By Ray Pride


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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“At a recent screening of Creed, as the familiar fanfare of Bill Conti’s beloved Rocky score signaled the start of the final round of the big fight, the audience burst into spontaneous applause. This was no sneak-preview crowd, primed with free admission and popcorn, but a room full of critics and journalists armored in professional skepticism. A cynic might say that the cheering was a Pavlovian reflex set off by a piece of commercial entertainment in the hands of a skilled, manipulative director. This cynic, however, was too busy choking up and clapping to form the thought.”
A. O. Scott On Creed

The physical object is so banalized nowadays, you have to bring something else. And the audience is completely ready to get that, and want that, voilà. It’s difficult because it’s a lot of work and there are a lot of requirements, but you have to try to be more and more unique; if not, you’re just releasing a DVD in the old way, and even if a title might interest some cinephiles, it won’t be enough regarding the fact that they could see on S-VOD for ten bucks hundreds of movies. So how do you bring this audience who’s continuing following you because they have the same feeling of cinephilia to acquire what you’re releasing ? And even though we can see of course that the 3000-limited-edition of Body Double is to be able to go out-of-print very quickly, at the same time it will increase interest on the title itself.
~ Carlotta Films’ Vincent Paul-Boncour