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Hot Docs to Commission Eight Short Docs for Second Season of Citizen Minutes

Hot Docs is pleased to announce a second season of Citizen Minutes, a documentary initiative to inspire interest and engagement in Canadian democracy and public affairs. The project will commission eight short docs from filmmakers across the country that highlight bold and unlikely ordinary Canadians doing extraordinary things to make their communities better places. From an open call for submissions, an internal committee will select eight projects to be produced by Hot Docs, which will premiere at the 2023 Hot Docs Festival. The Citizen Minutes project is made possible through support by The Rossy Foundation. 

Citizen Minutes will also feature an educational component, with Hot Docs developing complementary resources linked to curricula to enable educators to use the films as teaching tools. Hot Docs is therefore particularly interested in applications that offer stories that spotlight youth-led civic engagement.  

The initial season of Citizen Minutes premiered eight short docs at the 2021 Hot Docs Festival before screening at over 30 Canadian and international festivals and being broadcast on Crave. A number of these projects became award-winners after release: The Gift (D: Rachel Garrick I 3 min I Canada) won People’s Choice at the Vox Popular Film & Media Arts Festival and Excluded by Design (D: Simon Madore, Gabriel Tougas I 3 min I Canada) won Best Canadian Doc at the 300 Seconds Short Film Festival. Most recently, Militant Mother (D: Carmen Pollard I 8 min I Canada) was nominated for four Leo awards, including Best Short Documentary. Through the Docs For Schools program 33,745 Canadian students from 397 classes (representing 274 schools and 358 individual educators) engaged with the 2021 slate of films, with an additional Community Engagement Toolbox provided to help shape post-films conversations around the docs.  

Selected projects will range from two to eight minutes and will receive financial, production and post-production support, in addition to mentorship opportunities. Hot Docs aims to be more diverse and inclusive and encourages directors who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations and disabilities to apply. Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. Applications will be evaluated based on feasibility, creative merit, audience, and fit with the mandate.   

We at Hot Docs understand that civic engagement does not always mean moving the dial on global issues in a monumental way. Hot Docs is therefore interested in applications that spotlight stories about ordinary citizens working to achieve incremental change in their local communities. 

Submissions close on November 16. Learn more & submit >>

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