Hot Docs and Samsung Partner for Digi Docs

Gatekeeper, directed by Yung Chang

By Pat Mullen

More plans for the 25th anniversary of Hot Docs! The festival announced today a partnership with Samsung Canada to commission six short films for this year’s festival. The half dozen films will comprise the Big Steps series and combine traditional filmmaking with the latest in technological innovations. All six films will be shot on Samsung mobile devices—four on a Galaxy Note 8 and two on the Galaxy S9+—and will reflect a pivotal moment in the life of each filmmaker.

The series extends the mix of traditional and contemporary storytelling by splitting directorial duties between established pro filmmakers and digital “content creators.” The three veteran doc makers participating in the project are Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, Gatekeeper), Nimisha Mukerji (65 _ Redroses, Tempest Storm) and Charles Officer (Unarmed Verses, Mighty Jerome). The trio of YouTubers consists of short filmmaker/actor Emile Roy, NerdyAndQuirky personality Sabrina Cruz, and Buffer Festival founder Corey Vidal.

“The remarkable growth of digital technology has made the art of filmmaking more accessible, encouraging people to play with and create high-quality footage on their handheld device,” said Brett Hendrie, executive director of Hot Docs, in a statement from the festival. “We’re extremely pleased to partner with Samsung Canada to showcase their latest smartphone’s cinematic features, and to promote the craft of storytelling through film with this new technology.”

The first three short docs will premiere on March 23rd at the Eaton Centre in Toronto, while the remaining trio will premiere on April 27th. All six short docs will play as pre-show entertainment during the festival.