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Watch Hot Docs' Citizen Minutes on Crave

Hot Docs is pleased to announce that Citizen Minutes, a short documentary compilation commissioned by Hot Docs that premiered at this year’s Festival, is available on Crave for streaming to audiences across Canada.

Intended to inspire interest and engagement in democracy and public affairs, Citizen Minutes features eight original short documentaries by Canadian filmmakers that explore and celebrate stories of civic participation in communities across the country. Citizen Minutes is presented in partnership with official broadcast sponsor Crave.

Since their world premieres at this year’s online Hot Docs Festival in April, the films have gone on to screen independently at over 25 Canadian and international film festivals, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, ImagineNATIVE, Athena Film Festival, Local Sightings Film Festival, Regent Park Film Festival, Africa in Motion Film Festival, Toronto Lift-Off Festival, and the Inside Out Film Festival, and have won festival awards, including the Vox Popular Media Arts Festival’s People’s Choice Award, which went to director Rachel Garrick’s film, The Gift.

Citizen Minutes films will also be included in this winter’s Docs For Schools, Hot Doc’s educational program that reaches over 120,000 students in provinces across Canada offering free documentaries and complementary teaching resources with links to the curriculum.

Learn more about the project at

The Films

D: Aisha Fairclough, Toronto
In a fatphobic image-conscious world, educator, activist and eccentric cat lady turned politician Dr. Jill Andrew takes her fight for body justice, human rights, representation, access and equity to the legislature as the first queer Black person elected as a member of provincial parliament. Here’s a glimpse into a 40-year story of becoming told through the eyes of her filmmaking partner…don’t blink!

D: Simon Madore, Toronto ON & Gabriel Tougas, Winnipeg MB
Writer and community organizer Dave Meslin thinks that bad public notices are hurting our democracy—and he’s calling on graphic designers to show us what we’re missing.

D: Rachel Garrick, Hudson ON
A lesson in compassion and generosity results in a lifelong gift. Set in a small Northwestern Ontario town, a father takes an opportunity to pass on important teachings to his daughter.

D: Teresa Alfeld, Vancouver BC
This short documentary profiles veteran activist and first-term Vancouver city councillor Jean Swanson as she works alongside the next generation of anti-poverty activists fighting systemic inequality.

D: Roble Issa & Zach Jama, Toronto ON
Shamso Mohamoud and Shamso Elmi both lost their sons to violence and watched their alleged killers walk free without so much as a legal prosecution. Now, the two Somali-Canadian mothers have organized a group “Mending a Crack in the Sky” to collectively combat gun violence and hardship while facing cultural and racial barriers.

D: Carmen Pollard, Vancouver BC
To get to class on time, children from the Raymur Place social housing project were forced to jump shunting train cars that stood in their path. In 1971, after months of petitioning for a safe crossing, a group of mothers made their voices heard by blockading CN rail.

D: Kimberley Ann Surin & Aïcha Morin-Baldé, Montreal QC
In 2007, Lasallien Center opened their doors in St-Michel—one of the most disadvantaged boroughs on the island of Montreal. This film will introduce audiences to Paul Evra, the young altruistic director who grew up there and is leading the center and their mission to help feed the numerous families in the area who are food insecure.

D: Javier Lovera, Toronto ON
Three fearless community organizers with a history of standing up against big tech corporations, embark on an uphill political fight to regulate Uber and Lyft in Toronto so that these companies operate in the public interest, respecting communities, drivers and passengers.

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