Dialogues: Shane Smith

Dialogues: Shane Smith

Hot Docs around the world

Hot Docs is a very important International Documentary Film Festival in Canada, which every year presents a carefully curated selection of documentaries from all over the world that celebrate the importance of this cinematic genre.

Shane Smith, a representative from this festival, is here with us during this edition of GIFF and he tells us its importance while inviting filmmakers to get to know this an amazing platform.


What relationship does Hot Docs have with GIFF and what is your participation?

I’m the Programming Director at Hot Docs and last year I spoke with Nina (GIFF’s programming director) in Canada about coming to GIFF. My work here was to curate five documentaries to bring from Canada to Guanajuato and I’m very happy to be here.

What has been your experience with filmmakers at Hot Docs?

It’s a great and incredible platform for introducing Canadian filmmakers to the world and also to expose international filmmakers to North America.

We work a lot with Canadian documentary filmmakers, but also with 200 other filmmakers from all over the world each year, including Mexican filmmakers. We’ve always had strong Mexican documentaries and it’s nice to have this important cultural exchange between the two countries.

How does Hot Docs help filmmakers?

Hot Docs’ mission is to support the production and promotion of Canadian and international documentaries to be exhibited in several platforms all over the world.

There’s been a lot of demand for this festival since we launched and have formed documentary filmmakers. Last year we turned 25 and we’re still holding steady to our mission, to support cinema be it financially, in exhibition or distribution, helping documentaries. We also have cinema all over the world dedicated to this same goal. We do all we can to keep supporting this amazing platform.

What do you think is the future of cinema?

Wow, that’s a difficult question!

I believe there will always be a future for cinema, what changes is the way we view it and connect with it through the different platforms we have access to. One can see that there’s a lot of appetite for cinema, even here at GIFF where people are coming to see films on this beautiful afternoon. As long as there’s a desire from people to see moving images on a screen, I believe it’s the most important art of our generation and we’re always going to need film. What changes is how we access it.

How can Mexican filmmakers get in touch with Hot Docs?

We love to know about Mexican filmmakers and producers and watch their cinema. We open our calls in September and you can send us your films through our website; www.hotdocs.ca, it’s all there. You can also ask specific questions at our information e-mail which is looked at by our team and, I’m right here in Guanajuato, so come and ask me!