HOT DOCS FORUM
That special magic thing settled over Toronto last week for the Hot Docs Forum, where 27 producers pitched their pre-selected projects to a high table packed with commissioners and funders.
The setting was the Great Hall at UofT’s Hart House.
- It was part Hogwarts
- Part Westminster
- And much more absorbing!
- Introduction by a snappy pair of expert moderators
- Producer describes project and its level of funding
- Sizzle tape
- Feedback from networks and foundations
- Wrap up
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Feedback at the Forum
Here’s a sample of the responses heard from the funders who were seated elbow-to-elbow at the long table:
- ‘We already knew about your exciting story. We’ve talked about it with other potential funders, and we definitely want to be involved’
- ‘That’s interesting!! Let’s meet later’
- ‘Amazing direction. But I’m not sure I see the characters. Or the story?’
- Vice versa
- ‘Looks a lot more like a social media project than a doc’
- The Forum is not a competition. But cash prizes were awarded to
- Doc Pomus (Clear Lake Historical Productions , Best Canadian Pitch / Shaw Media Prize)
- A Whole Lott More (Flying V Films/The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation)
- The Jungle Prescription (Nomad Films)
- DocumentaryTelevision.com’s favorites
- A Whole Lott More
- Gideon’s Army (Trilogy Films)
- Slots and funding may be shrinking worldwide
- But the talent and drive to tell great documentary stories are undiminished
- And today’s digital kit makes it easier and cheaper to get access and then create a pitch reel
- CBC and other public broadcasters are key potential partners
- Their remit excludes partisan reporting
- So don’t bring them a film on a contentious issue that is already partly funded by an issue-driven foundation or individual
- A single whinge
- The loudest and often the most judgmental voices came from the commissioners with the puniest budgets
- Amazing job …
- Hot Docs organizers! Filmmakers! Panelists! And volunteers!
THREE OTHER STORIES
1. Oprah’s OWN is in critical care
- There’s barely a heartbeat in the ratings
- Humiliated Discovery sacks OWN’s CEO and sends in a Dr Turnaround
- The party line: “Our diagnosis is that OWN forgot to be entertaining”
- Coming soon: But what does this all mean for Oprah’s docs?
2. Why is Reality ever-rising? A new feature from The New Yorker
3. Reality Meets Porn. Showtime takes Reality to the depths (April ’11)
DID YOU MISS OUR RECENT HIGHLIGHTS?
- Why did AETN shower its ‘preferred producers’ with luxury, RESPECT and a sweet check?
- Independent Lens: What is the Curator’s vision? How much does IL pay?
- POV: What are the filters? What do they pay?
- HBO Docs: What are HBO’s filters? And fees?
- Oprah’s Documentary Club: How many? How much?
UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
CHICAGO / MID-WEST PRODUCER WORKSHOP
Thursday, May 19
Don’t miss our Chicago workshop!
What are the key trends in the Unscripted industry?
Where are the opportunities?
What are the networks looking for?
Pitching secrets! And much, much more!
Presentation by Peter Hamilton
Guests speakers: Jonathan Towers & Mike Schmiedeler, Towers Productions
Mix and mingle with other television professionals from Chicago and the Midwest
Hosted by Michelle De Long and Tim Horstman
Thursday, May 19
Location: Fletcher Chicago
1000 N. Northbranch St
Chicago, IL 60642
5:00PM-6:45PM Mix, mingle, eat and drink
6:45PM-8:45PM Educational Session and Guest Speakers
8:45PM- 10:00PM Mix and Mingle
NATAS and WIFC members receive a special discount.
Click here for more information!
Sunnyside of the Doc
La Rochelle, France
Watch for details!