Hot Docs Donates 25 Years of Festival History to Ryerson Archives

Last Train Home a 2010 Hot Docs selection and Kinosmith title
Photo courtesy Kinosmith

25 years of Hot Docs history has found a home. Canada’s international documentary festival donated a significant collection of Hot Docs materials to the Ryerson University Library and Archives. The catalogue of assets includes print materials such as programming guides, press kits, posters, creative materials, EPKs, media clippings, and promotional stills from documentaries that screened at Hot Docs in the first 25 years of the festival. The contribution also features 70 DVDs from the KinoSmith Hot Docs Collection.

“Documentary film offers a unique, first-hand perspective into understanding the lives and experiences of others, and as such it’s important to study the art form to learn effective ways of telling these vital stories,” said Brett Hendrie, executive director of Hot Docs, in a statement from the festival. “With 25 years of history, it was imperative for us to make Hot Docs’ archival records available to students, as they provide a window into new creative and media landscapes used in documentary filmmaking.”

“There couldn’t be a better fit between an academic institution and a film organization,” added Marc Glassman, POV editor and adjunct professor, Ryerson University. “With its unique Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media program, Ryerson is the perfect place to house a collection of documentary DVDs, film catalogues and ephemera from Hot Docs, the most successful film festival of its kind in North America.”

The collection offers a valuable resource for Ryerson students, faculty, and researchers to explore the growth of Canadian and international documentary across the past quarter century. Ryerson is one of Canada’s leading institutions for film studies, photography, and image arts. The university houses the Documentary Media Research Centre, which makes it the ideal house for the collection in Toronto. Many graduates of the Masters programme have gone to debut their films at Hot Docs, including Ali Weinstein (Mermaids), Lisa Rideout (Take a Walk on the Wild Side), and Jason O’Hara (State of Exception) at the festival last year.

This year’s Hot Docs festival runs April 26 to May 6. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the festival.