We organised a variety of sessions at Hot Docs over the 7 days we attended and the producers were offered an ample choice of networking opportunities through group sessions, introductions, one-to-ones, Forum attendance, dinners, and our infamous whisky night caps.
We met with Jennifer Fox, who was screening her new film My Reincarnation at the festival, and she discussed her interesting production choices over 20 years making this film, crowdfunding and how to deal with the intricacies of international co-productions. Luciano Barisone, new director of Nyon’s Visions du Reel festival, encouraged everyone to follow their artistic instincts, and avoid “hip-hop editing”.
Daniel Cross from Eyesteel and Andrew Johnson from CBC enlightened us on Canadian financing opportunities – although some gloominess was apparent about the Canadian state of affairs with regards to broadcasting. Robin Smith from KinoSmith (distribution) told us about his business model for Canadian theatrical distribution and we talked to Sales Agents and Reps Peter Jäger from Autlook and Josh Braun from Submarine on how they choose and strategise about their slate of films and theatrical opportunities for documentaries.
Producer Bart Simpson cheered everyone up with his tales of legal wrangling (Bananas!) and his experience as producer on the international scene. Last but certainly not least, programmer David Courier was amongst those who shared our cosy suite at the Sutton and networked with us over a cup of coffee, while explaining the process of “getting into Sundance”.
Other people we met with: Sue Turley (Ro*co), Anna Miralis (Channel 4), Simon Kilmurry from POV who kindly sponsored whisky when we ran out; Julia Overton from Screen Australia, Dogwoof, Arte France, Films Transit, and many more.
By facilitating initial introductions Interdoc producers were able to meet/pitch or simply engage more directly with many more decision makers and potential North American co-producers throughout our week in Toronto, often far from the competitive atmosphere of the market.
And most importantly, the group enjoyed each other’s company, and what can be daunting and onerous task of taking your project to the market, became a friendly family affair.
Just as we like it!
Next stop is Aarhus!
If you have any questions about Interdoc and next year’s programme, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org