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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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch