Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #11: Short(ish) & Sweet

Hot Docs 2021 #11: Short(ish) & Sweet

There are plenty of big, high-profile films screening at Hot Docs that are getting a lot of attention and buzz, but one of my favourite things about this festival is inadvertently stumbling upon comparatively “small” hidden gems that seem to be flying under many people’s radar. That was the case..

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Hot Docs 2021 #10: Blazing Trails

Hot Docs 2021 #10: Blazing Trails

Here’s what I’m totally LOVING about this year’s festival: there are so many amazing films made by or about (or both) women. Admittedly, I tend to seek those out regardless, but it’s been a bit of an embarrassment of riches in 2021. And these three fab films are just a..

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Hot Docs 2021 #9: Well, They Can’t All Be Winners

Hot Docs 2021 #9: Well, They Can’t All Be Winners

One of my festgoing pals had been reading my reviews of Hot Docs 2021 films and remarked that it sounded like everything I was watching was fantastic. “Oh, it has been,” I replied. “And then I watched Viral.” Look, I’m not a fan of the need to share every waking..

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Hot Docs 2021 #8: Bros with Money

Hot Docs 2021 #8: Bros with Money

Sometimes at Hot Docs, you wind up seeing films that feel like they were destined to be a double-bill. The might be united by theme, topic, style… or all of the above. That was the case with this pair, each one profiling a Millennial who built, and then lost, an..

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Hot Docs 2021 #7: Underwater Discoveries

Hot Docs 2021 #7: Underwater Discoveries

Documentaries are meant to “plumb the depths” of their subject matter, and these three films do it literally and figuratively, taking their cameras below the surface of the world’s waters for deep dives into healing, harm, and how one woman went from hunter to helper. Descent (5/8) When I sat..

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Hot Docs 2021 #6: Game ON!

Hot Docs 2021 #6: Game ON!

Sometimes, after wading through a lot of Very Serious Films at Hot Docs and enduring multiple crying headaches as a result, you need to source an emotional power boost to rev your spirit, recharge your engine and lighten the mood. I’ve already told you to check out Set!, and here’s..

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Hot Docs 2021 #5: Child Caring

Hot Docs 2021 #5: Child Caring

Shaping young minds and hearts can manifest in many forms. Sometimes, it means having a colorful gaggle of puppet characters teach your kids about letters and numbers and the human experience. And sometimes it’s ensuring that you find a patient, loving babysitter to stand watch over them while you struggle..

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Hot Docs 2021 #4: Grrrrls (Em)powered!

Hot Docs 2021 #4: Grrrrls (Em)powered!

Young women around the world are pushing back against patriarchal rules, traditions and belief systems, bravely forging their way forward. And, in the case of these two similarly themed docs, they’re sometimes doing it through the sports they love.   Bangla Surf Girls (6/8) As most people know, I *lurrrrrrrve*..

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Hot Docs 2021 #3: Three Conversation Starters

Hot Docs 2021 #3: Three Conversation Starters

One of our favourite things about Hot Docs is the way thought-provoking films spark spirited, insightful — and sometimes heated! — debate and discussion amongst audiences at post-screening Q&As and, more often than not, while waiting in line for other films. Even though the fest is virtual this year, and..

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Hot Docs 2021 #2: Five Must-See Fest Films!

Hot Docs 2021 #2: Five Must-See Fest Films!

We’ve been eye-deep in pre-festival screeners and can say with some degree of confidence that this year’s lineup seems more jam-packed than ever with awesome docs. (Nice work, programming team!) Here are five truly exceptional films that deserve a spot (or five) on your list of films to check out..

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