Thursday, 29 April 2010

Hot Docs Preview 2010 - Part 2


With Hot Docs 2010 starting less than 24 hours, it's hard to believe the that it's been over a month since the original press conference and posting my first preview of the festival. Yesterday I headed up to the box office at Hazelton Lanes and I don't think I had been in there since last years festival! With many of the screenings going rush, it's good to know that some of the festival favourites screenings have been been inked in the schedule for the last weekend of the festival. Also on the schedule are the rooftop screenings, new this year at the festival and sure to be a fun experience complete with pre-show music performances.

I've been busy nailing down the schedule which has got me thinking about documentaries and how and why we pick which docs to see. I find that for me they can often fall into either end of the knowledge spectrum: I love seeing docs on films where I know and enjoy the subject matter, but also love seeing docs where I know absolutely nothing about the subject matter. Along with these types, portrait style documentaries focusing on one person or several with a joint theme or cause can also be very compelling - I know several of these are on my must-see list for this year. Awareness, personal journeys and overcoming challenges are also films that can resonate strongly and be very inspiring, I hope to see several of these this year as well. Now, let's take a look at a few on my must-see list:

Want to know about the world's third worst rugby team? Time to check out Freetime Machos. Yep. That's a no-brainer. They had me at rugby. Always a fan of sport films but rugby holds a special place in my heart because it's a sport I actually played. Can't wait for this one! B1 centres on a blind professional judo athlete. Yep. Another no-brainer. If that isn't inspirational I don't know what is.

Amazing Women
Two portrait films that I'm very curious about are Anne Perry - Interiors on the mystery writer and comedian Joan Rivers - A Piece of Work. I've heard great things already about Dish: Women, Waitressing and the Art of Service, which may be my lone food related pick this year. Also very curious about the Sundance winning film Space Tourist, following a woman's $20 million trip to space. Wow. Talk about going for what you want.

His & Hers program write up states "tells a 90-year love story through the collection voice of 70 Irish women". I can't begin to imagine what this is going to be like, so I know I have to see it. From love to music, another compelling premise comes with The "Socalled" Movie, focusing on musician Josh Dogin who combines funk and klezmer. It has to be seen to be believed.

Clip it to Ya!
There films that make the must-see list are purely due to clips of the films being shown at the press conference, and I'm glad they did because the description alone may not have. First was Nénette focuses on an orangutan, then Steam of Life which is about men talking in saunas and lastly Complaints Choir which is literally about a choir that makes songs from complaints. Every single one charmed me over with the clips of the film.

Personal Connections
Then there are those films that you crave to see because you feel akin to the subject matter. Several of those this year including Disco and Atomic War is set in Cold War Estonia hijacking TV signals from Finland. Being Latvian, anything Baltic is a yes for me! Less personal but very prolific is The People vs. George Lucas, which makes this list as I grew up with Star Wars and it's still, and will likely always be, my favourite movie of all time. Plus I'm always interested in discussions on intellectual property, copyright and access which actually applies to both films. Yep. Learning and fun - you can't go wrong!

Need to plan your festival? It's not to late! Check out the information on the individual programs here or see the festival schedule online at the Hot Docs website.

Opening Night Gala Ticket and festival tickets are available for purchase online.
For more information on ticketing and box office check here on the Hot Docs website.


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

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