Doug Block, Justin Weinstein among 25 set to pitch

TORONTO — New pics from director Doug Block (“51 Birch Street”) and “Being Elmo” scribe-editor Justin Weinstein are among 25 projects selected to pitch at Hot Docs Forum, taking place May 2-3 during the international docu fest and mart, it was announced Tuesday.

“The increasingly direct filmmaker-audience relationship is a new aspect of our industry which we are eager to see enhance the broadcaster funding model at the Forum,” said Hot Docs Forum and market director Elizabeth Radshaw.

Selected projects pitch to a roundtable of international commissioning editors and a diverse gallery of international industry pros.

Participating buyers confirmed to date include HBO, PBS, the BBC, China Central Television, French-German cultural pubcaster ARTE, plus pubcasters from Canada (CBC/SRC and TVOntario), Japan (NHK), Italy (RAI), Germany (ZDF), Australia (SBS), Sweden (SVT), Finland (YLE) plus Autlook Filmsales, Entertainment One, Ford Foundation, High Fidelity HDTV, Impact Partners and Participant Prods.

Six projects will receive C$115,000 ($115,632) in development or production grants from the Hot Doc-Blue Ice Group docu fund, which provides financial support to independent filmmakers in Africa.

Grant recipients will attend Hot Docs to participate in the filmmakers lab, which runs April 28 and 29, and Intl. Co-Production Day on April 30.

Hot Doc runs April 26 to May 6 in Toronto.

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