Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival organizers will be giving $200,000 worth of tickets to students, seniors and new Canadians. One of the top documentary film festivals in the world, the 2018 edition of Hot Docs started April 26 and runs until May 6.
"Every day, we bring docs to our community and to many who, otherwise, would not be able to attend the festival or visit our cinema," said a joint message from Hot Docs' executive director Brett Hendrie and president Chris McDonald.
A number of partners are helping Hot Docs in this.
Daytime screenings before 5 p.m. are free for students and seniors courtesy of CBC Docs. Interested parties need only show up with valid ID at the screening venue’s box office on the day of the screening to obtain tickets, subject to availability. During the festival Hot Docs is also providing free screenings to secondary students at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema and in their classrooms. This is via the fest's own Docs For Schools program.
Additionally, Hot Docs partners with the Institute for Canadian Citizens (ICC), a national charity co-founded by The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul dedicated to encouraging active Canadian citizenship; Culture Link, an organization dedicated to integrating newcomers to Canadian society; and the Toronto Public Library, which offers free movie passes in its downtown and branches and in priority neighbourhoods.
"Additionally, we partner with dozens of ethnocultural and communities of interest to co-present screenings and do direct outreach into those communities, which often involves distributing tickets," adds Hot Docs communications director Jonathan Da Silva.
Some of the buzz films at this year's festival include Of Fathers And Sons, the story of a war photographer documenting the life of a jihadist family, Love, Scott, which follows the story of Scott Jones, who was stabbed in a homophobic attack and paralyzed from the waist down, and Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., a look at pop agitator Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam.
"Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of sharing remarkable documentaries—tales with the power to engage, inspire and evoke," Hendrie and McDonald's joint statement also read. "In these turbulent times, the real-world experiences chronicled by unwavering filmmakers are imbued with an increased immediacy and meaning. Now, more than ever, we need documentaries that strengthen our connection to the world around us and give voice to truth. As you experience films during the Festival, you may feel the urge to do more. We feel the same, which is why we share these stories with audiences throughout the year."
Hot Docs is accepting donations for those interested in paying it forward and getting more people the opportunity to screen their films.
Watch a Hot Docs 2018 trailer: