In the Blog

Hot Docs

April 19th, 2007     by Catherine Hayday     Comments

From today through April 29th, Toronto is playing host to the Hot Docs film festival.

Every year I get the programme for Hot Docs mailed to me, and every year I sit down with a mug of tea and happily highlight /all/ of the films I’m /definitely/ going to go see.

I have an overly ambitious highlighter (bad, bad over-committing highlighter).

But I always manage to go and see at least a couple of films. And the quality (with only one notable and painfully long exception) is always guaranteed to at least measure up to the $10 ticket, and usually exceeds it.

And it is certainly worth free. As in:

“Q: How can I obtain free student/senior tickets? A: Hot Docs is pleased to offer FREE daytime screenings (before 6 pm) for seniors and students. Tickets for free daytime screenings must be obtained at the screening venue on the day of the screening, subject to availability.”

I can’t be bothered to fight it out to go to TIFF, but Hot Docs I would stand in a rainy long line up for (<-but I don’t have to, because Hot Docs is general public friendly. Do you see how that works TIFF, do you?). Hot Docs’ programming is diverse, and is often the first showing of the film. There are many independent films, international films, showcases, and (why I’m especially posting it here) films made by women, or about women. This year also has a very pleasing selection of films on environmental issues and food production.

A few examples (and some of my personal selections) behind the more…

  • Doc It! Showcase: A showcase of documentaries made by filmmakers from ages 14-18.

  • Hell’s Grannies: “One day, 75-year-old Sybil Rampen realized she was growing old and decided she wouldn’t go quietly. So she wrote a book and formed a motorcycle gang of grannies…”

Shown with Girl Inside: “Twenty-six-year-old Madison is in the process of becoming a girl and Vivien, her apple-martini-drinking 80-year-old glamorous grandmother, has taken on the job of advising her on all things feminine…”

  • Girl’s Rock: “At Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp, girls ranging in age from eight to 18 are taught that it’s OK to sweat like a pig, scream like a banshee, wail on their instruments with complete and utter abandon, and that ‘it is 100% okay to be exactly who you are…’”

  • Without The King: “Unprecedented access to the royal family [of Swaziland] reveals an unlikely source for change - the country’s teenaged rapper Princess…”

  • Enemies of Happiness: “For Afghan parliamentary candidate Malalai Joya, skirting assassination threats and saving young girls from arranged marriages is all in a day’s work. An arresting portrait of an admirably audacious woman in pursuit of political and social justice…”

  • The Fighting Cholitas: “The Fighting Cholitas is about a group of bold and resilient female Bolivian wrestlers. These indigenous women jump into the ring every week in their traditional and vibrant multi-layered skirts to perform the acrobatic manoeuvres of Luche Libre…”

Shown with Thin Ice: “Hockey night in the Himalayas! Dolkar, a tenacious and strong-willed Buddhist teenager from a village called Ladakh, wants very badly to play ice hockey. She manages to make a rink, pull together some decrepit equipment, and form a team of village girls…”

Personally, I’m also adding: All in this Tea, Circus School, My Second Life, O Amor Natural, Everything’s Cool, King Corn & Yoga, Inc. That’s not even all. I really should just dip the programme in yellow highlighter ink as soon as it arrives and end this charade.

But you don’t have to take my word for it*. You and your virtual highlighter can check out the rest of the listings here.

*Oh LeVar

Tags: arts

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