Beleaguered Hot Docs movie fest pronounces layoffs, closure of flagship theatre


The beleaguered Hot Docs Film Festival says it’s closing its flagship Toronto theatre for about three months and shedding employees amid monetary difficulties.

Canada’s largest documentary movie competition says it would briefly shutter the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema beginning June 12.

An announcement from the competition says that may lead to momentary layoffs because the group tries to discover a path again to profitability.

Hot Docs says it’s going through a considerable working deficit as a result of sluggish post-pandemic restoration and it must conduct an in depth overview of its programming and funds.

A spokesperson didn’t instantly reply questions on what number of jobs are impacted by the closure.

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Hot Docs says anybody who bought a ticket for a screening or occasion happening after June 12 will get an computerized refund, and patrons can be notified if sure occasions are rescheduled or moved to a different venue.

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Late spring and summer season occasions listed on the Hot Docs’ web site embrace movie screenings to mark Pride month and an look by U.S. creator Gabrielle Zevin to speak about her bestselling novel “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.”

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In a message to patrons, Hot Docs stated Wednesday that its cinema is dedicated to returning within the fall “with the quality programming you’ve come to expect.”

Organizers stated the thirty first version of the competition that wrapped in early May was a hit, with attendance reaching close to pre-pandemic ranges and field workplace income exceeding targets by 12 per cent.

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However, “our financial situation remains serious despite these successes,” they stated.

In a separate assertion Wednesday, Hot Docs stated its management group must “pause, recalibrate and strategically plan a sustainable future” for the group.

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“This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it’s crucial for us to take this step now,” Robin Mirsky, co-chair of the Hot Docs’ board of administrators, stated within the assertion.

Hot Docs sounded the alarm about its funds earlier this 12 months, saying its future was in jeopardy with out extra help.

The competition additionally expressed disappointment after it was ignored of the federal finances tabled in April.

Adding to its troubles was a mass exodus of employees simply earlier than the announcement of the 2024 Hot Docs lineup. The competition’s inventive director and 10 of its programmers give up, citing a “toxic workplace.”

Hot Docs’ president Marie Nelson stated on the time {that a} “perfect storm” led to the unrest, citing a number of hurdles that strained inventive, monetary and staffing efforts.

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