Toronto, May 5, 2011 [CTVm.info] — The Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs’ key international co-financing market event, wrapped today after two days of brisk pitching, networking and deal-making. In total, 28 projects representing 12 countries were presented to a panel of over 120 key commissioning editors and other funders.
« It was an exceptional year for the Hot Docs Forum, where amazing talent, projects and financing converged, » says Elizabeth Radshaw, Hot Docs Forum and Market Director. « I can’t help but quote Forum moderator Axel Arnö : hot projects and hot decision makers ! »
Over $40,000 in cash prizes were awarded to projects at this year’s Hot Docs Forum.
The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds Forum Pitch Prize was awarded to Clear Lake Historical Productions’ DOC POMPUS, a feature documentary about one of America’s great songwriters. Disbursed from the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds, the $40,000 cash prize is awarded to the best Canadian pitch at the Forum as voted on by attending international commissioning editors. Shaw Media’s Sarah Jane Flynn presented the award to pitch team member Will Hechter.
The Cuban Hat Award, which offers « real cash, no strings attached » support for powerful and unique projects, was presented to two projects, THE JUNGLE PRESCRIPTION (Nomad Films) and A WHOLE LOTT MORE (Flying V Films/The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation). Established in 2009 in an impromptu display of collegial support, the Cuban Hat Award is decided from ballots collected from Hot Docs Forum Observers and the cash prize is raised by passing the hat.
This year close to $3,500 was raised, which includes a generous $1,000 gift from Jan Rofekamp of Films Transit, a $1,000 gift from Montreal’s EyeSteelFilm, and $500 from the Hot Docs Forum, as well as 924.18 CAD, 100.32 USD, 2 euro 11 cents, 2 Reais Brazil, 1 pence Australian, 1 Shequel, and 1 Toronto transit token. The Cuban hat in which the prize money was collected was presented to BBC’s Nick Fraser (UK), named favourite funder also by Observer ballot.
The founders of the Cuban Hat Award, Diego Briceno (Cuibafilms/Pimiento, Montreal) and Giulia Frati (Zelectra Productions, Montreal) announced the winners following the close of this year’s Hot Docs Forum. THE JUNGLE PRESCRIPTION was pitched at the end of the event via the Entertainment One « Mounties’ Hat, » which gives Hot Docs Forum observers the chance to secure a last minute presentation slot.