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Leading documentary festival Hot Docs has selected the 20 projects that will be presented during the online edition of its project market, Hot Docs Forum, which runs May 4-5.

Among the projects’ 25 filmmakers, 10 helmers are Black, Indigenous or People of Color, and 20 directors are women. The projects represent 16 countries.

Lisa Valencia-Svensson, acting industry programs director for Hot Docs, said this year’s edition is “a bold and powerful mix of cinematic artistry and journalism.”

She added: “The slate of projects gives us hope about the future of non-fiction filmmaking in its many forms, and excites us about films that are just over the horizon and will soon reach cinema audiences around the world.”

Dorota Lech, Hot Docs Forum producer, said the projects reflect Hot Docs’ “unwavering commitment to uplifting emerging filmmakers who, due to industry-wide financial constraints, combined with a lack of access to festivals as meeting places to approach bubbles of resources such as collective support and funding, have been the most affected by the events of this past year.”

Lech added: “We are tremendously inspired by artists who persisted in finding creative approaches to filmmaking, persevered in shaping and sharing stories from around the globe, and who managed to break through countless barriers to submit inspired applications.”

The Hot Docs Forum will have pitch teams present their project live online via a remote conferencing service to top decision makers, who will then provide their comments and feedback. Afterwards, the video captured pitches and feedback will be posted on the Doc Shop for All-Access Online Industry pass holders to view.

Participating decision-makers confirmed to date include A&E Networks, A24, Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, Al Jazeera English, American Documentary POV, ARD-NDR, ARD – SWR, ARD – WDR, ARTE France, ARTE G.E.I.E, Bell Media, BBC Storyville, CBC, Catapult, Chicken & Egg, CNN Films, Discovery Channel, Doc Society, EBS Korea, ESPN, Field of Vision, Ford Foundation, Fork Films, France Télévisions, The Guardian, Hulu, iQIYI, Impact Partners, ITVS, Knowledge Network, National Geographic, NBC Universal, Netflix, The New York Times – Op Docs, NHK, Participant Media, RAI, SBS, SVT, Sundance Film Institute, TVO, Vice Studios, YLE and ZDF/ARTE.

Participants in Hot Docs’ first-look program, which offers curated access for philanthropic supporters of and investors in documentary film, will again fund and award the first look Pitch Prize. Now in its fifth year, the prize provides cash awards to the top Forum pitches as determined by first-look participants.

For the 13th consecutive year, the Canadian Forum Pitch Prize will be awarded to the best Canadian pitch, as determined by a committee of non-Canadian commissioning editors in attendance.

This year’s Hot Docs Forum selection committee includes Dorota Lech, Samara Chadwick, Heidi Fleisher and Stephanie Owens. Selected projects will also participate in Hot Docs Deal Maker, a curated one-on-one pitch meeting program. An additional 35 projects also selected for Hot Docs Deal Maker will be announced on April 14.

The 28th edition of Hot Docs film festival will run online from April 29-May 9. Last year’s prizewinners included “Stray” (pictured), directed by Elizabeth Lo.

The following projects will be presented at this year’s Hot Docs Forum:

AFRICAN MOOT
Production companies: Undercurrent Film and Television (South Africa), Social Transformation and Empowerment Projects (South Africa)
Director: Shameela Seedat
Producers: Francois Verste, Shameela Seedat

AGAINST THE TIDE
Production companies: Snooker Club Films (India), A Little Anarky Films (India)
Director: Sarvnik Kaur
Producers: Koval Bhatia, Sarvnik Kaur

THE AGE OF LONELINESS
Production companies: Studio112 (Canada), Izi Films (U.S.)
Director: Jenni Morello
Producers: Leslie Norville, Bennett Elliott, Jenni Morello

BLACK MOTHERS
Production companies: Dandara Productions (U.S.), Topeka Pictures (U.S.)
Director: Débora Souza Silva
Producers: David Felix Sutcliffe, Débora Souza Silva

BLIX
Production companies: Pink Productions, s.r.o. (Czech Republic), Sisyfos Film Production AB (Sweden)
Director: Greta Stocklassa
Producers: Radovan Síbrt, Alžběta Karásková

BREAKING THE BRICK
Production company: La Ventana Cine (Chile)
Director: Carola Fuentes
Producer: Rafael Valdeavella

BRIGIDY BRAM: THE KENDAL HANNA STORY
Production companies: Daydream Reels (U.S.), Best Yet Entertainment (The Bahamas), Metamension (South Africa)
Directors: Kareem Mortimer, Laura Gamse
Producers: Laura Gamse, Kareem Mortimer, Bernard Myburgh

FIRE OF LOVE
Production company: Fire of Love Productions (Canada/U.S.)
Director: Sara Dosa
Producers: Shane Boris, Ina Fichman, Sara Dosa

A HAWK AS BIG AS A HORSE
Production company: Les Steppes Productions (France)
Director: Sasha Kulak
Producer: Louis Beaudemont

THE LAST NOMADS
Production companies: Wake Up (Serbia), Cut-Up (Montenegro), Kinematograf (Croatia)
Directors: Biljana Tutorov, Petar Glomazić
Producers: Biljana Tutorov, Veliša Popović, Dijana Mladjenović

LIGHT OF THE SETTING SUN
Production companies: Walking Productions (U.S.), Setting Sun Productions (U.S.)
Director: Vicky Du
Producers: Danielle Varga, Vicky Du

MADE IN ETHIOPIA
Production companies: Made in Ethiopia (U.S.), Gobez Media (Canada)
Director: Xinyan Yu, Max Duncan
Producers: Tamara Dawit, Xinyan Yu, Max Duncan

MOTHER VERA
Production company: She Makes Productions (U.K.)
Director: Cécile Embleton, Alys Tomlinson
Producer: Laura Shacham

POSSESSING EINSTEIN
Production company: Frequent Flyer Films (Canada)
Director: Michelle Shephard
Producers: Bryn Hughes, Carolyn Abraham

PROJECT X
Production companies: Project X (Japan), Hanashi Films (U.K.), Cineric Creative (U.S.)
Director: Shiori Ito
Producers: Hanna Aqvilin, Eric Nyari, Shiori Ito

SWAN SONG
Production companies: Visitor Media (Canada), Mercury Films (Canada)
Director: Chelsea McMullan
Producers: Chelsea McMullan, Sean O’Neill, Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier

UNTITLED MARJOLAINE GRAPPE FILM
Production companies: Memento (France), Sweet Work Films (U.S.)
Director: Marjolaine Grappe
Producers: Thierry Marro, Dana Nachman

VARADO: THE CURSE OF GOLD
Production companies: YUZU Productions (France), Compass Films (Iceland)
Directors: Nicos Argillet, Stéphane Correa
Producers: Christian Popp, Heather Millard

WILFRED BUCK
Production companies: Door Number 3 Productions (Canada), National Film Board of Canada (Canada)
Director: Lisa Jackson
Producers: Lisa Jackson, Alicia Smith

YOGA VILLAGE
Production companies: Shanghai Jiemian Cailian Press Technologies Co. (China)
Director: Rongfei Guo
Producers: Wenxin Zhong