Heidi Tao Yang | Hot Docs

Hot Docs Appoints Heidi Tao Yang as Managing Director

Yang moves up after eight years with the festival.

3 mins read

Heidi Tao Yang is the new managing director of Hot Docs. The festival announced the immediate appointment today via a release. Yang is a veteran of the industry team at Hot Docs and has been with the organization for eight years.

“We are delighted to welcome Heidi Tao Yang as our new Managing Director,” said Hot Docs President Marie Nelson in a statement. “She has demonstrated her commitment to elevating the art of documentary and provided unwavering support to filmmakers. With values that perfectly align with our mission and immeasurable contributions to the organization, we are certain she will lead our team to new heights.”

Yang’s role as managing director includes overseeing stakeholder engagement, finances, programming, and working on the festival’s stature in the documentary community both here and abroad. The appointment builds upon Yang’s track record for developing Hot Docs’ relationship with filmmakers across all stages of production, from funding to release. She previously served as director of Funds & Labs at Hot Docs, which handled a portfolio of $4 million dispersed across projects by filmmakers of diverse backgrounds, and spearheaded the Hot Docs Incubator programme. The latter is a collaboration with Netflix that boosts filmmakers’ business savviness. Yang also executive produced Hot Docs’ second anthology of social justice short films, Citizen Minutes, and the sustainability shorts series Roads to Regeneration among her work as a producer.

“I am thrilled to step into the role of Managing Director at Hot Docs,” added Yang in a statement. “While my focus shifts from direct collaboration with filmmakers, I am committed to calling on my experience to ensure that Hot Docs continues to meet and surpass its objectives. I am confident that, together with the dedicated Hot Docs team, we will further propel the organization’s profound impact in documentary filmmaking, contributing to its ongoing success and reinforcing our commitment to excellence in the arts and documentary industry.”

Yang’s promotion is one of several notable appointments to the Hot Docs team over the last year. The festival announced Nelson’s as president during the 2023 festival to replace outgoing leader Chris McDonald. In November, Hot Docs tapped Hussain Currimbhoy as its new artistic director and promoted long-time programmer Heather Haynes to director of programming. This year’s edition of Hot Docs runs from April 25 to May 5.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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