Last week Dogwoof's Oli and Vesna attended the 20th edition of Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, where we had 3 of our global sales titles in the programme: Blackfish, Fuck For Forest and In the Shadow of the Sun.
Blackfish was one of the most talked about films at the fest, and screenings were followed by some great Q&A sessions with director Gabriela and producer Manny. Subject Josephat attended the In the Shadow of the Sun screenings, which provoked a strong emotional response from the audiences after every screening. Fuck For Forest director Michal Marczak was very busy - promoting the film, doing Q&A's, sitting on one of the juries, and he also pitched his new project at the Hot Docs Forum. We were thrilled to announce the North American deal for Fuck For Forest, which we closed last week with Cinema Guild.
Vesna attended Distribution Rendezvous where she met some old friends and some new faces and discussed upcoming docs - Canadian and international. Highlights included the following projects: 10 Trees That Can Save The World, Birdsong SOS, Driving with Selvi, and Backward Class. Then off to the forum pitches - last year we picked up 112 Weddings here. Our favourite pitches this year were Chameleon and Peppe's Flowers, both from EyeSteel Films. The winning pitch was a Canadian fracking doc Fractured Land. Very nice trailer, and a charismatic central protagonist.
Vesna's highlight was the Tribeca winner The Kill List; The Q&A with Dan Krauss, the director, was very interesting. Meanwhile Oli's favourite watch was Teenage, and it was great to see director Matt Wolf at our speakeasy. Seeing the doc about The National Mistaken for Stranger at a midnight screening was lots of fun, with a lively Q&A.
It was good fun to hang out with our filmmakers attending the festival, but also those we have worked with in the past to find out about their new projects like Jeanie Finley of Sound it Out and producer Al Morrow of Town of Runners and Village at The End of the World. Oli also met up with Nick Fraser from BBC Storyville and Jason from NY Times about a possibly VERY exciting future collaboration….
The speakeasy party (we hosted with our friends from Sheffield Doc/Fest, Tribeca Film Institute, and POV) went really well. It was packed and Oli was left holding most of the drinks vouchers as Ryan from Tribeca was ill and Simon from POV bailed early. At one point, they had to keep people out because due to overcrowding. The weather was amazing, so the atmosphere outside the bar was also fantastic.
The jewel in the crown of the festival was seeing our upcoming UK release Muscle Shoals pick up the Audience Award prize at the end of the week. Look out for this one soon!
You can see more Hot Docs pics over on our Facebook Album - see you at Hot Docs 2014...