Festivals: Hot Docs

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Hey Australia! Win Double Passes For Australia's First Hot Docs Film Festival!

Australia’s first Hot Docs Film Festival is fast approaching. This documentary film festival is the Australian edition of the renowned Canadian festival. It will take place across three cities - Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra - between June 14 and July...

Hot Docs 2016 Review: ANGRY INUK Recontextualizes Activism

"Martha Stewart does not live here," reads a sign in the home of lawyer, seal skin seamstress and economic activist Aaju Peter. The feminist icon you have probably never heard of, from her abode in the capital city of Nunavut,...

Hot Docs 2016 Review: BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN And The Wisconsin Justice System

If you have not heard of the Slenderman at this point, trust me that your kids have. He is a tall thin man in a suit usually seen looming in the background of locations where children play or blending into...

Hot Docs 2016 Review: HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE Beautifully Mixes Craft And Emotion

The famous Serenity Prayer of american theologian Reinhold Niebuhr is as follows:  "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Jay...

Hot Docs 2016 Review: TICKLED, A Tale From Which It Is Difficult To Squirm Away

Tickled is a documentary about power when one is the 'tickler'. Tickled is a documentary about the sudden whiplash from silly to terror when one is the 'ticklee'. Tickled is David Farrier's investigative reporting magnum opus, a deeply engaging ride-along...

Hot Docs 2016 Review: BROTHERS Says A Lot About Parents

In Aslaug Holm's gorgeously shot documentary on her own children - make no mistake, this is no home movie, but a rigorous 16mm film production by a veteran filmmaker - a recurring image is laundry hanging out on the line...

Hot Docs 2016: Twitch Cherry-Picks Titles From Full Festival Lineup

North America's largest documentary film festival just announced its full line-up and schedule. Hot Docs returns to Toronto in its 23rd year, and as per usual, it features a massive number of titles for lovers of non-fiction cinema: 232 features...

Interview: Oscar Winner Morgan Neville Talks BEST OF ENEMIES And More

Chatting with Oscar winning documentarian Morgan Neville makes one believe that the guy could probably tell just about any story and make you want to be a part of it. With decades of experience covering a wide range of...

Hot Docs 2015 Interview: Rodney Ascher On Living THE NIGHTMARE

No horror film will ever live up to the genuine terror one experiences during a nightmare. Many will try, but ultimately, the easier it is to wrap your head around a premise, the less chilling the film.And so it...

Hot Docs 2015 Review: The "Fuckery & Shenanigans" Of FINDERS KEEPERS

What would you do if you acquired a storage locker and all its random contents, only to discover one such item consisted of a barbecue containing a human foot? I guess the answer largely depends on who you are. If...

Hot Docs 2015 Interview: DRONE, Tonje Hessen Schei Talks Gamers And Geopolitics

It was a beautiful sunny day on a quiet, out of the way cafe patio in Toronto that I had a chance to sit down with director Tonje Hessen Schei and speak at length about the politics, psychology, and...

Hot Docs 2015 Review: UNBRANDED, Wild, Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Us Away

Four Texas A&M University graduates choose one hell of a in-between-school-and-real-life adventure, opting to adopt a dozen or so wild mustangs, train them, and make a 3000 mile journey from the Arizona-Mexican border up the spine of former 'wild west'...

Hot Docs 2015 Review: DEEP WEB Examines Justice On The Electronic Frontier

The 21st century is a foreign country. If you had asked someone in the 1989 what the charming fantasy adventure The Princess Bride, and slacker time travel history lesson, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure had in common, you would likely have...

Hot Docs 2015 Review: DRONE And The Terror Of "Point And Click" Warfare

Here in the 21st century, we find ourselves sliding down the slipperiest of slopes. As the paradigm of warfare undergoes yet another significant metamorphosis, one of remote assassinations, or as one drone pilot succinctly puts it, "just point and click."Tonje...

Hot Docs 2015 Lineup Announced: From The Deep Web To Dark Comedy To Outer Space And Beyond

In Toronto, from April 23rd until May 3rd, the 22nd edition of the sprawling Hot Docs Film Festival will be showcasing documentary films from 44 countries. Going through a documentary lineup of this size is a bit more daunting than a...

SXSW 2015 Review: WESTERN, A New American Marvel

The Ross Brothers' 2012 film Tchoupitoulas showcased Bill and Turner's proclivity for visually arresting imagery, compelling yet dreamlike narrative flow, and a keen eye for the undercurrents that run below the more obvious stories that have flooded from post-Katrina...

Hot Docs 2014 Review: LOVE AND TERROR ON THE HOWLING PLAINS OF NOWHERE

In a sparse corner of Nebraska, as far as possible from the state's cities of Lincoln and Omaha, sits the high-elevation prairie town of Chadron, population 5600.  The town, described as 'politely hanging on' after peaking somewhere in the 19th...

Hot Docs 2014 Review: THE GREEN GIRL Reveals Prolific Actress, Director, And Aviator Susan Oliver

Proving in its own way that most actors of a certain era ended their careers with a guest spot on Murder, She Wrote before quietly going into obscurity, The Green Girl presents its sexy Star Trek hook, that of the...

Hot Docs 2014 Interview: Twitch Talks To The Legendary Alice Cooper

The filmmakers behind Super Duper Alice Cooper dub their work the first "doc opera", and it comes pretty close to living up to that hype. Tracing the remarkable career of the band Alice Cooper (a moniker derived from a...

Hot Docs 2014 Review: THE DARKSIDE Upholds the Tradition of Oral History

I learned a new phrase while watching spiritual Australian documentary The Darkside.  To take a 'stickybeak' is to pry around the premises and ask uncomfortable questions. A lady uses this phrase while talking about an Ouija board her and her...