Thursday, 25 March 2010

Hot Docs Preview 2010


Hot Docs 2010 had their press conference earlier this week, and with it were many exciting announcements about this years festival. This year will start off with a bang, having not one but two films included in their opening night selections. First up is the Babies, sure to be a crowd pleaser this doc follows four different babies around the world. I've seen the Trailer with a crowd and there is a lot of ohhing and ahhing. Who doesn't like cute babies? I think we all do. That takes us to our second opening night selection: RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage. Those that love music docs will be thrilled to hear that it's coming to us from directors Scot McFadyen & Sam Dunn who have brought us 3 other fantastic docs in recent years: Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Global Metal & Iron Maiden: Flight 666. I had to contain a bit of a squee moment when I heard the news. Hot Docs 2010 is off to a great start.

Opening Night Selections

Dir: Thomas Balmès
Hot Docs Page, Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page
Screens Opening Night: Thursday April 29th, 2010 at 6:30pm
Repeat screening: Friday April 30, 2010 at 1:30pm

RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage

Dir: Scot McFadyen & Sam Dunn (Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Global Metal, Iron Maiden: Flight 666)
Hot Docs Page, Official Film Site, IMDb Page
Screens Opening Night: Thursday April 29th, 2010 at 9:30pm
Repeat screening: Friday April 30, 2010 at 4:00pm

For more screening information check the Hot Docs website.

Babies opens theatrically on May 7, 2010 and RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage will open theatrically in June 2010.

The year we will be seeing new things at Hot Docs as well including a Rooftop screenings and a street party in Yorkville. I can't wait to hear more about those! Festival familiars will be happy to see the use of all the regular locations, along with the free daytime screenings student & seniors (see site for full details when available) and the return of the All-You-Can-Eat Late Night Pass which is $10 and gets you into each of the 9 late night screenings. Wow.

One thing that I am really excited for this year is the new program on the rotation called Small Acts, which is an unabashed feel good program that will look at films that focus on topics such as everyday acts of kindness to leadership and change. I'm so excited for this program! I love documentaries, but there can be a tipped scale on the darker, although important, topics. The Small Acts programs feels like a wonderful infusion to balance those scales. See more about the Small Acts program here.

Other programs at the festival include the Special Presentations program, which includes high profile films and subjects and the program that both Babies and RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage belong to. The Canadian Spectrum program, one title in that program I'm really curious about is Dish - Women, Waitressing and the Art of Service (director: Maya Gallus) which sounds fascinating.

If you are looking for stories from across the globe then you can check out both the International Spectrum and World Showcase, which have so many fascinating films listed. A few from the International Spectrum that sounds great are His & Hers (dir: Ken Wardrop) and Irish film that is described as 'A 90 year love story through the collective voice of 70 Irish women'. Fascinating. At the press conference we saw a clip from the Finnish film Steam of Life (dir: Joonas Berghäll, Mika Hotakainen), and I'm glad they did because I wouldn't default to say a film about guys talking in a sauna would be a must see, but believe me - this one will be a must see. Also in the International Spectrum that will be a must see is Tankograd (dir: Boris Bertram), a Danish film following a modern dance company in the most radioactive city of Chelyabinsk, Russia. A few selections from the World Showcase that instantly caught my eye are Freetime Machos (dir: Mika Ronkainen), following the worlds third worst rugby team and The People vs. George Lucas (dir: Alexandre Philippe) focusing on the relationship between fans and copyright holder. Yep. I'll always get behind films on Rugby or Star Wars.

Another program I'm always curious in is the Next program which focus on art and artist of many disciplines. This year there is music including 1991 The Year Punk Broke (dir: David Markey) following Sonic Youth's 1991 tour and Complaints Choir (dir: Ada Bligaard Søby) which takes complains and makes them choral music - brilliant. I'm also very curious about Anne Perry - Interiors (dir: Dana Linkiewicz) following mystery writer Anne Perry.

It doesn't stop there. We also have lots of focus programs, including this years Made In program looking at South America. Also spend some time getting retrospective looking at the films of Focus On: Tahani Rached and Outstanding Achievement: Kim Longinotto. Looking back at the past decade of docs with a Spotlight: Ripping Reality.

So many films to explore. Check out the information on the individual programs here or see the festival schedule online at the Hot Docs website and for us that like the paper versions, screening schedules will be out next week.

Opening Night Gala Ticket and Festival Passes & Tickets are currently available for purchase.
For more information on ticketing and box office check here on the Hot Docs website.

RUSH: Beyond the Light Stage

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival runs from April 29 - May 9, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Unknown said...

The RUSH film - HIGH on my watch list. I did NOT hold back the squee!!!!!!

Ryan McNeil said...

@ themarina... Shannon and I were sitting next to Bob from Eternal Sunshine at the press conference when they announced Rush.

I think it took every bit of his strength to indeed hold back the squee.

can't wait to cover this!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Yeah, I could feel the restrained squee's in a whole sorta 360 way there.

Really looking forward to the festival. I know I say that every year but it's true! So many great films to discover :)

Anonymous said...

Saw the documentary Candyman at a Utah festival....All I can say is that I am still thinking about it even today

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

That one is totally one my (very long) short list Anon!

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