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Hussain Currimbhoy Named New Hot Docs Festival Artistic Director

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Hussain Currimbhoy has been named as the new artistic director of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, while Heather Haynes is promoted to director of festival programming.

The new executive moves follows former ABC News/Disney exec Marie Nelson being named president of Hot Docs in May 2023, replacing Chris McDonald, who first as executive director and then as president led the Hot Docs festival for 25 years. 

Currimbhoy’s appointment follows other succession moves at North America’s largest documentary festival out of Toronto. In mid-2021, executive director Brett Hendrie left Hot Docs after eight years in the post. His successor, Heather Conway, lasted only five months as executive director and co-president of the Canadian documentary festival.

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Currimbhoy replaces Shane Smith, who left Hot Docs as artistic director in June 2023 after eight years in the post. “It is an absolute honor to take up this position with one of my favorite film festivals, and in my hometown, no less,” Currimbhoy said in a statement.

Besides work as a film producer and director, Currimbhoy as a film programmer completed stints at the Sundance Film Festival, Sheffield DocFest, Melbourne Film Festival, Nordisk Panorama Film Festival, Doc 10 and the Red Sea International Film Festival.  

His executive producer credits include And, Towards Happy Alleys, Praying For Armageddon, Tomorrow’s Freedom and The Beloved.

“I am delighted to welcome Hussain to the Hot Docs team, where he will curate the next chapter of our organization’s story. I am confident that with his unique vision, tremendous experience, and remarkable talents, he will successfully steer Hot Docs’ programming team into an exciting new phase,” Nelson said in her own statement.

Additionally, Hot Docs promoted associate director of festival programming Heather Haynes to  director of festival programming after 17 years with Hot Docs.

The 2024 Hot Docs Festival is set to run April 25 to May 5 in Toronto.  

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