About a month ago, I sat down with my popcorn and cappuccino (no, I’m not pregnant) and sifted through the incredible line up of films coming to Canadian International Documentary Festival also known as HotDocs. This festival starts this week and runs from April 25 to May 5.
The programme is overwhelming, in a good way, with screenings coming from all over the world and so many events that go hand-in-hand with this 20 year old festival. The 2013 Festival will feature 205 amazing documentaries from 43 countries. So many incredible topics are covered that run from disturbing and thought-provoking to endearing and simply entertaining.
We know that our readers LOVE watching movies. You’ve proven it with your responses to our reports on wide release blockbusters to the obscure international films. So, we’ve been in training for this massive HotDocs festival. Yes, we! This year, Katya (aka The Celebrity Dish) is on board and together we’re going to take in as many films as we physically, and mentally, can handle. We’ve lined up personal interviews with actors, producers and directors. In fact, we’ve been in “pre-screening” press mode for about two weeks now!
So, keep an eye on our site for some interviews, reviews and maybe spot us on the event circuit! It’s an exciting time here in the city and the world has so much to show us.
Many screenings will include, in attendance, directors, actors, and additional guests that will introduce their films and participate in post-screening audience Q&As. In addition, international buyers and industry professionals will attend the festival for a number of business and networking meetings. We sure are spoiled by these opportunities with the major film festivals that come to this city!
Here’s the link to the official website with a complete listing of screenings http://www.hotdocs.ca/
Here are just a few titles that we’ve got our eyes on…
ANITA – USA | International Premiere | Special Presentation | Scotiabank Big Ideas Series
In 1991, Anita Hill’s powerful testimony at the confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas brought sexual harassment into America’s national spotlight. Twenty years later, she revisits those hearings and for the first time on film speaks about the gruelling nine-hour experience of confronting an all-white male jury who demonstrated little sensitivity.
THE MANOR – CANADA | Opening Night film | World Premiere | Special Presentation
When he was six, Shawney Cohen’s father bought “The Manor,” a small-town strip-club. Hoping to understand what happened to his nice Jewish family, this intimate tragic-comic family portrait lays bare the nature of dependence and love.
DOWNLOADED – USA | International Premiere | Rule Breakers and Innovators Series
As a teen Shawn Fanning cracked the code that enabled peer-to-peer file sharing, went on to launch a service known as Napster with partner Sean Parker, and transformed technology, and the world after.
MUSCLE SHOALS – USA | International Premiere | Special Presentation
Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickette, Gregg Allman, Bono and more share how the tiny backwater town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, made them stars in one of the greatest untold American music stories.
RENT A FAMILY – Denmark | North American Premiere
I Want To Cheer You Up Ltd. is a one-man operation in Japan. He offers stand-in family members for business or social engagements to those who have secrets, while hiding his own from his family.
PUSSY RIOT – A PUNK PRAYER – UK | Special Presentation
This candid look at Pussy Riot unmasks the brains behind the balaclavas of the next wave of Russian revolutionaries, and shows how one act of protest lead to a show trial that captured the world’s attention.
CUTIE AND THE BOXER – USA | International Premiere | International Spectrum
The 40 year old love story of Ushio and Noriko, two Japanese artists living in New York, reveals their artistic processes and rivalries, but most importantly the symbiosis of love and creativity. (subtitled)
SOFTENING – Canada | World Premiere | Canadian Spectrum
After giving birth to a son with extensive brain damage, Kelly O’Brien was told to get used to “the new normal.” This sensitive, personal, and strikingly cinematic film shares her life as mother, wife, and filmmaker.
FELIX AUSTRIA! – USA | World Premiere | World Showcase
Felix Pfleifle is an exquisite American dandy and amateur historian of Viennese aristocracy. The story follows Felix on his serendipitious journey across America to the palaces of Vienna, while back at his home town, Modesto, Calif. Felix’s father suffers from Huntington’s, Disease that Felix has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting.
FREE THE MIND: Can You Rewire The Brain Just By Taking A Breath?
DENMARK | World Premiere | Rule Breakers and Innovators Series
In science’s ongoing quest to solve the mysteries of the brain, renowned neuroscientist Richard Davidson works with veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and children with ADHD to explore the possibility of changing the brain through the power of thought.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY
USA | International Premiere | Rule Breakers and Innovators Series
Think your privacy settings are protecting you? Think again. This wry and disturbing doc exposes what governments and corporations do with your personal information each time you click “I Accept.”
AS TIME GOES BY IN SHANGHAI – Germany, Netherlands | NEXT
The members of this Shanghai jazz band, all aged between 65 and 87, have seen it all – from the Japanese occupation, to the Communist Cultural Revolution, to turbo capitalism – but what lies ahead could be their greatest adventure yet.
There are a quite on our roster but this gives you a sampling of what is offered for public screening during HotDocs. Tickets, ticket packages and passes are all available online. Some films will also have rush seats but if you’re really hoping to catch a specific documentary, don’t take your chances!
So, grab your popcorn and join us!
Let us know if you’re going to catch any of the films!