Documentarian Lana Wilson excels at making films that focus on fascinating human beings capable of exhibiting great empathy for their fellow man, and her latest effort, The Departure (screening this week at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival), is no exception.
The nation of Micronesia, a country made up of numerous tiny islands in the Pacific, has always had a complicated history of independence and occupation, the perils of which are laid bare in director Nathan Fitch and producer Bryan Chang’s eye opening documentary Island Soldier, which makes its international premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto this week.
An unlikely inspirational story, the documentary Strad Style, which screens twice more at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival this week and has been charming audiences around the world since its premiere earlier this year, shows viewers just how hard it is to make a violin, but also how much harder it can be if you’re ambitious and like to procrastinate a lot.
The votes for the Audience Awards at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival have been coming in, and six of the top ten vote-getters so far this year have been some of our top picks. Here are five more from today’s day four line-up that we hope are destined for similar critical and audience acclaim.
For her latest feature film, Hobbyhorse Revolution (which makes its North American premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto this week) Oscar nominated Finnish filmmaker Selma Vilhunen turned her attention to an unusual, growing, fun, and empowering subculture of teen hobbyhorse enthusiasts who take everyday toys and turn them into tools for a unique hobby.
For his latest documentary, Spookers, making its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival this weekend, New Zealander Florian Habicht set his sights on something that has become an unlikely national institution in his country.
The first of two weekends at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (running to May 7th) brings even more high profile film premieres that showcase some of the best non-fiction filmmaking in the world, special events galore, and plenty of opportunities to learn things you never knew before. Saturday’s stacked Hot Docs schedule is no exception, so here now are five things that you won’t want to miss at the festival today, all but one of which has a distinctly Canadian connection.
For his debut feature, filmmaker and journalist Adam Sobel set his lens upon the set up for one of the biggest events in the world. For The Workers Cup, screening this week at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, Sobel looks at migrant workers in Qatar who are working to build the infrastructure and stadiums needed for the country to host the esteemed World Cup in 2022.
For the documentary Playing God, making its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival this week, German documentarian and journalist Karin Jurschick takes a close look at American lawyer Ken Feinberg, who has one of the hardest jobs in the world: determining financial compensation for victims and claimants who have been through unspeakable tragedies.
Following last night’s opening night festivities, the 24th annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (running through May 7th) kicks into high gear today with the first full day of programming, and a lot of high profile festival premieres. Looking for some suggestions? Here are a few films we’ve been able to catch already that should be on your radar, even if you aren’t able to catch them at the festival today.