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By George Kozera

Montreal-born Writer/Producer/Director Barry Avrich may be one of Canada’s most prolific Filmmakers. His critically-acclaimed Documentaries often showcase the notorious (Harvey Weinstein, Garth Drabinsky) or well-established, show business personalities (David Foster, Oscar Peterson, Howie Mandel). His latest, THE TALENTED MR. ROSENBERG, will have its World Premiere at Hot Docs and with a sly wink and tweaking of the title of a renowned novel by Patricia Highsmith (Ripley anyone?) tells the addictive tale of con-artist extraordinaire Allen Albert Rosenberg, best known as the Yorkville Swindler.

With input from two of his ex-wives and one of his daughters, alongside interviews with the police, various lawyers and journalists, Avrich paints a shocking portrait of a man with no remorse after fraudulently absconding with millions of dollars to upkeep a lavish lifestyle in one of Toronto’s most toniest districts. Described by the courts as someone with “Machiavellian Chutzpah” (a term I will use endlessly from this day forward!), THE TALENTED MR. ROSENBERG is Barry Avrich’s most compelling Documentary to date.


Sunday, May 1 at 5:15PM at Ted Rogers Cinema

Thursday, May 5 at 7:00PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox


Boasting over 226 films this year, HOT DOCS ’22 promises to be bigger and better than ever, and this year Festival-goers again will be able to enjoy the Festival in-person and also digitally! The Festival takes place between April 28 to May 8, 2022 with many amazing premieres including Jennifer Baichwal‘s INTO THE WEEDS (Opening Night Film) and gripping Prime Video Series THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF BEVERLY LYNN SMITH. And in addition to great Films and Series, are special live events like the Big Ideas presented by Scotia Wealth Management series which will bring The Kids in the Hall back in their much-touted comeback, plus also a special presentation of Sundance Award-winning Documentary NAVALNY. Abigail E. Disney, great-niece of Walt Disney will be here to present THE AMERICAN DREAM AND OTHER FAIRY TALES. If this weren’t exciting enough, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu will do the Toronto leg of his WE WERE DREAMERS Book Tour with an In-Conversation at Hot Docs Friday, May 13, 2022 with some special guests! And also, Jay Baruchel will be at the Festival for WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE (EVEN JAY BARUCHEL), a new Series in which he explores the end of the world!

Our Team have had the pleasure of previewing some of the most-talked-about titles to premiere at HOT DOCS ’22. Let’s check-in on some of their recommendations!



Hot on the heels after winning two awards at the recent Sundance Film Festival, FRAMING AGNES initially positions itself as a Documentary about Agnes, a trans woman in the 1950s who lied to Harold Garfinkel (a UCLA gender health researcher), about being born intersex to qualify for gender-confirmation surgery. In 2017, she admitted she lied about her medical condition to have the surgery. Director Chase Joynt gained access to Garfinkel’s archives where he not only found Agnes’ transcripts but also transcripts of five other transgender interviewees and cleverly reimagines telling all their stories as a television talk show set half a century ago.

I originally resisted watching FRAMING AGNES as I personally am not a fan of documentaries heavily reliant on re-enactments of events, but as he did with “No Ordinary Man” the powerful Documentary on the life of musician Billy Tipton, Joynt vibrantly and with great finesse recreates and captures the essence of these six individuals. What makes this movie even more fascinating is hearing the Cast (which include Angelica Ross from “Pose”, Zackary Drucker from “Transparent”, Silas Howard who directed “A Kid Like Jake” and Jen Richards) talk about their own experiences as a trans person with some parallels to the lives of the subject matter they are portraying. With insight provided by Jules Gill-Peterson, an author and professor of transgender history at John Hopkins University, FRAMING AGNES is equally illuminating and thought provoking and highly recommended.

FRAMING AGNES screens at Hot Docs ’22 as follows:
TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre 1 – Sunday, May 1st @ 8:30pm
Varsity Cinemas Theatre 8 – Thursday, May 5th @ 5:45pm

Online Screening Information:
Online streaming is available for five days starting on MAY 2 at 9:00 AM.

Feature Film Documentaries is a genre I gravitate towards as it offers insights to historical events or an individual that we only may have a limited knowledge of. It can illuminate, educate, and entertain all at once. What I learned watching Writer/Producer/Director Stacey Tenenbaum’s SCRAP is that I never thought I’d be completely enthralled with a movie about discarded scrap metal! Playing on the theme of what becomes of things when they die and making us re-examine our relationship with items we throw away as our lives are becoming more filled with disposal items, SCRAP takes us on a global journey where we see how “one man’s junk” is lovingly restored and reinvented.

From a family of seven adults and eight children in Thailand that live in the fuselage of a discarded airplane and charge admission to those wanting a unique Selfie experience to an architect in Spain dismantling a cargo ship to incorporate into the design of a modern church being built in Korea, this visually stunning movie is masterful in execution. This Hot Docs World Premiere keeps the audience entranced as they travel to India to see workers taking apart millions of cellphones, the UK where the old telephone booths are meticulously brought to back to life and South Dakota where a Sculptor works magic with farm machinery parts. The commentaries from Photojournalists, Artists, and Architects (just a few to mention) are insightful with borderline religious profundity.

SCRAP is a cinematic marvel and made me think twice about the repercussions of throwing away things I no longer want nor need.

SCRAP screens at HOT DOCS ’22 as follows:
Sunday, May 1 – 2:00pm – Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto
Wednesday, May 4 – 11:00am – Cineplex Varsity 8, Toronto
Monday, May 2 – Saturday, May 7 – Canada-wide Online Streaming

It must be emotionally unfathomable for a young child to have a parent just disappear one day, which is what happened to Sam Harkness when he was 14-years-old. In SAM NOW, Sam’s older stepbrother by nine years, Director Reed Harkness uses a wealth of home movies and family interviews to navigate the many mysteries of his mother Jois’ disappearance. As the narrative unfolds, we witness Sam coming of age as he tries to break free from a singular traumatic event, one that has replicated itself in his family for generations. We see him take a 2,000-mile road trip in search of answers. We learn of his mother Jois’ complicated adoption history from Japan. And we experience the ripple effects on the Harkness family including Sam’s brother Jared, father Randy and grandma Doris.

Edited with precision, SAM NOW explores many emotional topics which include emotional child abuse and narcissism with finesse and even humour. It was fascinating to watch the Harkness throughout the 25-year span this movie covers. Scenes of discomfort marry beautifully with lighthearted ones. Ultimately, it is a story of forgiveness and acceptance, and I cannot wait to see what Director Reed Harkness will do next.

World Premiere Screenings at Hot Docs ’22:
Sunday, May 1 at 5:45 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Thursday, May 5 at 2:45 PM
Varsity 8

Also streaming on Hot Docs at Home:
Starting on Monday, May 2 at 9:00 AM

A survivor of the Westerbork concentration camp, Lous suffers from agoraphobia and hasn’t left her home in decades. With her cat keeping her company, she revels in travel shows on TV and dancing to the music of Tiësto. She is also plagued with recurrent dreams where she is lost and cannot find her way back home. HOUSEWITZ, nominated for an IDFA Award for Best Dutch Film, Lous’ daughter, Filmmaker Oeke Hoogendijk documents her mother’s lift with stern precision.

Indeed, Lous is an interesting character. She is as articulate as she is demanding. Her home would make for a fascinating episode of “Hoarders” and her salty language could make a sailor on shore leave blush. However, it is visually pedantic and the movie offers no original insights into the Holocaust survivor Documentary genre.

HOUSEWITZ screens at HOT DOCS ’22 as follows:
Sunday May 1st, 02:45 PM, Varsity 6
Thursday May 5th, 05:15 PM, Varsity 7

Growing-up, Marcel Marceau was a steady fixture on late night talk shows and variety shows. Marceau’s brilliance in bringing to life his signature character Bip with only body movements and facial expressions were awe-inspiring. THE ART OF SILENCE is the first feature-length Documentary of this phenomenally-talented man, who turned mime into an art form.

While employing many conventions of a Documentary Biopic, which include interviews with Marceau’s widow and daughters and learning how he joined the French Resistance to smuggle Jewish children to Switzerland (which, in itself, is beautifully portrayed in Jesse Eisenberg’s “Resistance”), Director Maurizio Starkly Drux skillfully presents how Marceau influenced and enhanced the lives of many, including the director himself. Christoph Starkie, the Director’s deaf father, was so moved by Marceau that he became a mime himself. In THE ART OF SILENCE, we also meet Rob Mermin, a student at Marceau’s mime school, who battled Parkinson’s Disease with movement techniques he learned at the school and now teaches that technique to other Parkinson’s patients. We also meet Louis Chevalier. Marceau’s grandson, who incorporates his grandfather’s artistic influences with precise, Fosse-eques dance movements.

But the true star of THE ART OF SILENCE is Marceau and the privilege of seeing many of his performances up close and uninterrupted is cinematic nirvana.

THE ART OF SILENCE screens at HOT DOCS ’22 as follows:
Monday, May 2 – 2:45pm – Cineplex Varsity 8, Toronto
Sunday, May 8 – 8:30pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto
For 5 days beginning Tuesday, May 3, 9AM – Canada-wide Online Streaming

Not only was the 1980 megahit “9 to 5”, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and (in her big-screen debut) Dolly Parton, the first female-led Motion Picture to gross over $100 million, it was the fuel to reignite the embers of the women’s movement in the United States. STILL WORKING 9 TO 5 an entertaining Documentary that reunites the stars of the Comedy with exclusive interviews about the making of the Film. It is also a scathing indictment of the mistreatment of women in the workplace that, sadly, has not progressed as much as it should.

There is a treasure trove of goodies and trivia to discover about the making of the, now, classic Movie. It was interesting to note that the original screenplay was a much darker comedic piece (after Fonda decided against going the dramatic route) and that Lily Tomlin was not impressed with much of the comic dialogue and threatened to leave the project twice, until she learned that the Producers were thinking of replacing her with the late, great Gilda Radner. The many other fascinating tidbits I will leave for you to discover…and discover you should!

Equally as fascinating, albeit incredibly frustrating, are the travesties women experienced at their jobs and STILL WORKING 9 TO 5 succinctly and successfully touches on subjects as varied as pay inequities, sexual harassment, the almost 40-year journey in the United States to ratify the Equal Rights Amendments, the #MeToo movement and other topics. Whereas any of the aforementioned topics would make for fascinating Documentaries, we are provided with enough backstories and ammunition to go on a Google search trip.

STILL WORKING 9 TO 5 is not only engaging, but also educational as well. It’s must-see. It screens at Hot Docs ’22 as follows:
Fri, Apr 29 | 8:30 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Mon, May 2 | 10:00 AM Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Sat, May 7 | 8:30 PM | Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Truth be told, I resisted watching HUNTING IN PACKS, Writer/Director Chloe Sosa-Sims’ documentary that follows politicians Michelle Rempel Garner (Conservative, Canada), Jess Philips (Labour, UK) and Pramila Jayapal (Democrat, USA) through elections, leadership campaigns and their efforts to enact bold new policies. My erroneous assumption that I would be bombarded with political rhetoric and gender inequalities was immediately dispelled when we are first introduced to these women in power. Whereas they all have different, passionate agendas (Rempel: the Alberta pipeline, Philips: domestic violence, Jayapal: healthcare), they tell us what propelled them to enter the political arena and why they continue to assert their individual platforms despite the constant death threats or vitriolic statements they receive on their social media platforms. We watch, with rapt attention and tempered admiration, as they tirelessly work to accomplish their goals.

Sosa-Sims must be commended for successfully achieving a sense of balance without passing judgement on any government ideologies. HUNTING IN PACKS eschews the trend of many recent politically themed documentaries that want to anger the audience. She presents these three politicians with honesty, clarity, and respect. I was happy to see all three advance in their political careers but was not surprised that only two of them continue to work to achieve their original mandates.

HUNTING IN PACKS will appeal to the political junkies and illuminate those who are looking for a unique perspective. It screens at HOT DOCS ’22 as follows:

Hot Docs Public In-Person Screenings:
Monday May 2, 9pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Thursday May 5, 12:30pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

After finding a treasure trove of paintings from an unknown artist stored in a barn for decades, IMAGES OF A NORDIC DRAMA tell the story of how art collector Haakon Mehren endeavoured to have this work displayed at the National Museum in Norway. The artist, Aksel Waldemar Johannessen, died an alcoholic at 42 years old without ever having his work exhibited while alive and his paintings were vivid oil depictions of prostitutes and drunks living in poverty and squalor. The authorities at the time at the National Museum found the work thematically repulsive and offensive and rejected the collection. In order to legitimize the work in the eyes of art historians, curators and collectors, Mehren took great pains to exhibit the paintings – starting with a renowned gallery in Oslo and followed by successful shows in Italy and Germany, only to face constant rejection from Norway’s art establishment.

Art is subjective, whether they be on canvas or the movie screen or found on Spotify. I personally found Johannessen’s work fascinating but would never want to have it hanging over my couch! Therein lies my issues with IMAGES OF A NORDIC DRAMA. It is the first documentary from Oscar nominated Norwegian feature film Director Nils Gaup and it’s a standard “talking heads” doc that quickly fails to maintain interest. As fascinating as it was to learn about the politics of the art world and the different analyses from art experts, the same subject matter and some individual pieces of art are presented repetitively ad nauseum. Despite an applause worthy final scene, it was laborious to sit through.

IMAGES OF A NORDIC DRAMA screens at HOT DOCS ’22 as follows:

Saturday, April 30 at 11:30am
Location: Varsity 8 (55 Bloor Street West)
Thursday, May 5 at 8:45pm
Location: Varsity 8 (55 Bloor Street West)

BERNIE LANGILLE WANTS TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO BERNIE LANGILLE opens with Cpl Bernie Langille’s grandson (with the same first name) says, “This story is so unbelievable that I wouldn’t believe it myself.” On February 8, 1968, Cpl. Bernie Langille stationed at New Brunswick’s CFB Gagetown showed up in bed next to his wife, his head bleeding. He’d been out with a friend at the base canteen. The next morning, his condition worsened, and a puddle of blood was found on the basement floor. The local ER was slow getting him transported to Halifax. While waiting for the flight to Halifax, Langille was violently abused by a controversial doctor. When he finally made it to Halifax, he survived his ambulance getting hit by a train. At the hospital, following surgery, he died. More than a half-century later, Cpl. Langille’s grandson discovered his grandfather’s S.I.N. number on his tombstone and was inspired to seek answers to the cold case that was practically a family curse.

With the use of interviews, family photos and miniatures. BERNIE LANGILLE WANTS TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO BERNIE LANGILLE reads like a thriller from the minds of Jonathan Kellerman or Dan Brown. It is rife with intrigue, conspiracy theories, and (what Hitchcock lovingly called) McGuffins as we enter a world of murders, drug addiction, spousal abuse, alleged Agent Orange experiments, government cover-ups, oh, there’s even a family member that is mentioned at the film’s thirty-minute mark…so many “what ifs” that it strains logic and patience. What sets this documentary apart is Director Jackie Torrens’ expert use of miniatures to re-enact and dramatize past events. I was mesmerized by the authentic attention to detail in these many scenes and genuinely appreciated this unique interpretation of a standard whodunnit nonfiction narrative.


Saturday, April 30 – 8:30pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 4, Toronto
Thursday, May 5 – 1:00pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, Toronto
For 5 days beginning Sunday, May 1, 9AM – Canada-wide Online Streaming

AMANDA GILMORE (@GilmoreAmanda)


Into The Weeds is a shocking, maddening and terrifying Documentary.

In 2014, Bay Area groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson suffered from rashes following an accident at his job. His health continued to deteriorate and led to a cancer diagnosis. Johnson wondered if his illness was caused by the cleaning chemical Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide, which he’d been using. When the science confirmed it was, Johnson began a legal battle against a multinational agrochemical corporation to hold them accountable.

Director Jennifer Baichwal tells Johnson’s heartbreaking story to touch on the environmental crisis and the damaging power of deep-pocketed corporations. We are reminded of the sinister powers of these multi-million dollar corporations, and how it’s nearly impossible to win over them. Yet, Baichwal gives the viewer an inspiring story to fuel our hope. Johnson’s David-and-Goliath legal battle reminds the audience that sometimes the little guy can win.

Overall, Into The Weeds is a Documentary that makes the viewer want to take action. Baichwal’s subjects expose the corruption giving the audience a wider knowledge that will make them inquire about the chemicals they use and make a change.

Into The Weeds screens on Hot Docs ’22:

Thu, Apr 28 at 6:30 PM at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Fri, Apr 29 at 5:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Sat, May 7 at 1:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Online streaming is available for five days starting on Apr 29 at 9:00 AM


Director Cody Sheehy’s latest Documentary is a thriller that follows the disappearance of Chinese scientist Dr. He Jiankui. Dr. He led the controversial experiment that produced the world’s first genome-edited babies. This experiment, which was supported by China’s government and top US scientists, led to an international outcry and swift moves by Chinese authorities to disappear not just Dr. He, but the twin girls whose genes he had edited.

Make People Better is a rounded look at the controversial historic event that sent the world into an uproar. Sheehy achieves this with footage of respected scientists, interviews from a scientific journalist, people who worked with Dr. He, and never-before-scene footage of Dr. He. This leads to every side of the argument being heard. In doing so, Sheehy gives insight into this procedure and the pros and cons depending on the hands of power it falls into.

When Make People Better focuses on the disappearance of Dr. He and the young twins, it brings to light the fluctuating laws of the Chinese Government. Particularly when it comes to scientific experiments and how the laws can be altered and impacted depending on public perspective. This is when the Documentary shifts into Thriller territory. Playing out like a mystery feature that has the audience an active member in trying to find the reason for the disappearance.

Make People Better screens at Hot Docs ’22:

Sat, Apr 30 at 5:15 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Tue, May 3 at 10:45 AM at Isabel Bader Theatre

Sat, May 7 at 11:45 AM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Online streaming is available for five days starting on MAY 1 at 9:00 AM


Nelly & Nadine is an inspiring film that reminds us about the strength of love.

Acclaimed filmmaker Magnus Gertten has made many gripping documentaries from the archival film reels shot on Malmö’s harbour in 1945. After being transfixed by the expression on Nadine Hwang’s face in the footage, he sets out to find out more about the woman. What he uncovers is a love story between Nadine, who was the daughter of a Chinese ambassador to Spain, and Opera Singer Nelly Mousset-Vos who met on Christmas Eve 1944 in Ravensbrück concentration camp.

The footage leads Gertten to the North of France where he meets Nelly’s grandchild, Sylvie. As Sylvie, for the first time, beings searching through Nelly’s archives she witnesses the love story her Grandmother and Nadine shared. This sends her on a journey to meet with archivists and those who knew both women. Slowly, the beautiful story of their unbreakable love is told. It’s a stunning, cinematic way to tell these two women’s romance.

Additionally, this Documentary depicts a Grandchild learning the truth about their Grandparent. Sylvie learns about the romantic relationship Nelly and Nadine shared, something she was kept from knowing as a child. We watch as she comes to the realization, understanding, and acceptance of her Grandmother’s truth. 

Overall, Nelly & Nadine is an inspiring love story about two women who met during the darkest of times, and despite being separated in the last months of the war managed to reunite and spend the rest of their lives together.

Nelly & Nadine screens at Hot Docs ’22:

Sat, Apr 30 at 12:00 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Thu, May 5 at 5:30 PM at Isabel Bader Theatre

Online streaming is available for five days starting on MAY 1 at 9:00 AM


My Old School tells the true story of Scotland’s most notorious imposter. In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee enrolled in Bearsden Academy, a posh high school in the rich end of Glasgow. He clearly looked older than his classmates, but he was a model pupil so no one questioned it. A year later, the students and faculty at Bearsden were apart of a front-page scandal involving Brandon Lee and his fascinating tale of deception.

Filmmaker Jono McLeod brings us this captivating story through interviews with classmates, animation and a movie star portraying Brandon Lee. Even though the world has seen Lee before, he didn’t want to be seen in My Old School. So none other than beloved Scottish actor Alan Cummings takes his place. Cummings marvellouslyreenacts the transcript of Lee’s interview making for an enthralling viewing experience.

My Old School could easily paint Lee as a type of villain. However, McLeod attempts to understand the man and the motives behind his actions. Through interviews with his prior classmates and some faculty at Bearsden, we see how those who knew him think of what he did. At times, those classmates question the morality of the depths he went. These moments co-exist with other former students who take an empathetic look at a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his dream.

My Old School screens at Hot Docs ’22:

Sun, May 1 at 5:15 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Wed, May 4 at 10 AM at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Sat, May 7 at 5:30 PM at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Online streaming is available for five days starting on MAY 2 at 9:00 AM


This heartbreaking Documentary dives deep into Ontario’s Huronia Regional Centre, a now-closed hospital and home for children with developmental disabilities. Filmmaker Barri Cohen interviews survivors of the abusive establishment to bring us the horrific truths they endured and how the Government at the time turned a blind-eye.

Hearing about the traumatic experiences these survivors endured makes for a difficult, but necessary watch. This institution and many similar, committed horrific, illegal, and immoral acts. Although this happened in the past, it comments on how other, similar institutions still in operation today could easily follow the same path. It’s a startling reminder that we must be vigilant and question the big institutions who care for our loved ones.

Cohen adds herself and her family as subjects in Unloved due to the personal connection they have with Huronia. In doing so, we see the generational effects one decision can have on a family. Her father placed her two half-brothers in Huronia. She never got to meet them and they died while there. Giving us this personal aspect along with the survivors stories, we get a rounded view of the lasting effects Huronia had on survivors, the ones who have past, and their families.

Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children screens at Hot Docs ’22:

Tue, May 3 at 5:30 PM at Isabel Bader Theatre

Fri, May 6 at 2:15 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Online streaming is available for five days starting on MAY 4 at 9:00 AM

More on HOT DOCS ’22 including tickets and schedule here.


In addition to the 2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival kicking-off this week this Thursday, April 28, 2022, Hot Docs have several premieres and series to present May 2022! In addition to premiering at the Festival, Jennifer Baichwal‘s INTO THE WEEDS will play at Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema. Series INTO SLEAZE NIGHTS celebrates the 2000s with films like SCOTT PILGRIM vs. THE WORLD. THE GODFATHER also celebrates its 50th anniversary and the Series The Movie You Can’t Refuse: The Godfather at 50 commemorates this. There’s also free programming at home for you as well!

More details as follows:

Cinema Ticket $15 (Members tickets from $10)
Streaming Ticket $9.99 (Members from $7.99)

D: Yung Chang| China, USA, Canada | 90 min | 2021
Wuhan Wuhan is an observational documentary unfolding during February and March 2020 at the height of the pandemic in Wuhan city, where the coronavirus began. With unprecedented access at the peak of the pandemic lockdown, Wuhan Wuhan goes beyond the statistics and salacious headlines and puts a human experience into the early days of the mysterious virus as Chinese citizens and frontline healthcare workers grappled with an invisible, deadly killer.

Opens Monday, May 9  

D: Daniel Raim| USA | 88 min | 2022
Take a nostalgic glimpse back into the making of the 1971 Hollywood masterpiece Fiddler on the Roof in this heartful documentary narrated by actor Jeff Goldblum and featuring rarely seen archival footage.
Pair with a special screening of the original Fiddler on the Roof on Saturday, May 14 / 2 PM

Opens Friday, May 13

D: Jennifer Baichwal| Canada | 96 min | 2022
Debuting in-cinema on the heels of opening Hot Docs 2022, the latest from acclaimed director Jennifer Baichwal follows the David vs. Goliath story of a former groundskeeper who takes on a multinational agrochemical corporation after his terminal cancer diagnosis.

Opens Friday, May 20  


Special Presentation
D: Norman Jewison| USA | 179 mins | 1971
A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? Watching Norman Jewison’s epic and timeless 1971 adaptation of the celebrated musical is a tradition all its own.
Playing alongside the new documentary Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen.

Saturday, May 14 / 2 PM

Indie Sleaze Nights
D: Edgar Wright| USA, UK, Canada, Japan | 112 mins | 2010
Scott Pilgrim just met the girl of his dreams…literally. But for them to date, he must defeat her seven evil exes! From the genre-smashing director of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead comes “a true original” (Entertainment Weekly) powered up by wit, action and groundbreaking visuals—and the perfect opener to our new monthly Indie Sleaze series. Game on!

Friday, May 20 / 9 PM

This Film Should Be Played Loud
D: Grant Gee| UK | 99 mins | 1998
No one ruled rock music in the 90s quite like Radiohead. On the 25th anniversary of their magnum opus Ok Computer, travel back to the golden age of hits like “Karma Police” by following the band on their 1997 world tour.

Saturday, May 21 / 9 PM

Quiet Time: Mindfulness at the Movies
D: Kevin McMahon| Canada | 94 mins | 2021
Our Quiet Time series begins with a specially recorded guided meditation and this immersive cinematic journey through Canada’s boreal forest and the chorus of life that calls it home. It’s a wondrous ode to our country’s iconic wilderness—and a one-way ticket to a calmer, more centred mind.
Each Quiet Time session features a Guided Meditation from Toronto Mindfulness Teacher Moustafa Abdelrahman.

Sunday, May 22 / 1 PM

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
D: Tamo Campos, Jasper Snow-Rosen| Canada | 72 mins | 2022
Klabona Keepers is an intimate portrait of the dynamic Indigenous community that succeeded in protecting the remote Sacred Headwaters, known as the Klabona.

Thursday, May 26 / 7:30 PM

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
D: John Eames| Georgia | 74 mins | 2020
This film follows a small group of brave LGBTI+ activists in Tbilisi, Georgia as they attempt to conduct the first Pride march in the country, where homosexuality remains highly stigmatized

Saturday, May 28 / 8 PM

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
D: Patricia Weiss Risso| Peru | 83 mins | 2021
Mujer de Soldado is a deeply moving picture of female solidarity that finally provides space for the dignity of women’s experiences that has long been denied.

Saturday, May 28 / 3 PM

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
D: Jana Matthes, Andrea Schramm| Germany | 104 mins | 2020
This film follows the journey of this family’s painful confrontation with history that will forever change relationships and explores how trauma of survivors is inherited.

Sunday, May 29 / 1 PM

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
D: Ousmane Samassekou | France, Mali, South Africa | 85 mins | 2021
Deep in Mali, in West Africa on the edge of the Sahel Desert, lies the peaceful city of Gao—a quiet way station for passersby with their eyes set on Europe in hopes of finding opportunity, safety, and a better future.

Sunday, May 29 / 7 PM 

Course registration: $69 (Hot Docs Members: $60, $48, Free)

Ever since the 1930s, the creators of Hollywood have brought popular music to life in their own Utopian image; either a better world was waiting somewhere over the rainbow, or else there was no place like home. In this six-week course, film critic and author Adam Nayman (Politics at the Movies) traces the evolution of the classic American movie musical from its origins up to the present, exploring the new popular music forms—rock, pop, disco, and more—that have flourished on the big screen. As we survey iconic movies and music videos—from The Wizard of Oz and A Hard Day’s Night to Saturday Night Fever and MTV—we’ll examine the cultural shockwaves produced by playing pop music on screen.

Wednesdays, 10 AM, May 25 – June 29

For as long as people have lived in homes, they’ve been striving to make their living spaces more beautiful, comfortable and functional. In this new series from Curious Minds favourite Barbara Isherwood (The Great Photographers, The Art of Picasso), we’ll trace the history of interior design from the ancient world to the present, assessing the fascinating, often dazzling, designs that have flourished along the way. As we journey from fabulous mansions and castles to sleek modern interiors and humble houses next door, this dynamic new series—perfect for fans of our past courses on art and architecture—will offer a unique perspective on some of history’s most fascinating people, places and homes.

Mondays, 1 PM, May 30 – July 4

The fabled Silk Routes were a series of global trade networks that transported luxury goods, decorative objects, people and ideas across some of history’s most extraordinary civilizations. Using rich archeological and archival materials, this series will explore how that cross-cultural exchange impacted artworks and cultures around the world from the 7th Century onwards–with effects that can still be felt today. Both a follow-up to his sold-out course The Treasures of the Ancient Silk Road, and a standalone series, this new course from Curious Minds favourite Sudharshan Durayappah will take you on a whirlwind tour of the arts and cultures that built the modern world.

Tuesdays, 10 AM, June 14 – July 19

Florence is an almost mythical place in our cultural geography. It is a city so beautiful and so enriched with great art that it occupies a position unique in western civilization. In this new series from Curious Minds favourite Dr. Kenneth Bartlett (Venice: The City of Dreams, Rome: The Eternal City), we will explore this magical place and discuss how it gave birth to the Renaissance, inspired generations of expatriate artists and writers, and institutionalized values and ideas that still reverberate powerfully today.

Thursdays, 1 PM, June 16 – July 21 

Available now at

Made In Ukraine
D: Olena Kyrychenko| Ukraine | 20 mins| 2021
In spring 2020, Ukraine locks down under COVID, causing filmmaker Olena Kyrychenko to move back home with her parents. Deft and engrossing, this quarantine story reveals the hard work of holding memories, dreams, and reality together within a family, and of keeping love alive in everyday life.

Made In Ukraine
D: Clemens Poole| Ukraine | 24 mins| 2021
A 1995 video shot by the Chepurnyi family on an outing in Luhansk is re-examined 26 years later by director Clemens Poole, with added narration from the perspective of the now-grown-up child in the video. The film brings into question how today’s values are projected onto images of the past.

Made In Ukraine
D: Oksana Karpovych| Ukraine, Canada | 78 mins | 2019
Rolling from the capital Kyiv to smaller provincial towns and the stations between, director Oksana Karpovych delivers a richly detailed first feature. The dynamic rhythms of the daily routines she observes depict her homeland at a crossroads, but like the trains, it always keeps moving forward.

Made In Ukraine
D: Olena Siyatovska| Ukraine, Netherlands | 20 mins| 2021
The portrait of a 20-year-old transgender woman in Kyiv with dreams of becoming a model, as she returns to her hometown and reconnects with those who accept her while reassessing what she truly wants in life.

Made In Ukraine
D: Alina Gorlova| Ukraine, Latvia, Germany, Qatar | 104 mins | 2020
Born to a Kurdish father and Ukrainian mother, Red Cross volunteer Andriy joins the frontlines in Donbas, essentially trading one war for another.

Made In Ukraine
D: Anna Korzh| Ukraine | 19 mins| 2019
In the eastern Ukrainian town of Mariinka, 13-year-old Ruslana dreams of becoming a filmmaker, against her parents’ wishes. In this intimate video diary, shot over five years, she expresses her youthful optimism and captures the harsh realities facing her.  

The Movie You Can’t Refuse: The Godfather at 50
D: Francis Ford Coppola | USA | 175 mins| 1972
See Coppola’s masterpiece in a newly crafted 50th anniversary 4K digital restoration, overseen by the director himself.
WINNER – Oscar, Best Picture / Best Actor in a Leading Role (Marlon Brando) / Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Academy Awards, USA 1973

Saturday, May 21 / 1:30 PM

The Movie You Can’t Refuse: The Godfather at 50
D: One9 | USA | 75 mins| 2014
Widely considered one of the best films ever made about hip-hop, this rarely screened documentary portrait of The Godfather-loving, Michael Corleone-quoting emcee Nas highlights the film’s profound impact on the genre.

Friday, June 3 / 9 PM

The Movie You Can’t Refuse: The Godfather at 50
D: Michele Salfi Russo| Italy | 65 mins| 2015
Encounter the talented family members and vibrant Italian settings that inspired Coppola’s unforgettable family saga.

Saturday, June 4 / 4 PM

The Movie You Can’t Refuse: The Godfather at 50
D: Kristian Fraga | USA | 114 mins| 2020
What better way to celebrate the cultural legacy of The Godfather than with the exclusive Toronto premiere of these fun documentary tributes to The Sopranos, the show widely considered its creative and spiritual heir?

Saturday, June 25 / 4 PM

The Movie You Can’t Refuse: The Godfather at 50
D: Mark Franchetti, Andrew Meier| UK, Russia | 93 mins| 2018
This stunning documentary thriller offers a riveting portrait of real-life Mafia kingpin-turned informant Tomasso Buscetta—and a vivid reminder of the lessons learned by the fictional Corleone family: “Once a Mafioso, always a Mafioso.”

Sunday, June 26 / 1 PM 

For more info, visit


By George Kozera

Infrequently, I’ve watched a Documentary then wonder why in the world was it even made. MOLECULES is one of those. Marketed as a son investigating his failed relationship with his father while in lockdown in Venice, it includes numerous scenes that lead nowhere and spews platitudes like “is there anything you can see in the invisible” on the soundtrack that had me scratching my head so intensely that I will never develop dandruff. Other than the remarkable scenes of Venice emptied of people on the streets and boats on the canals, I can think of no reason to see this.


By George Kozera

ALL-IN follows Hakim and Ismail, both from small villages, as they work the summer months at a luxury, all-inclusive resort on the Turkish Riviera. Ismael is younger, always smiling, willing to learn new skills and highly productive. Hakim is more introspective, somewhat surly and lax with rules, regulations and management. The two develop a lovely friendship and it was interesting to watch how two distinctly people react to different scenarios, especially when it comes to customer service. Yes, there are “Karens” worldwide!

There are perhaps too many scenes with Hakim spewing philosophical and too few scenes where we really get know more about what makes Ismail tick and one winds up ultimately feeling uninvolved and not totally invested in this movie.


By George Kozera

It is imperative that I first note that the black and white Cinematography in GREY ROADS is beyond impressive; it is moody and atmospheric and sensual, making the sleepy town of Markdale, Ontario (not far from Toronto and home to Chapman’s Ice Cream manufacturing plant) a fascinating character on its own. Filmmaker Jesse McCracken (who edited, filmed, produced and directed this Film) takes us on his quest back home to reconnect with his estranged father and his gentle, soft-spoken grandfather. The two men differ wildly: his father is part of a motorcycle gang going by the name of Redneck Riders and the grandfather is involved in local community events. This is where GREY ROADS faltered for me as I was genuinely disinterested.

As much as we all might feel that our lives would make a fascinating movie, it is prudent to say that not everything in life is worthy of a Documentary feature film. There is no denying that Jesse McCracken is supremely talented and I anxiously hope he finds a compelling story, be it fictional or not, to highlight and share in the near future.


By Justin Waldman

There are very few Documentaries that feel as timely and powerful as The Return: Life after ISIS, as it follows several women but focuses on two specifically. These women left their respective homes to join ISIS, have left ISIS and want to return to their home countries, except they are no longer welcomed.

Since their home countries no longer are accepting them back home, they are trapped in Syria and living in detention camps with their children who they are taking care of. Their stories are told, mainly through the writing workshop that they are doing to talk about why they joined. The Documentary asks its audience to re-evaluate any predetermined notions that would be had about women who joined ISIS and changed their mind and want to return back to their normal life.