The Doc Accelerator Emerging Filmmaker Lab is an intensive skill-building component of the Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project, providing in-depth, real-world training to emerging and sophomore Canadian talent.
2022 Doc Accelerator Program
Doc Accelerator Program
The 2022 program launched in early April, prior to the Hot Docs Festival. The lab started with a bespoke group pitching and market preparedness sessions led by expert industry consultants. Each fellow received a LIVE Pass to attend Hot Docs in Toronto. In addition to participating in various Festival-wide activities, the lab continued throughout the spring and summer, offering an in-depth curriculum focusing on creative development, learning Canadian funding models, business affairs, how to work with a producer, and sales and distribution.
The fellows are also paired with experienced filmmakers and industry experts for paid mentorship placements. Mentorships focus on specific learning goals and outcomes, and follow a guided mentorship pathway using resources created by Hot Docs.
Doc Accelerator Lab
The 2022 lab also consisted of a bespoke day of in-person learning at the Hot Docs Festival. The cohort met with Sundance and Berlinale award-winning filmmakers from the US and Canada who were premiering at Hot Docs, and who shared their filmmaking and industry knowledge in a full day of talks and sessions. Guest filmmakers included: Miryam Charles (This House), Isabel Castro (Mija), Reid Davenport (I Didn't See You There), and Rita Baghdadi (Sirens).
Fellows are placed with mentors to advance identified learning goals, strengthen industry relationships, and gain paid professional work experience. When selecting mentors, emphasis is placed on choosing filmmakers with a broad range of experience and generosity of spirit. Recent mentors include filmmakers Clair Sanford, Theo Anthony, John Choi, Ricardo Acosta and Sherien Barsoum.
"The hybrid nature of the program (in-person and online) offers a sincere and constructive method of learning about documentary. Every aspect of Hot Docs Accelerator, was generative to my progression as a director, specifically understanding the business of documentary. Every session I attended, felt like I was truly learning something new. I am so thankful for the careful curation and thoughtful programming that this accelerator was created with—I know it will last a long time."Omolola Ajao (2022 Fellow)
"It feels very empowering when you are brought into the documentary landscape and exposed to the people who can support you. I see a lot of people that have catapulted and launched their career from this program and connect with future collaborators. So I’m really happy to be part of it. I recommend the program to any emerging filmmaker looking to build their network and start their careers."Sepehr Samimi (2022 Fellow)
"The Lab has been instrumental in further developing my skills as a filmmaker. Access to numerous resources and, in particular, the career sustainability and distribution workshops allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the business of documentary film. Another highlight has been to network with my peers and grow alongside them. I truly appreciate the support, and now I feel more confident to continue to work on the development of my first feature documentary with a view to packaging a pitch that will be more effective."Katia Café-Fébrissy (2021 Fellow)
2022 Doc Accelerator Participants
Omolola AjaoToronto, ON
Valerie AmponsahToronto, ON
Bryan AngaritaToronto, ON
Gabriel BadejoToronto, ON
Isabella CarreraToronto, ON
Rosalie ChicoineVerdun, QB
Daniel EnnettEdmonton, AB
Feven GhebremariamMontreal, QB
Roble IssaToronto, ON
Rose KatchéVancouver, BC
Gabriela Osio VandenToronto, ON
Eva-Loan Ponton-PhamMontreal, QB
Sepehr SamimiVancouver, BC
Miru YogarajahToronto, ON