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Ontario Supporting Documentary Film Sector


March 9, 2020
Hot Docs investment will help advance film industry and build Ontario’s reputation as a cultural hub
Ontario is supporting the province’s world-class film and television industry with more than $525,000 in funding to Hot Docs, helping to drive local tourism spending, raise the profile of documentary filmmakers and build Ontario’s reputation as a cultural hub. Hot Docs is an organization dedicated to advancing and celebrating the art of documentary film through its signature annual festival and year-round activities.

Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, toured the Hot Docs Ted Rogers cinema and facility before speaking at an event at part of the Hot Docs – Curious Minds Series, an annual festival that includes a weeklong program of inspiring conversations with internationally renowned thinkers, tastemakers and bestselling authors.

“Hot Docs is a proud Ontario success story — reinforcing our reputation for innovation in the creative industries,” said Minister MacLeod. “Investing in Hot Docs is an investment in our province’s spectacular double bottom line — boosting our financial bottom line through increased tourism and economic activity, as well as the equally important bottom line of our cultural identity and pride of place.”

Hot Docs plays a key role in Ontario’s film and television production industry and is a major economic driver for the Canadian documentary film sector. A recent economic impact study done by Hot Docs shows that the festival contributed over $39 million to Ontario’s GDP. The study also found that business deals struck during the festival are worth just under $10 million.

“I know this year’s selections will be eye-opening, inspiring, thought-provoking and educational,” continued MacLeod. “I want to thank Hot Docs for allowing new audiences to discover the wonder of documentary film, highlighting how Ontario truly offers the world in one province.”

Since 2018, Ontario has provided more than $928,000 in funding to Hot Docs, including $525,000 in 2019-20.
On a year-round basis, Hot Docs’ activities, including non-festival activities, generated nearly 660 jobs and $19.4 million in tax revenue for the province.
Ontario’s film and television industry had a record-breaking year in 2019, with over 340 productions assisted by Ontario government incentives and services bringing in $2.16 billion in production spending for the economy and supporting more than 44,500 direct and spin-off jobs.
The annual Hot Docs documentary film festival is the largest of its kind in North America. It runs this year from April 30 to May 10.

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