A film festival is usually characterized by screenings, Q&A with filmmakers, parties and with luck, a few business deals. HotDocs, Toronto’s documentary festival and its accompanying Toronto Documentary Forum for project funding, is all of those things—and now more.
HotDocs launched a new program this year called Docs In Schools. Offering special screenings and educational materials for a select group of films, HotDocs hosted 7000 school aged kids and their teachers in free programs. Directors Nick Francis and Mark Francis screened their new film Black Gold, an exploration of the international coffee trade, to 500 students and teachers. "For the first time it became clear to us that the film could speak to different generations," commented Nick Francis. They turned out to be an extraordinarily engaged audience. "In 1960's young people were in engaged in the battle for civil rights and today they're engaging in a new battle - the fight for the basic rights of millions of people whose livelihoods are being undermined by a rigged system of international trade," said Francis.