Toronto-based companies Blue Ice Group and KinoSmith have inked a deal to create Blue Ice Docs, a full-service distribution company that will fund and acquire non-fiction Canadian and international films it was announced Monday at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto.

Blue Ice Group chairman Neil Tabatznik and CEO Steven Silver have pursued a number of joint ventures in recent years, including a partnership struck in 2010 with LA-based Echo Lake Entertainment to form the Blue Ice Media Fund, which provides private equity funding for mid-length films and TV series.

Earlier this year, the group's Blue Ice Pictures acquired film and TV rights to Toronto reporter Robyn Doolittle's book "Crazy Town," about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

"Blue Ice Docs' mission is to find and ensure that the best documentaries are seen by as many people as possible," said Tabatznik. Blue Ice Group also owns the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto.

KinoSmith president Robin Smith, pictured above, will head Blue Ice Docs in addition to his ongoing responsibilities at independent distributor KinoSmith. "It's rare to run into a company and individuals such as Neil and Steven who have such a strong dedication to the documentary art form," he said. "It's an absolute privilege to be included in their quest to elevate documentaries as an accessible and necessary medium of our industry."

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