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Hot Docs News

An Urgent Appeal from Hot Docs

Dear Hot Docs Audiences,

As we prepare for our upcoming Festival, I’ve some very important news to share with you, our valued audience.

For more than 30 years, Hot Docs has advanced and celebrated the art of documentary and created a wealth of production opportunities for filmmakers. We have become Canada’s preeminent documentary film institution whose impact is felt globally.

Over the past decade, we’ve celebrated many significant milestones, including the acquisition of the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in 2016, and experienced remarkable growth that saw Festival audiences increase by 162%, peaking at 228,000 in 2019, and we also welcomed a record 255,000 visitors to our cinema that same year.

And then the pandemic happened.

Like many not-for-profit arts organizations, pandemic closures severely disrupted Hot Docs operations and its impacts are still being felt.

We are currently facing a significant operational deficit that threatens our long-term sustainability.

While we’re already seeing positive signs of recovery as audiences both old and new are returning to the cinema, and while we’ve taken steps to reduce our overhead without impacting our core programming, we are quickly losing runway and urgently need direct support to ensure our future viability.

We have taken our concerns public and are speaking with all levels of government, foundations and corporate partners to escalate Hot Docs’ urgent need for support. And we are also turning to you, our audiences, who have played a crucial role in our growth and success.

You are essential to all that we do, and we need your support now more than ever.

Please support us by joining us at this year’s Festival. Even with the current challenges, we are on track to deliver a dynamic showcase of the world’s finest documentary films, April 25 to May 5. We’ve already announced some exciting programming, and more will be revealed in the weeks to come. If you haven’t yet, support us by purchasing your Festival ticket package, which offers great saving and early access to the hottest films in the festival.

Please support us by becoming a member. If you’re not already a member, join our community of curious and engaged documentary fans and enjoy benefits at the Festival and year-round at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

Please support us by making a gift. As a non-profit organization we rely on individuals like you to support our mission. Please consider making a gift to Hot Docs, if possible—any amount would be greatly appreciated.

We are proud to be at the forefront of documentary cinema, showcasing a diverse range of thought-provoking films that enrich cultural conversations both in Canada and internationally. Hot Docs' urgent need for support is not just about the festival; it's about safeguarding a cultural institution and supporting the next generation of storytellers.

With your support, and that of many loyal partners and friends, we will make it through this difficult period and continue our critical mission of supporting filmmakers and bringing them together with audiences to share their remarkable stories.

Thank you for your consideration,

Marie Nelson
President, Hot Docs

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