On May 2, Hot Docs and the Blue Ice Group announced an exciting new collaboration with The New York Times Op-Docs to commission short documentary films from African filmmakers that will be showcased on The Times’s Emmy® Award-winning online forum.
Over the next 12 months five to eight projects will be selected for the initiative from hundreds of past Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund submissions, Fund Alumni and 2017 submissions.
Established in 2010, the Fund aims to assist African filmmakers living and working on the continent in telling their stories, and to contribute to the professional development of the next generation of Africa’s documentary community. Filmmakers of selected projects will be commissioned to craft new short documentary works inspired by the stories and themes of their feature film, which will then be published first on NYTimes.com/OpDocs.
Launched in the fall of 2011, Op-Docs is The New York Times’s editorial department’s forum for short, opinionated documentaries, produced with wide creative latitude and a range of artistic styles, covering current affairs, contemporary life and historical subjects.
To date, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund has awarded grants totaling $626,000 to 40 projects from 15 African countries. It has provided professional development to filmmakers through the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Filmmakers Lab as well as offering travel, accommodation and accreditation support to attend international festivals and markets, including Hot Docs, the Durban International Film Festival and Durban FilmMart.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the $1 million CAD fund was generously replenished with an additional $1.25 million CAD by the Blue Ice Group.