Film Festivals

Hot Docs 2021 #1: It’s baaaaaa-ack! And so are we!

Hot Docs 2021 #1: It’s baaaaaa-ack! And so are we!

Oh, how we have MISSED Hot Docs! And, really, who wouldn’t? Wall-to-wall documentaries that make us think, cry, laugh, cry some more, gasp, wonder if we have anything to offset the crying headache we’re getting, and revel in documentary-filmmaking greatness from around the world — what’s not to love?! This..

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Hot Docs 2019 #14: Award Winners

Hot Docs 2019 #14: Award Winners

Yesterday, the festival announced the bulk of its award winners – some of which I’d seen, some of which I’d heard great things about and some I’d admittedly heard/knew nothing about! I was pleased (and not that surprised) to see that Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man – the only film..

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Hot Docs 2019 #13: Final Film of the Fest

Hot Docs 2019 #13: Final Film of the Fest

Well, despite my best intentions – and arriving at the Lightbox just before 11am – I was once again unable to score a ticket to yesterday’s 3:30pm screening of Honeyland, as it had (once again) gone “industry rush.” Alas! I sat down and looked through the fest schedule to browse options of..

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Hot Docs 2019 #12: Kids and Crimes

Hot Docs 2019 #12: Kids and Crimes

It’s almost time for me to bid adieu to Hot Docs 2019 (cue: sad trombone). I have one more day of filmgoing before I need to pack it in and start packing for my annual post-festival vacation, during which I try to recover from 10 days of wall-to-wall documentaries by..

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Hot Docs 2019 #11: Reform, Role Playing… and Emojis!

Hot Docs 2019 #11: Reform, Role Playing… and Emojis!

Okay, it might be time to discuss the new “live open-captioning” policy at screenings this year. In theory, it’s fantastic – a way to make the intros and post-film Q&A sessions at Hot Docs even more accessible to audiences. But so far, more often than not, the captioners are not..

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Hot Docs 2019 #10: Pickups, Pregnancy and a Petulant Pugilist

Hot Docs 2019 #10: Pickups, Pregnancy and a Petulant Pugilist

We’ve hit the halfway mark of the fest and, perhaps owing to me getting older or just being pooped as a result of high-tailing it from screening to screening, I’m REALLY tired! And I’ve noticed the energy level of my fellow filmgoers also starting to wane a bit. The grey,..

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Hot Docs 2019 #9: Determination & a Dive Disaster

Hot Docs 2019 #9: Determination & a Dive Disaster

When you attend Hot Docs year after year, you start to discover filmmakers whose work you seek out at subsequent festivals. Back in 2013, I saw – and loved – Jason DaSilva’s When I Walk, which was a deeply personal examination of his multiple-sclerosis diagnosis and its debilitating effects, captured..

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Hot Docs 2019 #8: Makeup, Meditation and a Missed Ending

Hot Docs 2019 #8: Makeup, Meditation and a Missed Ending

I continue to be dismayed by the number of festgoers who still, despite all the pre-film requests, feel compelled to repeatedly check their email, text, surf the internet or just otherwise be discourteous, distracting dimwits during screenings. Yesterday, every single one of my films featured someone sitting within a seat..

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Hot Docs 2019 #7: Family & Fierceness

Hot Docs 2019 #7: Family & Fierceness

Could it be that years of pleading that the balcony in Lightbox 1 be open by default during festival screenings has finally paid off? Because yesterday (and, apparently, on other days as well, based on some comments I’d heard from others) it was open from the get-go for my lone..

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Hot Docs 2019 #6: Stimulation and Sanitation

Hot Docs 2019 #6: Stimulation and Sanitation

Let me begin today by saying I thought I’d seen it all in terms of rude behavior by film-fest audience members over the years: texting or making/taking calls during screenings, cutting in line, sitting down in aisles. But yesterday took the cake when, during Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man,..

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