20 Projects Announced for 2019 Hot Docs Forum

By Pat Mullen

20 Canadian and international projects will compete at this year’s Hot Docs Forum. The projects were drawn from 325 submissions and represent 18 counties.

“This is our most daring and international scope of projects to date,” said Dorota Lech, Hot Docs industry programmer and Forum producer, in a statement from the festival. “We can’t wait to highlight these poetic, powerful and tremendously inspired films at the Hot Docs Forum, our flagship industry financing and co-production event.”

The Forum gives each team the opportunity to pitch their films to over 500 industry leaders and decision makers. Funders, distributors, programmers, investors, producers, and buyers from a variety of leading Canadian and international organizations will participate. Confirmed for the Forum are representatives from HBO Documentary Films, New York Times Op-Docs, A&E Networks, Amazon Original Movies, CNN Films, Chicken & Egg, and Netflix, among others.

Teams will compete for several cash prizes including the third year of the first look Pitch Prize, which awards a total of $100,000, the Corus-Hot Docs Forum Pitch Prize ($10,000), and the Cuban Hat Award. (The latter is pass the hat style, so bring your Viola Desmonds!) Also returning is the Mounties’ Hat Pitch, which allows one Forum attendee to participate via a random draw from business cards thrown into the hat. With the combined industry participation and cash & in-kind support for filmmakers, the Forum is a key North American event for documentary.

“For over 20 years, the Hot Docs Forum has evolved to meet the dynamic needs of our industry while empowering storytellers to create daring and impactful documentary films,” added Elizabeth Radshaw, industry programs director for Hot Docs, in a statement from the festival. “Hot Docs is committed to having the Forum be a gathering point for our community into the next 20 years, and we will continue to financially support these films in order to bring these cinematic visions to life.” This year’s Forum runs April 30 to May 1.

The projects participating in this year’s Hot Docs Forum are:

1001 Nights Apart
Production Companies: Filmpunkt GmbH (Germany); Louise Rosen Ltd. (USA); Century Films Ltd. (UK); Rabison Art Production (Iran)
Director: Sarvnaz Alambeigi

Alvin Alley
Production Companies: Insignia Films Inc. (USA); PBS American Masters (USA)
Director: Jamila Wignot

Another Brick on the Wall
Production Companies: Pango Pictures Co., Ltd (China); Arrow Factory Production (China)
Director: Nan Zhang

The Bones
Production Companies: Intuitive Pictures Inc. (Canada); Cabula6 (USA)
Director: Jeremy Xido

Colour of the Wind
Production Companies: Tortuga Films Inc. (Canada); Alias film und sprachtransfer GmbH (Germany); Mouka Filmi Oy (Finland)
Director: Claire Sanford

Disappearing Village
Production Companies: Sweet Take Ltd. (UK); Twofour Group Ltd. (UK)
Director: Megumi Inman

Hidden Letters
Production Companies: Ten Thousand Images AS (Norway); Fish + Bear Pictures (China)
Directors: Violet Du Feng, Zhao Qing

Instant Life
Production Companies: Meteor Films (USA); Hecho A Mano Films LLC (USA)
Directors: Mark Becker, Aaron Schock

The Kung Fu Nuns
Production Companies: Stray Dog productions AS (Norway); Stray Dog productions ApS (Denmark)
Director: Line Hatland

Light Darkness Light
Production Companies: The Documentary Group (USA); Transient Pictures LLC (USA)
Director: Landon Van Soest

Production Company: Banyak Films Ltd. (UK)
Directors: Anson Hartford, Jamshid Mojadadi

Production Companies: EyeSteelFilm Inc (Canada); AMA FILM GmbH (Germany); Snow Film (Myanmar)
Director: Hnin Ei Hlaing

Mission Sex-Ed
Production Companies: Tondowski Films GbR (Germany); BWP (Spain)
Director: Cosima Dannoritzer

Monguen (Life)
Production Companies: Lemuntu Producciones E.I.R.L. (Chile); NETLAB S.A. DE C.V. (Mexico)
Director: Antonio Caro Berezin

Plan C for Civilization
Production Company: Mangrove Media, LLC (USA)
Directors: Ben Kalina, Jen Schneider

The Queen of the Deuce
Production Company: Exile Films Ltd. (Greece)
Director: Valerie Kontakos

Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers
Production Company: Hitbird Productions LLC (USA)
Director: Bo McGuire

Trafficking Jam
Production Company: Media Stockade Pty. Ltd. (Australia)
Director: Catherine Scott

Twice Colonized
Production Companies: Ánorâk Film (Greenland); Ánorâk Film Denmark (Denmark); Unikkaat Studios (Canada)
Director: Lin Alluna

Production Companies: Les films du balibari (France); Tabous production (Niger); CORSO Film (Germany)
Director: Aicha Macky

Hot Docs runs April 25 – May 5, 2019.