Hot Docs unveils $2M fund for Canadian, international doc makers

The new program, Hot Docs Partners, aims to connect financiers with feature-length projects, with Toronto's Blue Ice Docs signing on as the lead investor.
Hot Docs pic

Hot Docs has unveiled a $2-million financing initiative aimed at connecting investors with feature-length documentary projects.

The new program, Hot Docs Partners, is for both Canadian and international filmmakers, with Toronto’s Blue Ice Docs signing on as the lead investor in the three-year initiative. Blue Ice, which is headed up by Robin Smith, Steven Silver and Neil Tabatznik, has pledged to match investments made by other partners on a project-by-project basis.

Hot Docs’ industry team, led by industry programs director Elizabeth Radshaw, will evaluate and recommend projects to financiers based on their specific investment priorities.

“Hot Docs Partners is a further step in the organization’s ongoing efforts to open new sources of financial support for documentary filmmakers by bringing them together with private investors,” said a press release announcing the new initiative.

Last year, Hot Docs launched its “first look” program, which connected investors with the festival’s pitch market Hot Docs Forum and saw $100,000 awarded to the winning projects. The program returns this year with $125,000 set to be invested in doc projects.

The financing announcement follows yesterday’s news that Hot Docs has partnered with Netflix to launch the Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project. The initiative aims to create funding and professional-development opportunities for under-represented documentary filmmakers. It will fund between 25 and 40 filmmakers with grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 over five years.

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