The countdown to Hot Docs 2017 has officially begun and we could not be more excited. Running from April 27 to May 7, 2017, Hot Docs is one of the premier documentary film festivals in the world. It is a must for film lovers and those who have a taste for nonfiction. In previous years the festival has screened critically acclaimed films such as O.J.: Made in America; Life, Animated; The Cove; Tickled; NUTS! ; Best of Enemies; Inocente; How to Build a Time Machine; The Queen of Versailles; and Senna to name a few. Featuring a plethora of stories from around the world, here are 15 films that we cannot wait to see at the festival this year:


Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
The sound of rock ’n’ roll was forever changed by Link Wray’s distorted guitar. Decades later, his legacy—and that of other Native Americans who shaped popular music—is given overdue recognition in this Sundance award winner.


Thank You for the Rain
Convinced that planting trees is the answer to counteract climate change, a Kenyan farmer whose livelihood is threatened by flash floods and devastating droughts takes his message all the way to the UN. But is anyone listening?


A Better Man
Attiya’s years as a counsellor shape her radical approach to confronting her own decades-old past as a victim of domestic violence. Sitting across from her abuser, they together delve into their turbulent history, uncovering its root causes with compassion.


Devil’s Freedom
Victims of Mexico’s devastating drug wars reveal their stories of loss, corruption and heinous atrocities in this unflinching Berlinale Amnesty International Prize–winner. Their masks may conceal their identities, but they do little to hide their lasting grief.


Last Men in Aleppo
As the Syrian conflict intensifies, residents of Aleppo prepare for a siege, becoming increasingly reliant on the selfless bravery of the White Helmets, a volunteer search-and-rescue group risking their lives to save others.


With a fierce and haunting persona, lauded majestic chanteuse Chavela Vargas was an out lesbian songstress who revolutionized music in Mexico, challenged cultural norms and played lover to legends like Frida Kahlo.


Rat Film
Baltimore’s history of systemic class and racial segregation intersects with an unusual examination of its dense rodent population—and the culture that surrounds it—in this incisive and unsettling anthropological study of poverty in America.


Tokyo Idols
Young Japanese girls dream of becoming “idols” as members of all-girl bands or as young screen starlets. An aspiring pop singer and her fans expose this cultural phenomenon that’s driven by an obsession with female sexuality.


In one of the most isolated environments in the world, the North Sea, we follow the salty interactions of a group of 14 seafarers. Frans Wilms is much like his fellow shipmates, but as the journey home to land begins, it becomes clear he doesn’t share in the excitement of returning to shore.


After surviving cancer, running across Canada and becoming a national hero at 19, Steve Fonyo turned to theft, larceny and drugs. Now in his 50s, he’s trying to retake control of his life in this follow-up to the award-winning Hurt.


Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign for the Republican nomination and the Super PAC behind it are exposed as rare insider access reveals the millions of dollars—and millions of prayers—that fuel dreams for the POTUS.


In this tribute to the eternal allure of an ancient myth, colourful fins and swimming pools fill the lives of five modern-day women who strive to embody the mysterious siren as part of a growing “mermaiding” subculture.


La Chana
At the height of her career, a flamenco legend mysteriously disappears from the spotlight. Decades later she makes her dramatic return for a triumphant final performance, and reveals the terrible secret that’s kept her from the stage.


Unarmed Verses
A remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old girl’s poignant observations about life, the soul and the power of art give voice to a Toronto community facing imposed relocation, and speak to our universal need for self-expression and belonging.


About My Liberty
A group of millennial students plan protests unlike any Japan has ever seen—loud, well-marketed and fun—against President Abe’s plan to pass a security bill that will change the constitution’s commitment to peace and pacifism.

The full list of films screening, showtimes and ticket information can be found at the Hot Docs website.


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