20 Projects to Participate in this Year’s Hot Docs Forum

Liz Marshall, director of Ghosts in the Machine (pictured), is one of three Canadian filmmakers at this year’s Forum
The Ghosts in Our Machine / We Animals

By Pat Mullen

20 Canadian and international projects compete at this year’s Hot Docs Forum. Today’s announcement from the festival unveils the contenders for the major industry component of this year’s festival. 18 countries are represented with co-productions accounting for the high margin across the 20 projects. The projects come from a pool of over 250 submissions.

Canadian filmmakers tapped to present at this year’s forum include Liz Marshall (The Ghosts in Our Machine) with Meat the Future, Brett Story (The Prison in 12 Landscapes) with The Hottest August, and author Richard Poplak who joins Diana Neille on the co-pro Agents of Influence. The international directors include Nanfu Wang (I am Another You) with Born in China and Stig Björkman (Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words) with Joyce Carol Oates: I’ll Take You There.

“We’re incredibly proud of the breadth and scope of projects represented in this year’s Forum,” said Dorota Lech, Hot Docs industry programmer and Forum producer, in a statement from the festival. “We’re really looking forward to ushering in this incredible group of filmmakers to share their work with decision makers and audiences.”

The Hot Docs Forum offers three prizes that carry a total purse of $140,000 in the returning first look Pitch Prize, which invites Forum donors to support documentaries that examine social justice issues. The Hot Docs Forum also awards the Hot Docs Corus Pitch Prize ($10,000) for the best Canadian pitch and the Cuban Hat Award, which passes the hat to Forum observers to cast a ballot for their favourite project and to donate towards the pot. The cash value, access to industry leaders, and focused number of participants make the Forum one of the world’s most competitive and well-funded events for documentary filmmakers.

“The Hot Docs Forum is regarded as one of the industry’s key pitch events, and with the addition of the First Look Pitch Prize it’s now one of the top-funded pitch forums in the world,” added Elizabeth Radshaw, industry programs director for Hot Docs. “We’re so pleased to be able to offer these talented and passionate filmmakers this significant financial support, which will tremendously benefit their project and help bring their cinematic vision to life.”

The Hot Docs Forum attracts over 500 industry leaders in round-tables with commissioning editors, funders, distributors, and producers. Participating decision makers confirmed for 2018 so far include representatives from ARTE, Al Jazeera, BBC Storyville, DOC SOCIETY, CBC, Cinereach, Chicken & Egg, Field of Vision, Film Independent, HBO Documentary Films, Knowledge, The New York Times Op-Docs, PBS, Sundance Institute, and TVO, among others. This year’s Forum takes place Tuesday, May 1 and Wednesday, May 2. Hot Docs runs April 26 to May 6.

The 20 projects selected to participate this year are:

Agents of Influence
Production Companies: EyeSteelFilm Inc.(Canada), Fireworx Media Pty (South Africa), Chronicle Productions Pty (South Africa)
Directors: Richard Poplak, Diana Neille

Balloon Wars
Production Companies: ​House of Real Aps​ (Denmark), GROUPE DEUX (France)
Director: Sissel Morrell Dargis

Born in China
Production Companies: Motto Pictures Inc. (USA), Pumpernickel Films (France), Next Generation Production, LLC (USA)
Directors: Nanfu Wang, Lynn Zhang

Case 993
Production Company: KTF Films (USA)
Director: Shareef Nasir

Cristian and Yimarly: Rebel Love
Production Companies: Lulo Films Incorporated (Canada), Lulo Films SAS (Colombia)
Director: Alejandro Bernal

Cuban Dancer
Production Companies: INDYCA s.n.c. (Italy), MICRODOCUMENTARIES, LLC (USA), Valdivia Film (Chile)
Director: Roberto Salinas

Joyce Carol Oates: I’ll Take You There
Production Companies: Mantaray Film AB (Sweden), East Village Entertainment, LLC (USA)
Director: Stig Björkman

Meat the Future
Production Companies: Meat the Future Inc. (Canada)
Director: Liz Marshall

Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Production Companies: DOCDAYS Productions GmbH (Germany), CNEX Foundation Limited (China)
Director: Sascha Schöberl

Nobody Loves Me
Production Company: NLM Movie LLC (USA)
Directors: Farihah Zaman, Jeff Reichert

Production Company: Moving Documentary ApS (Denmark)
Director: Mira Jargil

Production Companies: Lightbox Ltd. (Kenya), We are not the Machine Ltd. (USA), DUOfilm AS (Norway)
Director: Sam Soko

The Future of Forever
Production Company: Unlimited Film Operations Sp. z o.o. (Poland)
Director: Ana Brzezińska

The Hottest August
Production Companies: Oh Raftface Films Inc. (Canada), Walking Productions, LLC (USA)
Director: Brett Story

The Last Year of Congo Mirador
Production Companies: Sancocho Publico A.C. (Venezuela), Spiraleye Productions Ltd. (UK), Pacto Audiovisual Prod. Assoc. (Brazil)
Director: Anabel Rodriguez

The Queen’s Man
Production Company: Abstract LLC (USA)
Directors: Daniel Claridge, Andrew Coffman

The Rashomon Effect Production Companies: Stories Seldom Seen Films, LLC (USA), Multitude Films, LLC (USA) Director: Lyric R. Cabral

Uluru & the Magician
Production Companies: Brindle Films Pty Ltd. (Australia), The Doc Book Co. (Australia), The Finch Company Pty Ltd. (Australia)
Director: Anna Broinowski

Wishing on a Star
Production Companies: Videomante soc. coop. (Italy), Mischief Films & Co KG (Austria), Artcam Films, s.r.o. (Czech Republic), Peter Kerekes s.r.o. (Slovak Republic)
Director: Peter Kerekes

You Won’t Kill Me
Production Company: Alpha Bear Productions Ltd. (UK)
Director: Leslie Lee