Hot Docs Festival Plans Virtual Market

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Only a few vehicles drive along the Gardner Expressway near downtown Toronto on March 24, 2020.

Organizers plan to replicate online the industry events in Toronto canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival has gone to plan B — a virtual market for film buyers and sellers — after the physical festival set to run April 30-May 10 in Toronto was canceled as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Although it will never replace the powerful human connection of coming together in community, we're grateful to be able to host our industry activities virtually, allowing all of us to support outstanding and outspoken films getting made," Elizabeth Radshaw, industry programs director for Hot Docs, said Thursday in a statement.

The digital edition will replicate the same market events set for the original live fest. That includes a Hot Docs Forum using a remote conferencing service to allow film teams to pitch and receive feedback by commissioning editors.

There also will be one-on-one pitch meetings and The Doc Shop, an online market for buyers, distributors and sales agents.

One unplanned session set for the virtual industry conference will be on the impact of COVID-19 on the documentary industry, organizers said.