The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

HOT DOCS BOARD OF DIRECTORS NEW APPOINTMENTS

At Hot Docs’ recent AGM, the organization said farewell to long-serving Board directors and former co-chairs Louise Lore and Norm Bolen, as well as filmmakers Yanick Létourneau (Peripheria Productions, Montreal) and Danijel Margetic (Balkan Films, Toronto). Hot Docs would like to thank these Board members for their passionate guidance, tremendous support and invaluable contributions to the organization’s dynamic growth and stability.

Since stepping in as Hot Docs’ executive director and its first full-time employee 15 (!) years ago this month, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with five outstanding Board co-chairs. At our AGM last week, Louise Lore and Norm Bolen stepped down from our board after more than 25 years of combined volunteer service. Having them mentor, champion and challenge me and our team has been one of the highlights of my career, and one of the reasons our festival continues to succeed. Louise and Norm set the tone and instilled a sense of professionalism in those early years, and they consistently made the staff feel that they were working for us rather than the reverse. They made us look good and work smarter, and helped us attract other high-performing board and staff who’ve worked together to make this Festival great. On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and, of course me personally, I offer many, many thanks to you both.

- Chris McDonald, Executive Director

Hot Docs is pleased to welcome Barry Avrich (Melbar Entertainment Group, Toronto), Charlotte Engel (Rock Yenta Productions, Toronto), and Katarina Soukup (Catbird Productions, Montreal) to the organization’s Board of Directors. We look forward to working with them on our upcoming 20th anniversary edition, and for many festivals more.

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“Any time a movie causes a country to threaten nuclear retaliation, the higher-ups wanna get in a room with you… In terms of getting the word out about the movie, it’s not bad. If they actually make good on it, it would be bad for the world—but luckily that doesn’t seem like their style… We’ll make a movie that maybe for two seconds will make some 18-year-old think about North Korea in a way he never would have otherwise. Or who knows? We were told one of the reasons they’re so against the movie is that they’re afraid it’ll actually get into North Korea. They do have bootlegs and stuff. Maybe the tapes will make their way to North Korea and cause a fucking revolution. At best, it will cause a country to be free, and at worst, it will cause a nuclear war. Big margin with this movie.”
~ Seth Rogen In Rolling Stone 1224

“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies