Tag Archives: HotDocs15

May 03

Hot Docs 2015 Awards Announced

Hot Docs is pleased to announce this year’s award-winning festival films and filmmakers. The Hot Docs Awards Presentation, hosted by Garvia Bailey, host of Good Morning Toronto! on Jazz.FM91, took place on Friday, May 1, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto. Twelve awards and $61,000 in cash and prizes were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, […]

May 02

Hot Docs 2015: Last of the Elephant Men

One of the greatest strengths of religion is the lack of proof required to be a believer. If you truly believe, you’ll see elements of truth all around you – whether elephant spirits, miracles, or myths coming true. However, if those same beliefs give you and your community a set of mutually agreed values to […]

May 01

Hot Docs 2015: The Creeping Garden (Capsule Review)

Slime mould. Two words I would have never fathomed taking up residence in my brain, but here we are. Thanks to Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp’s The Creeping Garden, it is one of the first things that formulates in my mind whenever I step outside. Though they are not easily spotted by the common eye, […]

May 01

Hot Docs 2015: Drone

Tonje Hessen Schei’s Drone takes a detailed look at the growing, and disturbing, use of drone technology to fight the war on terror. The documentary offers a shocking, but well-rounded, examination of the personnel controlling the drones, the people who endure daily attacks, and those who are critics of the technology. Focusing her camera on […]

May 01

Hot Docs 2015: T-Rex

Claressa “T-Rex” Shields stands sullen in front of a throng of reporters. Visibly upset, and almost at the point of tears, one would think that she had lost the biggest match of her life. It quickly becomes clear that it was not a defeat that is hurting Shields, but rather that her victory did receive […]

April 30

Hot Docs 2015: The Circus Dynasty

Merrylu Casselly and Patrick Berdino’s relationship is like a modern day fairy tale. The heirs to two of Europe’s biggest circus families, the pair grew up despising each other, but eventually fell in love just as their parents hoped they would. Rising stars in the circus performing community, it is easy to understand why their […]

April 30

Hot Docs 2015: Love Between the Covers

Scoff if you will at novels whose covers feature strapping, and occasionally shirtless, young men locked in a passionate embrace with equally desirable women. Go ahead and call them drivel if you dare. Regardless of the ways you attempt to dismiss the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey and other popular titles in the romance […]

April 29

Hot Docs 2015: Daughter of the Lake

Nelida, a young Andean woman, is going to law school in the city in an attempt to gain formal training to battle a corporation threatening her community. The corporation in question is a mining company determined to extract gold deposits valued in the millions sitting beneath her village. Determined not to give up, Nelida’s actions […]

April 29

Hot Docs 2015: Deprogrammed

Ted Patrick claims to have deprogrammed 1600 individuals who were “brainwashed” by various cults and fake prophets. It is quite an astonishing accomplishment for a man who lacks any formal education in psychology, but has a self-proclaimed doctorate in “common sense.” Given the nickname “Black Lighting” for the swift way he abducts his subjects off […]

April 29

Hot Docs 2015: Seth’s Dominion

We’ve seen countless documentaries about artists that use talking heads to describe their greatness. Some of them are very good, but there’s a sameness that often limits their effectiveness. It’s difficult to really understand what makes them tick, no matter how eloquent the speakers explain the work. Seth’s Dominion avoids these traps by giving us […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2015: Nuestro Monte Luna (Capsule Review)

“I hope you fulfill your dream of becoming a bullfighter, but above all I want you to be honourable people” – Nicolas Can a person remain honourable while participating in a once revered tradition that is now widely detested? This is the central dilemma that punctures the core of Pablo Alvarez-Mesa meditative Nuestro Monte Luna. […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2015: Exotica, Erotica, Etc.

A hypnotic allure sails through the waves of loneliness encapsulated in Evangelia Kranioti’s Exotica, Erotica, Etc. The film revolves around Sandy, a former prostitute who reflects on her encounters with the numerous sailors who travelled through the Spanish port where she resides. Despite the nature of her past profession, Sandy’s stories are not tales of […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2015: Sweet Micky for President

Michel Martelly, known as “Sweet Micky” to his fans, was once considered the Michael Jackson of Haitian music. His catchy songs, charming persona and outrageous stage antics made him one of Haiti’s most beloved artists in the 90s. Though his music often featured politically charged lyrics, the last thing his loyal fans ever expect was […]

April 27

Hot Docs 2015: Radical Grace

In April of 2012, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued the findings of a three-year doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR), a support network for American Catholic nuns. The document was heavily critical of the LCWR, and accused the group of being influenced by “certain radical feminist themes […]

April 27

Hot Docs 2015: Elephant’s Dream

“The greatest gift life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing” – T. Roosevelt. While Roosevelt was on to something, he has clearly never had to rebuild a country. Unlike the former US President, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after a decade long civil war, […]

April 26

Hot Docs 2015: All the Time in the World (Capsule Review)

At one point or another everyone gets the desire to escape from the stresses of daily life. Filmmaker Suzanne Crocker and her family take this need to reconnect with what truly matters to a whole other level in All the Time in the World. Deciding to leave the conveniences of modern life behind, the family […]

April 26

Hot Docs 2015: Western

Documentarians Bill and Turner Ross begin Western by informing us that for generations, the border towns of Eagle Pass (on the Texas side) and Piedras Negras (on the Mexico side) have been joined in friendship, only separated by the Rio Grande. An important dimension of this alliance between two cattle towns is trade. Fifth-generation rancher Martín […]

April 26

Hot Docs 2015: Milk

The most fundamental thing we all still have in common is that at some moment in time we were born. In fact, we celebrate it every year. That being said, there might not be a more controversial topic, with no correct answer, than giving birth and breastfeeding. Noemi Weis’ Milk, a clear labor of love […]

April 25

Hot Docs 2015: How to Change the World

When you choose a grandiose title like How the Change the World, it brings expectations of earth-shattering moments that permanently modified our thinking. It’s a tall order to come close to matching those aspirations. The idealistic guys who started Greenpeace and energized the environmental movement might fit the bill, however. A shot of Paul Watson […]

April 25

Hot Docs 2015: (T)ERROR

It’s easy to expect familiar patterns when watching films, even with less mainstream fare. Veteran moviegoers understand the normal structures for how genres function. It’s jarring to encounter a documentary that sidesteps the conventions it sets up from the start. Despite the clever title, (T)ERROR initially appears to be a fairly standard profile of an […]