Company: Bird Street Productions LLC (USA)

Hannah Arendt: Thinking Is Dangerous  
Directors: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal  
Producers: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin, Birgit Rasch  
Executive Producers: Jeff Bieber, Gunnar Dedio, Regina Bouchehri, Michael Kantor  
Production Companies: Jeff Bieber Productions, LLC (USA), LOOKSfilm, GmbH (Germany), WNET/American Masters (USA), Elsewhere Films (USA)

Hot Spot 
Director: Karin Kainer 
Producer: Karin Kainer
Executive Producers: Osnat Saraga, Hila Pachter, Justine Henochsberg, Julie Guesnon Amarante 
Production Companies: Ananey Studios (Israel), Kainer Films (Israel), Les Batelières Productions (France)

Im/migrant Buyers' Club  
Director: Miru Yogarajah  
Producer: Miru Yogarajah  
Executive Producer: Miru Yogarajah  
Production Company: Nothing Even Mattress Inc. (Canada)

Director: Siku Allooloo  
Producers: Jessica Hallenbeck, Siku Allooloo 
Executive Producers: Helen Haig-Brown, Marie Clements  
Production Companies: Lantern Films Inc. (Canada), Akia Films Inc. (Canada), Elagi Productions (Canada), Marie Clements Media, Inc. (Canada)

Iris Chang: Power of One (working title)  
Director: Kimberlee Bassford  
Producers: Kimberlee Bassford, Lou Wang-Holborn  
Executive Producers: Daniel J. Chalfen, Bill Guttentag, Kristina Wong  
Production Company: Making Waves Films LLC (USA)

Is My Living In Vain  
Director(s): Ufuoma Essi 
Producer: Ufuoma Essi, Leah McGurk, Artina Michelle  
Production Companies: Gasworks (UK), Le Magasin - Centre National d'Art Contemporain (France), Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (New Zealand), Arts Council England (UK)

Kamikaze: Unlocking the Truth  
Director: Takayuki Oshima  
Producers: Takahiro Hamano, Manuel Catteau  
Executive Producer: Keisuke Saito, NHK  
Production Companies: NHK Enterprises, Inc. (Japan), ZED (France), NHK (Japan)

The Lebanese Burger Mafia  
Director: Omar Mouallem  
Producers: Omar Mouallem, Dylan Rhys Howard  
Executive Producers: Blake McWilliam, Kyle Johnson  
Production Companies: Back Road Productions Inc. (Canada), Burger Mafia Films Inc. (Canada)

Life in the Shadows  
Director: K.D. 
Producers: Ilyas Yourish 
Co-Producers: Anke Petersen, Lilian Tietjen  
Executive Producer: Graeme Isaac  
Production Company: Kamay Film (Afghanistan), Jyoti Film GMBH (Germany)

Name Me Lawand 
Director: Edward Lovelace  
Producers: Fleur Nieddu Lovelace, Sam Arnold, Beyan Taher, Neil Andrews, Marisa Clifford, Edward Lovelace 
Executive Producers: Thomas Benski, Tim O'Shea, Diene Petterle, Lisa Marie Russo, Kwesi Dickson, Isabel Freer 
Production Company: Pulse Films Limited (UK)

Director: Indira Cato 
Producer: Indira Cato, Hugo Chávez Carvajal  
Production Company: Chumbera Producciones S de RL de CV (México)

Once Upon a Time on Death Row 
Director: Brendan J Byrne 
Producers: Brendan J Byrne, Michael Quinn, Tina O'Reilly 
Production Companies: Clean Slate Television Ltd (UK), Zo Zo & Aces Media Ltd (Ireland), Cyprus Avenue Films Ltd (UK)

Past Future Continuous  
Directors: Firouzeh Khosrovani, Morteza Ahmadvand  
Producers: Fabien Greenberg, Bård Kjøge Rønning  
Production Company: Antipode Films AS (Norway)

Director: Pedro de Filippis  
Producers: Leonardo Mecchi, Bronte Stahl, Tarsila Nakamura  
Production Companies: Enquadramento Produções (Brazil), Here and Elsewhere Films LLC (USA)

A Revolutionary/Mother  
Director: Yuko Torihara  
Producer: Lou Wang-Holborn 
Production Company: Eternal Breasts LLC (USA)

Director: Elena Kairyte 
Producers: Ruta Jekentaite 
Production Companies: Baltic Productions (Lithuania)

Silent House 
Director: Farnaz Jourabchian, Mohammadreza Jurabchian 
Producers: Farnaz Jurabchian, Mohammadreza Jurabchian, Elaheh Nobakht, Stephanie Lebrun, Jewel Maranan, Fatma Riahi 
Executive producer: Anita Lee 
Production Companies: F & M Productions (Iran), ELI Image (Iran), Babel Doc (France), Cinema Is Incomplete (Philippines), Al Jazeera Documentary Channel (Qatar), NFB (Canada)

Simon the Absurd (Simon el Absurdo)  
Director: Felipe Monroy  
Producers: Palmyre Badinier, Diana Bustamente Escobar, Alexandre Perrier, Kyzza Terrazas 
Production Companies: Rita Productions Sàrl (Switzerland), Burning (Colombia), Kidam (France), La Corriente del Golfo (Mexico)

Soviet Barbara, the story of Ragnar Kjartansson in Moscow (Soviet Barbara, sagan um Ragnar Kjartansson í Moskvu) 
Director: Gaukur Úlfarsson 
Producers: Gaukur Úlfarsson, Guðrún Olsen, Guðni Tómasson, Kristín Ólafsdóttir 
Executive Producers: Gaukur Úlfarsson, Guðrún Olsen, Guðni Tómasson 
Production Companies: Ofvitinn ehf (Iceland)

Director: Regina Crosby  
Producer: Inge Wegge  
Production Company: Lofoten Film Collective AS (Norway)

The First Lady  
Directors: Udi Nir, Sagi Bornstein  
Producers: Udi Nir, Sagi Bornstein, Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Christian Beetz 
Production Companies: udiVsagi production Ltd (Israel), gebrueder beetz filmproduktion GmbH (Germany)

Traces of Home  
Director: Colette Ghunim  
Producers: Colette Ghunim, Capella Fahoome  
Production Companies: Kartemquin Films (USA), Defining Entertainment (USA)

Director: Set Hernandez  
Producer: Set Hernandez, Félix Endara, Day Al-Mohamed  
Executive Producer: Diane Quon  
Production Companies: Pawikan Films, LLC (USA) QuonCo Productions, LLC (USA), Unseen Documentary, LLC (USA)

Untitled Cruise Tourism Film  
Director: Catharine Axley  
Producers: Catharine Axley, Lawrence Lerew 
Production Company: Molt Films LLC (USA)

Warrior Spirit  
Directors: Swaysən Will George, Gloria Pancrazi  
Producers: Swaysən Will George, Gloria Pancrazi, Andrew Luba, Nicholas Castel  
Production Company: 1375964 BC LTD (Canada)

We, the Women  
Director: Emilce Quevedo Díaz  
Producers: Emilce Quevedo Díaz, Susana Urrea, Paola Mendoza, Kelli Kieley, Javier Nuñez  
Executive Producer: Emilce Quevedo Díaz  
Production Company: Ojo x Ojo Producciones Limitada (Colombia), Rola Productions (USA), Unstoppable Urges Productions Ltd. (Canada), Javier Nunez Films LLC (USA)

Who Killed Alex Odeh?  
Directors: Jason Osder, William Lafi Youmans  
Producers: Jason Osder, William Lafi Youmans  
Production Company: The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs (USA)

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