Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Hot Docs 2008 Preview

The week in Toronto the 15th Hot Docs festival celebrating documentary film will be the talk of the town. The festival begins Thursday April 17/08 and runs until Sunday April 27/08 - that is 11 days (including 2 full weekends) of documentary film to enjoy. The theatre venues for Hot Docs are all in downtown Toronto, and some are steps away from each other (Isabel Bader/ROM/Cumberland) or relatively close to each other (The Bloor/Al Green or Al Green/Innis) and then a little further (The Royal). Check out full information on venues here.

Remember to plan your time well! Although most of the films appear to hover around the 80-90 minute mark, a fair number are shown with a short as well. If you are planning on seeing multiple screenings in a row, be sure to plan your time wisely including both the feature and short (if applicable) as well as travel time and some extra wiggle room just in case.

There are so many fascinating films this year it was a challenge to narrow down what to see, here are some of the films I am really looking forward to:

Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Dir: Sacha Gervasi
This is the opening night film, a documentary on the Canadian metal band Anvil. This film got huge buzz in Sundance and sounds fantastic.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Be Like Others
Dir: Tanaz Eshaghian
This film explores people in Iran who go through sex change operations which there is more acceptable than homosexuality, which is punishable by death.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster *
Dir: Christopher Bell
Exploration on steroid use & culture and the drive (or obsession) to be the best.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Dreams with Sharp Teeth
Dir: Erik Nelson
Portrait of the writer Harlan Ellison.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Eleven Minutes
Dir: Michael Selditch/Rob Tate
Following Jay McCarroll, Project Runway winner as he does his first collection.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Kids + Money
Dir: Lauren Greenfield
After seeing Lauren Greenfields documentary Thin I'm inclined to see any of her work, this short film is shows kids perspective on money.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Man on Wire
Dir: James Marsh
This is another big buzz film and Sundance winner. It explores the historical 'art crime' of tightrope walking in 1974.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Dir: John Walker
A historical look at the attempt of explorers to find a passage through the Arctic.
See more at Hot Docs site.

Planet B-Boy
Dir: Benson Lee
I'll take a dance movie in any day! This film treks the globe finding hip hop dancers strutting their stuff. Oh, and there is a contest too.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Rise and Fall of the Grumpy Burger, The
Dir: Matt Gallagher
Investigation of 'Grumpy Burger' the supposide inventors of fast food.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Second Skin
Dir: Juan Carlos Pineiro
This film got huge buzz at SXSW as it goes into the lives of MMORPG's (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) gamers. As a gamer myself, I can't pass up the chance to see this film.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

Shot in Bombay
Dir: Liz Mermin
A behind the scenes during the shooting of gangster film in Mumbai. I have to admit the print shot got me on this one, everyone looks like they are having the time of their lives as they are covered in fake blood.
See synopsis on the Hot Docs site.

For more information, check out the Hot Docs website, Film-by-Subject Guide, Searchable Online Film Schedule, Venue Information, Ticket Information and Box Office FAQ. For anyone who has a Scene Card - if you buy your tickets at the Documentary Box Office you get 15% off.

Hot Docs runs from April 17-27/08 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Anonymous said...

I'm *very* envious. Not only are there a wide range of great films to pick from but you're catching up on a bunch that I'm really excited to see. Thanks for the heads up on Kids + Money. I saw Thin a few years back and it was very, very good.

And because it's local and something of much interest around Vancouver, I'll draw attention to "Carts of Darkness" - - which was toted by The National Post as "One of 10 Most Promising Picks at Hot Docs".

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I'm thrilled that some of the buzz films from other festivals are in the line up!

"Carts of Darkness" looks fascinating! I wish it didn't conflict with my schedule. I'll have to keep an ear to the ground on how it is!

Anonymous said...

I'll have a review up at the end of the month. It's playing here the week of the 28th!

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