#HOTDOCS: FIRST LOOK AT 2017 HOT DOCS INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
By Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
Anyone with a passing acquaintance to this writer could tell you that the opportunity to spend 11 days in a series of darkened theatres watching nonfiction programming is one the highlights of my year which is why Hot Docs remains one of my favourite Toronto Film Festivals. This year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival will feature 230 Films including 53 Canadian productions and co-productions. Filmmakers, 48% of whom are female, representing 58 countries will share stories on topics ranging from science to Syria and media to mermaids.
Hot Docs will open with the world premiere of Canadian Filmmaker Lana Šlezic’s Bee Nation, which follows students in Saskatchewan’s First Nations community as they compete in a provincial spelling bee and prepare to compete nationally. First Nations subjects will be front and centre this year with several strong titles including Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, a music Documentary which shines the spotlight on First Nations musicians who helped shape popular music.
Some other titles to fit into your schedule include:
Algorithms seek to predict future crimes before they happen in the world premiere of Pre-Crime. Matthias Heeder and Monika Hielscher look at the frightening future of law enforcement as science fiction melds with modern technology.
Bill Nye: Science Guy looks at the man who helped generations of kids learn to love science. The Scotiabank Big Ideas screening of the Film on Tuesday, May 2nd will include a talk from Directors David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg, and Mr. Nye himself.
The Media are examined in several Films this year including Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, City of Ghosts and Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower. These disparate Films are all part of the Scotiabank Big Ideas program and will feature in depth Q&As at specified screenings.
Fans of the Festival always turn out in droves for the Nightvision selections. 78/52 looks at the iconic shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Florian Habicht’s Spookers will be the Movie of choice for horror lovers as it looks at a former psychiatric hospital turned “scare park” in New Zealand where zombies and chainsaw toting clowns are the main attraction.
Deadheads are sure to be thrilled with Amir Bar-Lev’s Documentary Long Strange Trip, which looks at rock icons the Grateful Dead through the lens of archival footage, and rarely seen live performances.
Long before Beyoncé was declared Queen, Whiney Houston was thrilling fans around the world with her incredible voice. Whitney “Can I Be Me” looks at the rise and tragic fall of this brilliant star.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival will run from Thursday, April 27th through Sunday, May 7th. Tickets are already on sale. Ticketing and schedule information can be found on Hot Docs website, https://www.hotdocs.ca.