(January 12, 2016 – Toronto, ON) – Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival has announced that the Blue Ice Group have renewed their support for the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund with an additional $1.25-million CAD. The reinvestment in the Fund, a total of $2.35-million since 2011, helps enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their own stories and contributes to the professional development of the African documentary community’s next generation. To date, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund has awarded grants to 40 projects from 15 countries, as well as travel, accommodation and accreditation support to attend the Hot Docs Festival and Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Filmmakers Lab, and the Durban International Film Festival and Durban FilmMart.
“With the Blue Ice Group’s generous investment, Hot Docs is honoured to continue our efforts to finance and support documentary filmmakers and their films across the African continent,” says Hot Docs Board of Directors co-chair Michael McMahon.
“It has been such a pleasure dealing with Hot Docs, and so rewarding interacting with the incredibly creative African documentarians through this Fund, that we have decided to renew it for a further five years,” say Blue Ice Group co-founders Steven Silver and Neil Tabatznik.
Created by Blue Ice Group in 2011, and administered by Hot Docs, the Fund annually provides development grants of up to $10,000 and production grants of up to $40,000. Professional filmmakers who are citizens and residents of continental Africa, and are also living and working in the region are eligible. In addition, the Fund offers valuable resources to support professional development, including attendance at the Hot Docs Festival, where they take part in a creative filmmakers’ lab, attend Hot Docs screenings, conference sessions, the Hot Docs Forum and various networking events, and participate in a year-round peer-to-peer mentorship program. Fund recipients also receive support to attend and participate in the Durban International Film Festival and Durban FilmMart.
To date, Fund recipients have hailed from countries such as South Africa, Malawi, Senegal, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. Recent successes of Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund recipients include: Mother of the Unborn (D: Nadine Salib), an official selection at IDFA 2015 and winner of the Peter Wintonick IDFA Award for First Appearance; Nasser (D: Jihan El-Tahri), an official selection at TIFF 2015; The Shore Break, pictured above (D: Ryley Grunenwald), an official selection at Hot Docs 2015; and The Devil’s Lair (D: Riaan Hendricks), an official selection at Hot Docs 2013 and IDFA 2013.
Applications for the next round of disbursements will open in June 2016 and close in August 2016. More information on the application process, eligibility requirements and deadlines, is available online.