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Group photo of 2021 participants

Accelerate your doc-making career with real-world skill development and in-depth labs for emerging and sophomore Canadian talent.

Doc Accelerator fellows will participate in a bespoke private lab where they will learn from industry experts and engage in indepth workshops. Fellows will also participate in Hot Docs Festival’s industry programming.

The program will focus on skills training and career advancement with a goal to foster an inclusive new generation of Canadian documentary filmmakers. Fellows will take part in a paid professional development mentorship in the year following the Festival.

2022 Fellows

  • Omolola Ajao (Toronto, ON)
    Omolola Ajao
    Omolola Ajao is a Nigerian-Canadian filmmaker. Her films waver and work within documentary and narrative revolve around consciousness, temporality and spatiality. Fascinated with observation, and interiority, her documentary work her work has screened internationally, achieving a Canadian Screen Award. She is currently a 2021-22 TIFF Fellow, as well as a current Hot Docs Fellow.
  • Valerie Amponsah (Toronto, ON)
    Valerie Amponsah
    Valerie Amponsah is a Ghanaian-Canadian storyteller who brings stories hidden from the depths of her community to light. Influenced by her cultural upbringing and many identities, she aims to bring people together through the experience of storytelling to foster connectedness throughout the black diaspora and champion change in non-Black spaces. Valerie is also the founder of The Goddess Essence, a luxury candle and wellness brand dedicated to celebrate the femininity and softness of Black Women.
  • Bryan Angarita (Toronto, ON)
    Bryan Angarita
    Bryan Angarita is a Colombian independent filmmaker from Miami, Florida, living in Toronto. He is a Hot Docs Accelerator Fellow and MFA Candidate in York University's Film Production program. Bryan's non-fiction film and video work addresses relationships to immigration, labor, globalization, and community. His films have been presented by the Onion City Experimental Film Festival and Photophobia Moving Image Festival. His work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. In 2021, Bryan completed a residency in analog filmmaking and hand-processing film at Pix Film Gallery. Bryan is currently completing post-production on his latest film, The Sunshine State, about a boy and his relationship to his immigrant single mom set in the Florida Everglades. He is currently developing a documentary film about globalization, labor, and community in Colombia's coffee axis titled Los Guaduales.
  • Gabriel Badejo (Toronto, ON)
    Gabriel Badejo
    Gabriel Badejo is a Toronto-based, Afro-Canadian Producer-Director and Sickle Cell Anemia activist. From a very young age, Gabriel had a passion for storytelling and filmmaking. After graduating from The Toronto Film School, he landed a production assistant role on The Next Star and started climbing the production ladder. Gabriel has worked with major brands, such as Google, Converse, Land Rover, and the award-nominated CBC Gem series The 410. He has also worked with artists such as Billie Eilish, Jessie Reyez and Popcaan, to name a few. Pushing for change, Gabriel is an Ontario Health Sickle Cell QSAC Member, dedicated to creating better lives for people living with Sickle Cell.
  • Isabella Carrera Alves (Toronto, ON)
    Isabella Carrera Alves
    Isabella Carrera started her career as a journalist back in her hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she worked as a reporter for a number of magazines. In 2015 she pivoted to filmmaking by becoming an assistant location manager for TV, film and ad campaigns. She moved to Toronto in 2017 to attend Humber College’s Film and TV Production program. During that time, Isabella interned at the talent agency Meridian Artists and directed her first short documentary, Tight, No Pain (Breakthroughs Film Festival 2020). Since graduating, Isabella has worked as a production assistant on the Netflix show Locke and Key, and the CBC documentaries Hockey Mom and There's No Place Like This Place, Anyplace”(Hot Docs 2020). She is currently a production coordinator for Entertainment One's Family Brands division, and has just completed her first project as a co-producer on the animated short doc Me, Mahmoud and the Mint Plant.
  • Rosalie Chicoine Perreault (Verdun, QB)
    Rosalie Chicoine Perreault
    After studying cultural production at UQAM and finishing a specialized graduate diploma in management at HEC, Rosalie Chicoine Perreault begins her career in cinema by accumulating various experiences in production. In 2019, she starts working as a producers' assistant at Metafilms, a Montreal-based production company owned by renowned producers Sylvain Corbeil and Nancy Grant. She now mostly focuses on developing her own projects as an emerging producer. She is constantly looking for projects and filmmakers with a unique vision that stand out from the current cinematographic landscape, both in fiction and documentary. Amongst her most recent projects, Geographies of Solitude (Jacquelyn Mills, 2022), her first feature documentary, had its world premiere at the 72nd Berlinale, where it was awarded three prizes in the Forum section of the festival, and is an official selection at Hot Docs Festival.
  • Daniel Ennett (Edmonton, AB)
    Daniel Ennett
    Daniel Ennett is a filmmaker, artist, and advocate from Amiskwacîwâskahikan (ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, so-called Edmonton). Daniel hosted three seasons of webseries Invincible and short film Beneath the Surface. Both of those projects followed his adventures as an above elbow/knee quadruple amputee where he tried various adaptive sports like skiing, skydiving, and scuba diving with sharks. He worked as an artist/producer on a 35mm minute-long art film, Form and Function. Working with Open Sky Pictures and Catapult Pictures, created a series of pitches while he finished his honours degree in psychology. As a sophomore filmmaker he currently has an art film Flesh Ballet in development, a visual commentary on ableism. He also has a feature length documentary in development, Autonomy and Dignity, a film on the intricacies of carework. He maintains a thriving painting and photography practice, his work currently focuses on bringing light to Disabled experiences.
  • Feven Ghebremariam (Montreal, QB)
    Feven Ghebremariam
    Feven Ghebremariam is an Eritrean-Canadian filmmaker based in Montreal. She holds a B.A. in communications studies and has also completed a documentary filmmaking program at Institut National de l’Image et du Son (INIS) in 2013. Over the years, she has made short films related to immigration, inclusion and linguistic decolonization. Her work includes Coming Home to Boon (2012), which was an official selection of the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in 2013, The Other Side of Her Path (2013), Jeunes ailleurs vieilles ici (2015) and Camfranglais (2018), an award-winning Afro-futurist documentary that was part of Cinema Politica's Next 150 series. In 2016, she became a founding member of Black on Black Films, a non-profit organization whose mission is to represent and professionalize Afro-descendant creators seeking access to the audiovisual industry in Quebec. Today, Feven is developing her first feature-length documentary and has recently created her own production company.
  • Roble Issa (Toronto, ON)
    Roble Issa
    Roble Issa is a Somali-Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto whose focus is on writing and directing dramatic features, documentaries, and one-hour dramas. In 2019, he was part of the initial cohort of a pilot Production Assistant Training Program, facilitated by POV 3rd Street and CEE Toronto, designed to provide black youth with an opportunity to enter the screen-based industry as a production assistant. He made his directorial debut with a short documentary entitled Mending a Crack in the Sky that was an official selection at the 2021 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. The film is currently on the festival circuit in addition to being broadcasted on Crave television. Also in 2021, he was accepted into Reelworld’s Emerging 20 Program to develop his debut feature film Car.
  • Rose Katché (Vancouver, BC)
    Rose Katche
    Rose Katché is a French filmmaker based in Vancouver. She has a Bachelor in Performing Arts from Nanterre University in Paris (2013) and is also a graduate from the Film Production Program at Concordia University in Montreal (2015). Rose worked as an assistant script supervisor on Luc Besson’s Valerian before moving to Vancouver, where she became head of her department on many high profile television shows. Throughout her time on set, Rose has written and directed her own work, all of which is built around the theme of racial identity and family. Rose’s most recent narrative short, The Deliberate Death of My Father premiered at the 2021 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and was selected for Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent Program at Clermont-Ferrand. Rose is currently developing her first documentary feature La Blanche. The film was selected for the Ontario Creates Development Fund and the 2020 RIDM Talent Lab.
  • Gabriela Osio Vanden (Toronto, ON)
    Gabriela Osio Vanden
    Gabriela Osio Vanden is a Venezuelan Canadian award-winning cinematographer based in Toronto. She has a background in painting and dance which she brings to her work which has premiered at major film festivals including TIFF, Camerimage, SXSW, IDFA, True/False, and Hot Docs. The short documentary Nuisance Bear (2022 Canadian Screen Awards Nominee for Best Short Documentary, Honorable Mention: Best Canadian Short Film, TIFF 2021) is her directorial debut. Her university thesis film Rambler was awarded an internship with Phedon Papamichael ASC GSC who she shadowed on Alexander Payne's Downsizing. Gabriela has a BFA in Film Production from York University 2015.
  • Eva-Loan Ponton-Pham (Montreal, ON)
    Eva-Loan Ponton-Pham
    Eva-Loan is a sculptor and a filmmaker, a graduate of Art History and Visual Arts at Concordia
    University and the cofounder of Atelier La Coulée, the first cooperative art foundry in Canada. Born
    and raised in Tiohti:áke (Montreal), her mixed-race, working-class upbringing informs her work,
    which addresses confluent identities and the complexities of cultural transmission within diasporic
    contexts. She aims to amplify marginalized voices by focusing on personal and collective narratives
    that challenge predominant discourses. Currently in development, her debut film Con Nhang -
    Incense Children
    sparked interest from renowned documentary production company Parabola Films
    and received support from SODEC, Telefilm Canada, CALQ and PRIM. Eva-Loan is a RIDM Talent Lab
    alumni (2021) and the film project was selected as part of Quebec’s delegation at CPH:DOX 2021
    (SODEC LAB).
  • Sepehr Samimi (Vancouver, BC)
    Sepehr Samimi
    Sepehr Samimi (he/him) is an Iranian-Canadian documentary cinematographer, director, and producer with a BFA in film production from Simon Fraser University. His short films have been to festivals such as Montreal World film festival and Cannes. In 2021, along with filmmaker Jen Muranetz, Sepehr founded Understory Films, a production company dedicated to content with purpose. His directorial debut is Abundance, a short doc about land, community and food sovereignty, funded by Canada Art Council. He is currently in production for Standing with the Ancients, a frontline feature doc about Fairy Creek, the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. When not engaged in key creative roles on independent docs, Sepehr works in the Vancouver film industry as camera assistant for popular TV series from networks such as CW and Netflix. He currently resides on the unceded Coast Salish territories, also known as Vancouver, BC.
  • Miru Yogarajah (Toronto, ON)
    Miru Yogarajah
    Miru aims to showcase the multifaceted experiences of being a person on the margins and the intimate experiences they host alongside survival and how it intersects with policy. Their works have been produced by the National Film Board of Canada, premiered at the 2020 Inside Out Film Festival, the 2020 Regent Park Film Festival, and others. They were selected for the 2020 Reelworld Emerging 20 program and won the Regent Park Film Festival Emerging Directors’ Spotlight Pitch Competition in the unscripted category. They recently received the Hot Docs Cross Current Fund to develop their feature-length documentary Im/migrant Buyers' Club, which is produced by their production company Nothing Even Mattress. They are deeply devoted to working with the community to impact policy processes with their community work rooted in Parkdale. They have writing in The Local, Azure, Briarpatch, and more. They love their friends, their dog Neptune, and board games.


Ten to 14 Doc Accelerator fellows will be selected via an open application process. Applicants to the program must be:
  • Of at least one of the following priority groups: Black, Indigenous, a person of colour, Francophone, Deaf, or living with a disability
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada legally entitled to work
  • An emerging or sophomore storyteller (i.e. three or fewer professional audio-visual production credits as a director or producer)
  • NOT currently enrolled as a student
  • Available flexible hours for the paid mentorship program that will take place at a mutually agreed time between April 2022-April 2023
  • Able to participate in the Hot Docs Festival in April 2022 (there may be the possibility to attend Hot Docs in person)
  • Able to participate in a bi-weekly virtual Emerging Filmmaker Lab, taking place on Tuesday evenings 5:00-6:30 p.m. EST between April and September 2022.

Program & Benefits

  • Festival Benefits
    • Enrollment in the Doc Accelerator Emerging Filmmaker Lab
    • Hot Docs industry pass, with access to the Hot Docs Forum, films, networking, conference sessions, programs and services.
    • Private intensive creative, professional development, career planning, and skill development sessions
    • Specialized lab workshops on fundamentals, including storytelling, funding and producing, the art of pitching, and promotion and distribution
    • Access to the Hot Docs Online Community for one year
  • Festival & Lab

    Fellows will participate in a private online lab taking place from April through September 2022. Public health situation permitting, a portion of the lab may take place in-person during the Hot Docs Festival. Travel and accommodation support will be provided to fellows outside the GTA should an in-person lab be possible. During the lab, fellows will hear from a variety of industry experts and will engage in indepth workshops.

    Please note that the lab and all festival events are held in English, applicants should be comfortably fluent in English in order to participate.

  • Paid Professional Development Work Placement
    Fellows will be matched with a successful Canadian documentary professional for a paid mentorship opportunity. The fellows will work remotely with their mentor, with significant focus placed on reaching the participant’s personal goals and outcomes for the experience. The work schedule will be determined by each individual placement and production schedule.
  • Accessibility Support
    Hot Docs will work with selected applicants to ensure they are able to fully participate in the program. Resources such as personal support workers or ASL interpreters can be available as needed on an individual basis.
  • Alumni Benefits
    Doc Accelerator fellows will receive Hot Docs alumni status upon completion of their participation in the Doc Accelerator Emerging Filmmaker Lab. View Alumni Benefits

Questions? Contact [email protected]

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