Hot Docs Picks Two Projects for First Partners Co-Financing Initiative

Hot Docs today unveiled the first two documentary projects to receive production support through Hot Docs Partners, its CAN$2.6 million ($1.9 million) co-financing initiative that was launched a year ago at the annual festival in Toronto.

The most recent addition to Hot Docs’ CAN$9 million ($6.7 million) production fund portfolio, Partners matches a select group of doc-friendly, socially conscious investors with Canadian and international feature-length projects that have key financing already in place, and strong potential to impact audiences in meaningful ways.

Partners is providing co-financing support to “Influence,” directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille, the journalists who exposed the reputation-management firm Bell Pottinger. An international co-production between South Africa’s StoryScope and Chronicle Productions, and Canada’s Eyesteelfilm, “Influence” explores the dark art of geopolitical spin-doctoring.

Partners joins Sodec and the Canadian Media Fund to support “We Are Here,” directed and written by Ariel Nasr and produced by Loaded Pictures’ Sergeo Kirby for CBC and Canal D. “We Are Here” examines the community left behind after six worshippers were killed and 19 injured in the Quebec City mosque shooting of 2017.

Hot Docs’ industry team draws on its market and festival expertise and deep knowledge of Canadian and international feature documentary projects to evaluate and recommend projects that connect to the expressed interests and investment priorities of the new fund’s partners. Toronto’s Blue Ice Docs, the fund’s anchor investor, has committed to matching investments made by the other partners on a project-by-project basis.

“Partners grew out of several different trends and initiatives that have been evolving over the years,” said Hot Docs industry programs director Elizabeth Radshaw. “We all know that documentaries need to pull together lots of sorts of funding – broadcast licenses, NGOs, distributors, equity funds – to get that budget.”

Citing the Chicago Media Project and Catalyst Sundance, among others, Radshaw said that while equity investment is nothing new in the documentary space, the rise and influence of streamers and all-rights deals has added momentum to the model.

“In the past, ROI was not always there for equity investors, who may have supported a documentary project because of their interest in a particular cause, for example,” she said. “With Amazon, Netflix, and the like making competitive deals and offers to documentaries, equity investors can now be made whole, or maybe even enjoy profit participation.”


More Film

  • Picture Tree Intl. Picks Up Carolina

    Picture Tree Intl. Picks Up Carolina Hellsgård's 'Sunburned' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has acquired the rights to Carolina Hellsgård’s “Sunburned,” the follow-up feature to her zombie drama “Endzeit – Ever After.” PTI will be presenting first footage from the film, currently in post-production, at this year’s German Films Previews (July 3-6). “Sunburned” follows solitary teenager Claire on a family holiday in Spain. Neglected by [...]

  • Whoopi Goldberg addresses the crowd while

    Inside World Pride's Opening Ceremony: An LGBTQ Celebration With a Tinge of Politics

    World Pride officially kicked off on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. About 8,000 people packed into the arena for a three-hour show that began with Cyndi Lauper singing her hit “True Colors.” The performance ended with a gaggle of dancing drag queens who pranced alongside Lauper as she turned the train of [...]

  • Amy Adams (left) as Lynne Cheney

    Film News Roundup: Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Sets Awards Show for Jan. 11

    In today’s film news roundup, the 2020 awards season schedule gets finalized; AFM will cover immersive content; “Murderous Trance” and “7 Days to Vegas” get acquired; and Kate Katzman has been added to “The Comeback Trail.” AWARDS DATE The Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild has set Jan. 11 as the date for its seventh [...]

  • Disney Pandora World Of Avatar, Lake

    The Piano Guys Play 'Avatar' Theme in Disney World (Watch)

    The YouTube sensation The Piano Guys have taken a trip to the world of Pandora for a performance of the theme to “Avatar.” Shot in the bioluminescent floating forest in Disney World, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and pianist Jon Schmidt put their spin on the score to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster. The video immerses the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Billy Drago, 'Untouchables' Star, Dies at 73

    Billy Drago, who often played harming but chilling gangster roles and appeared in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” and Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider,” died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 73. The character actor played Al Capone’s henchman Frank Nitti in 1987’s “The Untouchables.” On TV series “Charmed,” he put [...]

  • Grant Sputore

    'I Am Mother' Director Tackles Margot Robbie-Produced Thriller 'Augmented'

    Warner Bros. has hired “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore to helm the science-fiction thriller “Augmented” which Margot Robbie is producing, Variety has learned exclusively. Michael Lloyd Green is rewriting an original script by Mark Townend. Denise Di Novi and Tom Ackerley are also producing. Production companies are Robbie’s LuckyChap and Di Novi’s eponymous Di [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content