Five feature documentaries are the first selections for the Hot Docs Incubator program. The initiative is part of Hot Docs and Netflix’s Canadian Storytellers Project to bolster homegrown non-fiction artists. Each film receives $35,000 in support, while the participants will have the opportunity to develop their projects through workshops aimed to hone their artistic and commercial potential.
Among the projects is The Golden Door from the Lost Time Media’s Robinder Uppal and Marc Serpa Francoeur. The film examines the history of racism embedded within America’s immigration policies. The filmmakers recently produced the award-winning documentary Love in the Time of Fentanyl, which screened at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema last month and was a rare work by a Canadian team to receive funding from the Sundance Institute.
Meanwhile, director Patrick Shannon and producer Michael Grand will receive funding for Saints & Warriors. The film takes audiences to Haida Gwaii to explore the role of basketball among Indigenous communities. Grand previously produced the Vancouver Grizzlies doc The Grizzlie Truth and will be at Hot Docs this year as producer of Satan Wants You.
Toronto’s OYA Media Group will also participate in the Hot Docs Incubator program with their doc This Land of Ours. Directed by Ngardy Conteh George and produced by Alison Duke, the film observes life on the Caribbean island of Barbuda as citizens rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The film captured a double-tragedy when the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the island face further complications. (Read more about the production in Documenting the Pandemic.)
The Sandbox, on the other hand, brings director Kenya-Jade Pinto and producer Shasha Nakhai to the program. Pinto previously served as an associate producer on Nakhai’s dramatic feature Scarborough, which won Best Picture at the Canadian Screen Awards. The Sandbox is among the Canadian films pitching at the Forum during Hot Docs.
Rounding out the projects is an untitled work by Victoria Lean, who recently picked up several Canadian Screen Awards for We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel). Details about the project are under wraps. Work-in-progress scenes of the projects will screen to international decision-makers and Industry delegates at Hot Docs Festival 2024.