Hot Docs Fever Hits Toronto

As April draws to a close in Toronto, film lovers are gearing up for one of the city’s biggest and most exciting annual film festivals…Hot Docs!  The Canadian International Documentary Film Festival starts TODAY and runs until May 3rd, showcasing over 200 groundbreaking films from 44 different countries around the globe.  The festival celebrates documentary cinema and its capacity to show us worlds that are beyond our normal spheres of existence, telling a multitude of unique stories from the intimately personal to the shocking, the revolutionary, and the inspirational.

Over 200 directors and special guests will be in attendance to introduce their films and participate in entertaining and informative audience Q&As following their screenings.  The Special Events program kicks off with tonight’s opening night premiere of the film Tig featuring comedian and star Tig Notaro, as well as the filmmakers behind this personal cinematic exploration of a year of her life.

Hot Docs 2015 is set to be another fantastic year, and you don’t want to miss it!  Be sure visit the festival website for additional information and the full schedule, and don’t forget to grab tickets!

In case it helps narrow your search, here’s a list of 15 films that I’m looking forward to this year:

Deep Web (Dir: Alex Winter, USA) – TRAILER
Following the story of Ross Ulbricht, alleged founder of the online black market Silk Road, Deep Web weaves the historic government case against him with an exploration of the darkest corners of the internet to offer a revelatory look at this Pandora’s box of the online world.


Kurt Kobain: Montage of Heck (Dir: Brett Morgen, USA) – TRAILER
In this first fully authorized cinematic portrait of music legend Kurt Cobain, never-before-seen home movies, striking animation and interviews with those who knew him best take us into the life and mind of an icon.


Chameleon (Dir: Ryan Mullins, Canada) – TRAILER
A Ghanaian investigative journalist with a dash of James Bond rises to become a national hero as he slips into disguise undercover to expose corruption and injustice while on a relentless campaign of “naming, shaming and jailing” criminals.


Listen to Me Marlon (Dir: Stevan Riley, UK)
Legendary actor Marlon Brando recounts his life through his private audio tapes in this beautifully crafted and highly artistic portrait that allows the viewer inside the mind of the elusive and acclaimed movie icon.


The Arms Drop (Dir: Andreas Koefoed, Denmark) – TRAILER
After narrowly escaping execution and surviving eight years in an Indian prison, a British arms dealer hunts down the MI5 agent who betrayed him, leading to a shocking confrontation with the Danish terrorist who started it all.


Monty Python: The Meaning of Live (Dir: Roger Graef, James Rogan, UK) – TRAILER
Go backstage with the Python troupe as they prepare for their first live performance in 35 years.  With never-before-seen footage, candid backstage interviews and new musical numbers, this show will please any fan and convert any uninitiated.


Lowdown Tracks (Dir:  Shelley Saywell, Canada) – TRAILER
Passion, talent and tragedy combine in the performances of five transient musicians who busk for change on Toronto’s streets.  Their songs of survival and stories of life on the margins deeply resonate with help from The Parachute Club’s Lorraine Segato.


Raiders! (Dir: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen, USA) – TRAILER
In 1982, two young friends started a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  After seven years, they finished all but one scene – until now.  Twenty-five years and one jaw-dropping twist of fate reunite them for this unmissable final take.


The Nightmare (Dir: Rodney Ascher, USA) – TRAILER
Director Rodney Ascher (Room 237) crafts a real-life documentary horror film that asks viewers to drift off into the phenomenon of sleep paralysis and the waking reality of those who suffer from visits from the shadow men.


(T)error (Dir: David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral, USA)
This Sundance award winner exposes the shocking practices and murky justifications driving FBI counterterrorism investigations by following an informant who provides full access on the trail of a new suspect.


Drone (Dir: Tonje Hessen Schei, Norway) – TRAILER
A penetrating investigation into the War on Terror’s defining weapon – the armed drone – featuring incisive analysis from pilots, military experts and powerless bystanders who live in fear of becoming the collateral damage of this high-tech weaponry.


Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (Dir: Matthew Bate, Australia) – TRAILER
In 1977, 17-year-old Sam Klemke began to document his life, recording updates annually.  Travel through time with over 35 years of personal footage in this intimate and revealing portrait of a man trying to make sense of it all.


Censored Voices (Dir: Mor Loushey, Israel) – TRAILER
Shortly after the Six-Day War, renowned author Amos Oz and others audiotaped Israeli soldiers’ battlefield stories.  Strictly censored until now, these explosive recordings reveal a hidden narrative that questions the treatment of the enemy, Zionism and their role as occupiers.


The Strongest Man (Dir: Louise Hémon, France)
From the mountains to the sea, one young bodybuilder is relentless in his pursuit of physical perfection.  Working jobs that utilize his strength to save lives, this gentile profile shows how a man’s earnest dream can make him a superhero.


Chuck Norris vs. Communism (Dir: Ilinca Calugareanu, UK, Germany)
In Communist Romania of the 1980s, ordinary citizens risked arrest and imprisonment to secure bootlegged copies of Hollywood blockbusters.  Hear the stories of these Stallone-loving, dictatorship-toppling movie fans.

Stay tuned to Addicted for more festival coverage in the coming weeks!

Mark D'Amico

Mark D'Amico

Film Editor and Writer at Addicted
Mark is a lover of film, television and literature, with a particular passion for all things horror. Born on the 31st of October, he was conditioned at an early age to perceive zombies, vampires and masked lunatics as signs of forthcoming presents and candy. He also has several years of experience working in the film, television and advertising industries, both on set in the camera department, and in the harrowing world of post-production.
Mark D'Amico

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