Philip Hoffman (b. 1955) is a Canadian director who had a great influence on Finnish documentary film in the early 1990s. He studied at Sheridan College, where he acquired a degree in media arts in 1979. He also has a BA in English literature from Wilfrid Laurier University. While studying at Sheridan College he became acquainted with a group of filmmakers known as the Escarpment School.
Hoffman started teaching at Sheridan College in 1986, in 1994 he started organizing a summer film workshop, and in 1999 he joined the York University Film and Video Department as a faculty member. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Helsinki.
Hoffman worked as a professor at the University of Arts and Design in Helsinki in 1992. It was partly due to Hoffman’s workshops that Finnish short films took a direction where documentary material and fiction mixed with personal content.
Hoffman’s films have been described as extremely personal, often combining fiction and documentary. They have been said to question conventional documentary films’ requirement for truthfulness. At DocPoint, we see a Hoffman “intro-retrospective”, consisting of five screenings of both his own work and that of his Finnish colleagues (Hoffman I, Hoffman II, Hoffman III, Hoffman IV, Hoffman V).