Toronto's premiere documentary festival, and one one of the largest in the world, dropped its full lineup today, a month ahead of its opening night on April 26. Let it be known that the documentary world is keen and proactive.
For its 25th edition, Hot Docs is showcasing 246 documentaries over 11 days from 56 different countries. While we have a more thorough curtain raiser closer to the festivals opening night, their press release offers a number of the highlights, including:
The opening night film, Maya Gallus's The Heat, promises a glimpse into the kitchens of the worlds top female chefs. Gallus previously directed 2010's Dish, which looked at the quirkier side of the restaurant industry from nudie restaurants in Montreal to Maid Cafes in Tokyo.
Two former SNL alumni get full docs, there is Gilda, on the life and death of Gilda Radner, and the ironically presumptuous title of The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From A Mythical Man. Also, the Sundance hit, Won't You Be My Neighbour?, on iconic children's television host Mister Rogers will get its Candian Premiere.
The Night Visions programme is always worth a look, and this year offers films on Toronto's boundary pushing gay filmmaker Bruce La Bruce in the 1980s, Queercore: How Punk A Revolution. Obscuro Barroco takes a look into Rio De Janeiro's festive nights through the eyes of a transgender icon.
Epic sized transit doc, The Trolley, will grace the huge analog IMAX screen at Ontario's Cinesphere (and it is free).
Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. takes a look at rapper, song-writer, activist, and record producer M.I.A.
In terms of retro-programming, it is the 25th anniversary of D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus's The War Room. Regarding Bill Clinton's 1992 election campaign, this documentary classic will be viewed in 2018 with fresh eyes, particularly in light of the recent election and the #MeToo movement.
Further films covering the Russian interference of the recent US election (Active Measures), police shootings and corruption (The Blue Wall, Crime+Punishment), social media (The American Meme, Netizens), and fishing (Of Fish And Foe).
Look for an in-depth ScreenAnarchy focused curtain-raiser to come as the festival approaches, but you can browse the entire festival catalog right now at the Hot Docs website.