Former ABC News/Disney executive Marie Nelson has been named President of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
Beginning June 1, Nelson will oversee North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, as well as Toronto’s Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. “For me, having the opportunity to connect with Hot Docs was a definite swipe right. From my first trip to Toronto for the festival and its legendary pitch forum, it was love at first sight,” Nelson said in a Monday statement. said the statement.
Nelson has held a number of executive positions at US networks, including WGBH in Boston, National Public Radio, and Viacom/BET Networks.
“Mary is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of supporting filmmakers, developing and diversifying audiences, and elevating powerful but often unheard voices into the national discourse , making her ideally suited to lead Hot Docs into its next chapter,” Hot Docs board co-chair Lalita Krishna said in a separate statement.
Nelson was most recently Senior Vice President of ABC News/Disney, where the evolving brand and content strategy includes more inclusive and diverse content for TV, streaming and movie audiences.
Her credits include the ABC/Hulu/Disney+/Star series Soul of a Nation and collaborations with The Walt Disney Company and Nicole Hannah-Jones, Oprah Winfrey , Harpo, The New York Times, and Lionsgate Develop Pulitzer Prize-Winning Featurette ) The 1619 Project documentary series from Hulu Originals.
Nelson’s work has received Emmys, Peabody Awards, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and the NAACP NAACP Image Award.
She succeeds Chris McDonald, who led Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival first as Executive Director and then as Chairman 25 Year.