The 25th annual Hot Docs
April 26-May 6
North America’s largest nonfiction festival will present well over 150 new doc features for its anniversary edition.
THE HEAT: A KITCHEN (R)EVOLUTION
Among this year’s Special Presentations are Maya Gallus’ Opening Night Film, THE HEAT: A KITCHEN (R)EVOLUTION
, on women in the culinary world; Daniel J Clark’s BEHIND THE CURVE
, on the surprising resurgence in belief of a flat Earth; Richard Rowley’s THE BLUE WALL
, on the exposé of the unlawful killing of an African American teenager by a Chicago police officer; Jean-Simon Chartier’s PLAYING HARD
, which follows a game developer as he loses control of his idea; Jack Bryan’s ACTIVE MEASURES
, on the influence of Russia on the 2016 US Presidential election; and Barry Avrich’s THE RECKONING: HOLLYWOOD’S WORST KEPT SECRET
, on the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER
Among the dozen titles in the International Spectrum are the world premieres of Maurice Sweeney’s I, DOLOURS
, a posthumous profile of a convicted IRA bomber; Hind Bensari’s WE COULD BE HEROES
, in which a Moroccan Paralympic champion protests the treatment of disabled athletes; Cameron Mullenneaux’s EXIT MUSIC
, focused on a man with cystic fibrosis as he faces his end; and Shameela Seedat’s WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER
, a portrait of South African public official who faces controversy for investigating the nation’s president.
The Canadian Spectrum includes Michael Sparaga’s UNITED WE FAN
, on TV fans who have organized to save their favorite shows from cancellation; Billie Mintz’s THE GUARDIANS
, which explores seniors taken advantage of by court-appointed caretakers; Leon Lee’s LETTER FROM MASANJIA
, on a story of human rights abuses in Chinese labor camps; Jean-François Caissy’s FIRST STRIPES
, an inside-look at the Canadian Army’s boot camp; Michael Del Monte’s TRANSFORMER
, on a weightlifting dad’s transition to a woman; and Joannie Lafrenière’s SNOWBIRDS
, on a community of Quebecois who winter in Florida.
Debuts in the World Showcase section include Paula Eiselt’s 93QUEEN
, on a pioneering Jewish female volunteer EMS team; Azadi Moghadam’s THE BROKER
, a portrait of an Iranian dating agency; Audrey Gordon’s SIBLINGS
, about siblings separated by foster care reuniting for summer camp; Sahim Omar Kalifa’s CORNERED IN MOLENBEEK
, an observational study of a Brussels neighborhood and its Muslim community; and Cassidy Friedman’s CIRCLES
, a portrait of a father championing restorative justice in an Oakland high school.
THE REAL THING
Work appearing in Artscapes includes Benoît Felici’s THE REAL THING
, which surveys copycat structures around the globe; Denis Klebleev’s KING LEAR
, following an octogenarian with grand aspirations to play the Shakespearean role; Beatrice Behn and René Gebhardt’s THE ARTIST & THE PERVERT
, about the controversial, public BDSM relationship between an Austrian master and his African-American slave; Max Powers’ DON’T BE NICE
, which follows a slam poetry team as they prepare for a competition; and Pietra Brettkelly’s YELLOW IS FORBIDDEN
, on the rise of a celebrated Chinese fashion designer.
BARBARA RUBIN AND THE EXPLODING NY UNDERGROUND
Other non-competitive sections include Nightvision, with Chuck Smith’s BARBARA RUBIN AND THE EXPLODING NY UNDERGROUND
, on the overlooked avant-garde filmmaker, and Jessica Leski’s I USED TO BE NORMAL: A BOYBAND FANGIRL STORY
, which explores the impact of fandom on several women; Made In Mexico, with José Pablo Estrada Torrescano’s MAMACITA
, a portrait of the filmmaker’s nonagenarian grandmother, and Lindsey Cordero and Armando Croda’s hybrid I’M LEAVING NOW (YA ME VOY)
, on an undocumented Mexican man’s struggles in Brooklyn.
Thematic sections include: Silence Breakers, with Sahra Mani’s A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME
, in which a young Afghan woman publicly exposes her father’s sexual abuse, and Sarah Menzies’ AFGHAN CYCLES
, on the impact on Afghan women’s independence through bicycle riding; The Good Fight, with Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s RECOVERY BOYS
, an intimate look at recovery from opioid addiction, and Matthew Shoychet’s THE ACCOUNTANT OF AUSCHWITZ
, on the controversial issue of prosecuting war criminals in their elder years; and The Changing Face of Europe, with Diego Pascal Panarello’s THE STRANGE SOUND OF HAPPINESS
, about the filmmaker’s transformation through learning an obscure Siberian musical instrument, and Melanie Andernach and Andreas Köhler’s GLOBAL FAMILY
, in which a Somalian family spread out over several countries must reunite to tend to their ailing matriarch.