The sun is shining and spirits are high which can only signify that Hot Docs 2015 is near. Running from April 23 to May 3, the Hot Docs festival is getting ready to unleash another year of captivating and entertaining films. Showcasing over 200 documentaries, it can be a daunting task deciding which films to grab tickets for. Here are 10 films that we cannot wait to see at the festival this year:
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
The first fully authorized film about musician Kurt Cobain incorporates never-before-seen home movies, concert footage and interviews to provide a portrait of an artist who spoke to a generation. A hit on the festival circuit, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is bound to attract both fans of Cobain and those wanting to learn more about this music icon.
The Amina Profile
During the volatile Syrian uprising, Amina Arraf, a lesbian Syrian-American woman living in Damascus, launched the blog A Gay Girl in Damascus. The site quickly became a hit with both the online community and respected news media outlets for its brave and unflinching reporting. However, when Amina disappears it sets off a captivating, and shocking, international mystery.
Shoulder the Lion
Filmmakers Erinnisse and Patryk Rebisz examine the ways in which three individuals overcome physical losses and redefine themselves in the world of art. Exploring the pain of their transformations and the dynamic imagery they create, Shoulder the Lion aims to show the universal power of the creative process.
Nicola Costantino: The Artefacta
Nicola Costantino is one of Latin America’s most controversial and admired visual artists. Utilizing macabre imagery to document Argentina’s turbulent history, Costantino knows how to push buttons. Natalie Cristiani’s documentary charts Costantino’s career as she prepares for her latest exhibit.
Filmmaker Mia Donovan sets out to address questions about control and freedom in her examination of Ted “Black Lighting” Patrick. Rising to fame for testifying about the dangers of brainwashing, Patrick used unorthodox methods of abduction and physical confinement to “deprogram” those who had been allegedly swayed by alternative religions and radical communes.
Director Rodney Ascher follows his acclaimed Room 237 with a real-life documentary horror film set around the mysterious phenomenon of sleep paralysis. One on the hotly anticipated films at the festival, we would be willing to endure a week of nightmares just to get a chance to see what some are hailing as one of the scariest documentaries in recent years.
Anas Aremeyaw has been called the James Bond of the journalism world for his use of disguises and unorthodox detective methods. One of the most revered journalist in Ghana, few people have actually seen his face. Chameleon attempts to shed light on both Aremeyaw’s investigative prowess and his ability to keep his identity a secret for all these years.
In 2012, women’s boxing was added to the Summer Olympic Games for the first time. For 17 years-old boxing phenomenon Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, this marked an opportunity to rise above the seemingly dead-end life in her Flint, Michigan hometown. As the chance at a gold medal looms, Shields must navigate the demands of training, her family, and the general struggles that come with being a teenager.
The Circus Dynasty
The heirs of two of Europe’s greatest circus families are brought together by love and business in this exploration of a relationship under the big top. Anders Riis-Hansen’s film aims to highlight the professional and personal strains that the couple endures trying to balance their love while carrying the weight of the family business on their backs.
Daughter of the Lake
Nelida Ayay Chilon is a young indigenous Andean woman who has the ability to speak with spirits of the water. However, the water she and her community connect with is threatened when a gold deposit valued in the millions is found under her village. Exploring the negative impact of gold mining on the Andean communities, Daughter of the Lake aims to put a human cost on the value of gold.
The full listing of films screening at the festival, and ticket information, can be found at the Hot Docs website.