Hot Docs to Close Temporarily Due to "Urgent Financial Challenges"

Starting June 12, the Ted Rogers Cinema will close for three months while the festival conducts a review to "determine a path back to profitability"

Photo courtesy of Hot Docs

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 22, 2024

Following the en-masse exit of 10 programmers ahead of the 2024 iteration of the film festival, Hot Docs — Canada's largest documentary festival — has announced that it will begin a three-month closure of its landmark Ted Rogers Cinema and "temporary" layoffs, Toronto Star reports.

The organization is citing its need to address "urgent financial challenges" as the reason for the closure and layoffs, which are expected to be announced publicly this afternoon.

"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 directors, said in a statement. "This temporary closure will enable us to pause, recalibrate, and strategically plan a sustainable future for this beloved organization."

The Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood will be closed starting June 12, with "a portion of its staff" to be temporarily laid off. 

When the programmers left Hot Docs, which had already sounded the alarm for "significant operational challenges" ahead of this year's festival, Artistic Director Hussain Currimbhoy also stepped down just four months into his tenure. The organization has recently faced allegations of "toxic behaviour" and "grave mismanagement."

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