Hot Docs names Shane Smith its new director of programming


Hot Docs is delighted to announce that Shane Smith will join the Hot Docs team as
the organisation’s new director of programming on 5 October 2015.

“Shane has built a well-earned reputation as a champion of original and visionary
filmmakers, and his innovative programming reflects his own passion to inspire,
inform and entertain filmgoers,’ says executive director Brett Hendrie. “His
outstanding eye for great docs will help ensure that Hot Docs continues to bring the
most outspoken and outstanding films to the festival every year. I can’t wait for our
audiences to meet him.’

“As a long time attendee of the festival and a life-long lover of the documentary
form, I’m thrilled to be joining the stellar team at Hot Docs,’ says Smith. “Having
witnessed first-hand the incredible growth of the organisation, I’m looking forward
to playing my part in the evolution of the festival by continuing to bring the finest
documentaries in the world to Toronto audiences.”

Smith comes to Hot Docs from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)—where
he was the director of special projects, overseeing a wide variety of initiatives and
events at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, including large-scale strategic projects, TIFF in the
Park, Nuit Blanche, the digiPlaySpace travelling exhibition, and Short Cuts
programming for TIFF. In his previous role at TIFF he was the director of public

Smith graduated with a BA in film studies and mass communications from
Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Prior to joining TIFF in 2010, he held
various positions in programming at Spafax Canada, Movieola: The Short Film
Channel, and Silver Screen Classics, and spent six years as director of the Canadian
Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival. He has worked as a programmer, jury
member, and speaker at film festivals around the world—most notably
programming for the Sundance Film Festival and Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film
Festival—and has written about film for Canadian publications Xtra!
and Cinema Scope. He directed the short film Goodbye To
. Smith is a former member of the Organising Committee of the
International Short Film Conference and a former board member of the Centre for
Aboriginal Media, presenters of the imagineNATIVE Film Festival. He founded and
co-directed OzFlix: Australian Film Weekend in Toronto and Vancouver.

In his role as director of programming at Hot Docs, Smith will head up an
exceptional programming team that includes senior Canadian programmer Lynne
Fernie and a staff of experienced programmers specialising in Canadian and
international films. Smith will be responsible for developing the programming vision
for the festival, continuing Hot Docs’ reputation for presenting a high-calibre
documentary slate each year. Smith will contribute to the long-term visioning and
strategic planning for the organisation, working with various departments to help
research and shape new initiatives, and with the wider senior management team to
help direct existing projects, both online and live-event based.

Hot Docs is also pleased to announce that current programming manager Sarafina
DiFelice will assume the newly created position of associate director of
programming. Through her outstanding work at the festival and Doc Soup, DiFelice
has helped to develop some of Hot Docs’ most successful programs, while building
exceptional relationships with Toronto audiences and the international documentary
community. In her new larger role, she will be taking on new strategic assignments
designed to help build Hot Docs’ programming brand, outreach and reputation for


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