Mainstreaming Documentary and Activism at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival

  • Ezra Winton
Part of the Framing Film Festivals book series (FFF)


This chapter takes a close look at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival, the second largest documentary festival in the world, and considers three intersecting socio-cultural forces that continue to shape the institution and event: business, art and politics. Through a study of its curatorial and organizational strategies, the chapter attempts to tease out the ways in which the festival’s consequential configuration of these three social phenomena, or Hot Docs’s ‘turn to the commercial,’ impact the intersection of socio-political activism and documentary (or what could be called ‘documentary activism’), as the festival charts a path from humble grassroots beginnings to mainstream commercial success.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ezra Winton
    • 1
  1. 1.Lakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

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