"This year’s Festival takes us around the world, showcasing stories from 45 different countries and the best in Canadian filmmaking,” says Hot Docs director of programming Charlotte Cook. “Through even more live and interactive experiences we have more ways than ever for the audience to be a part of the Festival. Bringing this exceptional work to Toronto is a huge honour and we can’t wait to join the filmmakers in sharing their work with our incredible audience.”
This year’s Scotiabank Big Ideas Series will welcome such notable subjects as: Grammy-nominated comedian Tig Notaro (TIG); charismatic former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Danny Williams, subject of (DANNY); director Alex Winter, WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg and the parents of subject Ross Ulbricht (DEEP WEB); Ex-Fugee Pras Michel (SWEET MICKY FOR PRESIDENT); and Olympic Gold Medal–winning hockey player Charline Labonté, former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean and American college football player Conner Mertens (OUT TO WIN).
Hot Docs is pleased to announce DocX, a new program that celebrates innovative documentary storytelling through new technologies and original experiences, will feature a one-night-only participatory live performance of Katerina Cizek’s HIGHRISE: UNIVERSE WITHIN, LIVE. Festival audiences will also have the opportunity to experience the DocX Virtual Reality Showcase, a free exhibit at the Isabel Bader Theatre, available to view from Friday, April 24 to Friday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In addition to the opening night international premiere of Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York’s TIG, a testament to comedian Tig Notaro’s defiant spirit and incredible humour in the face of adversity, other notable films in the Special Presentations program include: Andreas Koefoed’s THE ARMS DROP, which follows a British arms dealer’s hunt for the MI5 agent who betrayed him; Violeta Ayala’s THE BOLIVIAN CASE, a sensational exposé about three teenage girls caught smuggling cocaine; Jessica Edwards’ MAVIS!, a powerful film rich with songs and stories from music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples; Nick Berardini’s TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE, an investigative look at the allegedly non-lethal TASER gun; Matthias Bittner’s WAR OF LIES, a riveting account about the effects of misinformation about weapons of mass destruction; and Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross’ WESTERN, a subtle portrait of the ever-growing divide between two towns straddling the US-Mexico border.
In the competitive Canadian Spectrum program, notable films include: Charles Wilkinson’s HAIDA GWAII: ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, a look at a sustainable and healing community at risk from a proposed oil tanker route; Shelly Saywell’s LOWDOWN TRACKS, which tells the stories of five transient musicians on Toronto’s streets; Su Rynard’s THE MESSENGER, which highlights ever-worsening environmental devastation through the alarming disappearance of songbirds; Rama Rau’s NO PLACE TO HIDE: THE REHTAEH PARSONS STORY, an alarming account of the effects of cyber-bullying; and André-Line Beauparlant’s PINOCCHIO, a deeply personal portrait of the struggle to trust someone who feels no obligation to the truth.
In the competitive International Spectrum program, notable films include: Malin Andersson’s BLOOD SISTERS, the story of twin sisters bound by trauma; Karen Guthrie’s THE CLOSER WE GET, a sharply focused snapshot of strained family dynamics; Ramyata Limbu, Amy Benson and Scott Squire’s DRAWING THE TIGER, a powerful portrait of a studious daughter carrying her family’s hopes for a brighter future; and Ross Sutherland’s STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP, a poetic and humourous meditation on memory and loss.
In the World Showcase program, notable films include: Yael Melamede’s (DIS)HONESTY—THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES, a fascinating and insightful study on honesty; Monika Pawluczuk’s END OF THE WORLD, a revealing look at personal struggles as the Mayan doomsday prophecy looms in the night; Maya Newell’s GAYBY BABY, a moving and honest film about the lives of children of same-sex parents; Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber’s PEACE OFFICER, a timely investigation of the controversies behind recent police shootings and the militarization of American law enforcement; and Gillian Laub’s SOUTHERN RITES, a complex look at race relations and the true pace of progress in America.
The Made In India program includes: Spandan Banerjee’s ENGLISH INDIA, a look at a country coming to terms with its own identity as it shakes off the weight of its colonial past; Parvez Sharma’s A SINNER IN MECCA, a fascinating personal essay on a gay Muslim’s inner-most struggles, and Anuj Adlakha and Farha Alam’s THE SUPERSTARS OF KOTI, a coming-of-age tale about three boys united as “chosen ones.”
The Next program includes: Luke Meyer’s BREAKING A MONSTER, a behind-the-scenes look at the tension between being a kid amidst the overwhelming demands of the music industry machine; and David Shapiro’s MISSING PEOPLE, an engrossing examination of the effects of violence on the psyche.
The Nightvision program includes: Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel’s FINDERS KEEPERS, a stranger-than-fiction tale of a human foot inadvertently bought at an auction; and Rodney Ascher’s THE NIGHTMARE, a real-life horror film about the mysterious phenomenon of sleep paralysis.
The Show Me the Funny program includes: Howie Mandel, Reed Grinsell and Steve Sunshine’s COMMITTED, an inspiring look at the hard road to success; and Bao Nguyen’s LIVE FROM NEW YORK!, the story of SNL’s enduring brand of television magic as told by the show’s countless alumni.
The Screen on Screen program includes: Florian Heinzen-Ziob and Georg Heinzen’s ORIGINAL COPY, a delightful ode to Mumbai’s last one-of-a-kind film poster painter; Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen’s RAIDERS!, the story of two friends painstakingly remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark; and Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti’s A WOMAN LIKE ME, a funny and moving documentary-drama hybrid about the filmmaker’s tumultuous journey with terminal cancer.
The Redux program will highlight six films that deserve another outing on the big screen.
Additionally, Hot Docs is pleased to present two retrospective programs: Focus On Carole Laganière, a mid-career retrospective of the filmmaker’s work; and the Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective, honouring the influential work of Chilean documentary filmmaker Patricio Guzmán.
Also a premier documentary conference and market, Hot Docs will be welcoming over 2,000 industry delegates who will partake in a wide array of industry events and services, including conferences sessions, receptions and parties, Hot Docs Deal Maker, The Doc Shop and the Hot Docs Forum, April 29 and 30.
Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca), North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 22nd annual edition from April 23–May 3, 2015. An outstanding selection of 210 documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.
Complete listing of films for Hot Docs 2015
The 100 Years Show
Meet the vibrant and productive Cuban-American abstract painter Carmen Herrera, an artist who—well into her 90s—went from relative obscurity to being hailed as the missing link in the history of painting. "Better late than never," says Carmen, as she prepares for her 100th birthday exhibition.
3 Still Standing
Three stand-up comics are joined by contemporaries Dana Carvey and the late Robin Williams in this hilarious and moving look at success, 30 years after making their start in the comedy hotbed of 1980s San Francisco.
The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers
In 1983, a group of Milwaukee teens—inspired by the movie WarGames—broke into dozens of high-profile computer systems, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. See how adolescent curiosity about a brave new online world led to the current criminal laws governing the internet.
Above and Below
From the tunnels below the Las Vegas strip to simulated missions to Mars in the Utah desert, Above and Below is a strikingly beautiful exploration of people inhabiting unusual spaces that almost offers a glimpse into an apocalyptic world.
All the Time in the World
A family disconnects with the modern world to reconnect with each other by relocating to an isolated cabin in the remote Canadian North—spending nine winter months without electricity, running water or a trace of technology.
The Amina Profile
Lesbian eroticism, the Arab Spring and a suspicious abduction turn an online love affair between a Montreal woman and the writer of the popular blog A Gay Girl in Damascus into an international thriller about identity.
A rarely seen and recently restored masterpiece, Margot Benacerraf’s poetic film portrays a day in the life of three families living and working in one of the harshest places on earth: Araya, an arid peninsula in northeastern Venezuela.
The Arms Drop
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.
Around the World in 50 Concerts
Award-winning documentary veteran Heddy Honigmann follows Netherlands’ prestigious Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on an astounding musical journey as they perform 50 concerts on six continents to celebrate their 125th anniversary. With stunning passion and intellect, the masters perform and discuss their music.
As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM
This moving and fascinating portrait of pioneer DJ AM takes us through his meteoric rise to stardom, long-time battle with addiction, dedication to recovery and miraculous plane crash survival less than a year before his untimely death.
Attacking the Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime
Fiercely intelligent and principled, Sir Harold Evans, long-time editor of the Sunday Times, spearheaded such landmark public interest campaigns as redress for Thalidomide victims against entrenched pharmaceutical and political powers in his dogged pursuit of journalism that made a difference.
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
With a secret application process, unknown start time and an ever-changing course, each year the Barkley Marathons tempt runners to rural Tennessee to test their limits in a gruelling trail race that’s seen only 10 competitors finish in 25 years.
The Battle of Chile
Widely regarded as one of the best documentaries ever made, this three-part epic following Chile’s popular revolution and eventual coup d’état is a vital historic document that captures the spirit of the Chilean people.
Beaver Trilogy Part IV
A chance meeting in 1979 between a filmmaker and a charming young man, who moonlights in drag as Olivia Newton-Don, grew into underground classic The Beaver Trilogy—but the film itself is only part of the adventure.
Calgary hometown boy turned Hollywood comedy guru Rob Cohen (The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory) returns to Canada on an epic quest to rediscover our national identity. Meeting up with Canadian funny men Mike Myers, Seth Rogen and Will Arnett along the way, it's a comic maple syrup-filled odyssey.
Art world pioneer, flamboyant gallerist and enthusiastic artist advocate Bernice Steinbaum has made it her mission to promote female artists and artists of colour. Her tireless work to have them included in the world’s largest museum and gallery collections is a testament to the impact and change one creative visionary can have over an entire industry.
Best of Enemies
When ABC News hired archenemies Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. to cover the 1968 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, their intellectual and personal mudslinging not only revolutionized TV news, but the shape of American political discourse.
Beyond the Fear
Delving deep into the mind of Yigal Amir, the rightwing Israeli radical who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the directors pore over his life-altering decisions, opening a window onto humankind’s capacity for both good and evil.
Bearing deep emotional scars from their abduction as children, twin sisters flee their native Azerbaijan to seek refuge in Sweden. Bound by their trauma, they find comfort in each other, but will their intense attachment smother their independence?
The Bolivian Case
Three Norwegian teenaged girlfriends get caught smuggling cocaine out of Bolivia. Each is guilty, so why does only one take the fall? Cue a tabloid media storm, professional kidnappers and a behind-bars pregnancy in this sensational exposé.
Born to Be Mild
Meet the Dull Men’s Club, a group of golden-agers quite content with living life in the slow lane. The men take pleasure in the mundane—from traffic roundabouts to postboxes—and create their own sanctuaries from the ever-evolving modern world. So sit back, relax and enjoy the mild ride.
Breaking a Monster
Mixing metal and speed punk, the talented Brooklyn seventh-graders behind the band Unlocking the Truth skyrocket to fame when their video goes viral, but can these adolescents manoeuvre the music industry and emerge unscathed?
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 occupier.
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.
Chile, Obstinate Memory
Returning to Chile after a 23-year absence, Guzmán uses The Battle for Chile as a catalyst for discussing the country’s turbulent past with those lived through it, and explores the devastating impact of decades of imposed- and self-censorship.
Chuck Norris vs Communism
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.
The Circus Dynasty
The success and longevity of two of Europe’s greatest circus families hangs in the balance as their respective heirs fall for one another—but combining love and work may be their greatest challenge yet.
The Closer We Get
After the filmmaker’s indomitable mother suffers a debilitating stroke, her normally tight-lipped family opens up to unravel the astonishing secrets of her parent’s 50-year relationship and their twisted family tree with roots stretching from Scotland to Ethiopia.
Aspiring performer Vic Cohen talked his way into comedian Howie Mandel’s life. Charmed by Cohen’s determination to find his creative path, Mandel begins shooting him for 13 years, capturing a fearless struggle to make it not only in show business, but in life.
Deep in the Russian countryside, an old man awaits a phone call from his wife. When a mischievous cat makes a sudden appearance, the man is drawn towards dusty relics of his past. With wry humour and exquisite compositions, The Conversation is a sublime meditation on love, loneliness and the inexorable passage of time.
In 1991, Rolfe Kanefsky released his self-aware horror film, There’s Nothing Out There. Five years later, Wes Craven released his own self-aware horror film, Scream. Copycat explores the connection between the two, and why one was overlooked by audiences while the other was credited for revitalizing the horror industry.
The Creation of Meaning
Once the scene of a devastating World War II massacre, the breathtaking Tuscan Alps are now home to a shepherd whose pastoral life is made precarious by money troubles. But time and meaning can blur at high altitudes, as this unhurried study shows.
The Creeping Garden
Take a psychedelic science-non-fiction plunge into the world of plasmodial slime moulds—a rare organism that moves like a plant/animal hybrid—and the fascinating people who study and collaborate with them. A vibrant cinematic cabinet of curiosities!
The Cult of JT LeRoy
By captivating readers with stories of his traumatic childhood, JT LeRoy was catapulted to literary fame at age 19 and earned a fiercely devoted celebrity following, but lurking just beneath the pages was a secret that would explode into a scandal.
This dynamic portrait laced with humour, political shenanigans and backroom anecdotes reveals the real Danny Williams, the charismatic premier who stared down two prime ministers and Big Oil to transform the fortunes of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Daughter of the Lake
When a mining corporation threatens the waters that she holds sacred, a young indigenous Andean woman who seemingly speaks with the spirits of the lake summons all her mystical powers to come to their defense.
A Day at School
Winding around the dusty, mirage-soaked roads of Burkina Faso on their donkey carts, two young brothers transport soil in this jaunty slice-of-life film. Layered with lively regional folk sounds, the boys fulfill their daily grind, encountering worlds vastly different from their own.
John Graham, better known as Araucaria, has set the Guardian’s cryptic crossword for 55 years. In December 2012, a puzzle appeared in the paper that, once solved, revealed a very personal message from its creator to his adoring public. A beautiful film that clues us in on the themes, images, ideas and memories that inspire a writer.
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 at the darkest corners of the Internet to offer a revelatory look at this Pandora’s box of the online world.
Can sworn political enemies work together for a common good? Follow Zimbabwe’s unlikely coalition government of reigning dictator Mugabe’s party and his opposition as they slyly maneuver and reluctantly negotiate to forge a new constitution.
Anti-cult crusader Ted Patrick’s controversial deprogramming techniques spurred an underground movement that spanned decades until halted by lawsuits and felony convictions for kidnapping and imprisonment. Years later, his subjects speak to the true cost of their ‘emancipation.’
The Dictator's Hotel
It’s known as the hotel with 500 rooms—a luxury resort in the Central African Republic owned by Gaddafi. But after the Libyan dictator’s death, the never-used hotel is left in limbo. The gardener still mows the lawn, the guards still patrol and the manager tends to the ghost hotel that may never welcome its first guest.
A Different Drummer: Celebrating Eccentrics
Oscar-winning director John Zaritsky celebrates eccentrics in this light-hearted but affectionate look at non-conformists—from a Utah cave dweller who hasn’t used money in 12 years to a beloved Vancouver psychic often seen with her pet duck in a buggy.
(Dis)Honesty - The Truth About Lies
Lying gets easier the more you do it—that is, until you get caught! That’s just one of the conclusions from this fascinating and insightful study on honesty. From marketing scams to financial corruption, the “fudge factor” is explored in all its forms.
Docs at Dusk: Mavis!
Music legends and civil rights icons Mavis Staples and the Staples Singers shine in this powerful film rich with six decades of glorious songs and wonderful stories from the star herself, alongside Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan and more.
DocX Virtual Reality Showcase
Witness the future creative and technical possibilities of documentary cinema. These four short films employ revolutionary 3D stereoscopy video, Oculus Rift technology and Samsung's Gear Virtual Reality headsets to immerse you in unforgettable documentary experiences.
In a renegade Tokyo wrestling league, the disabled battle the able-bodied in the name of smashing stereotypes. After 20 years of glory, a reigning champ dreams of life beyond the mat, but his mentor has other plans.
This fiercely intelligent essay-film centres on the strange case of a Chinese town built to replicate an idyllic Austrian village—examining larger questions of reproduction, creativity and contemporary Chinese society’s relationship to the West.
Drawing the Tiger
A desperately poor Nepalese family rests their hopes on the narrow shoulders of their studious daughter who attends school on scholarship, but when she doesn’t return home, their dreams of a brighter future dim under the harsh realities of survival.
Acclaimed filmmaker Kim Longinotto crafts a deeply moving portrait of a former teenage prostitute who fought her way off the streets to become an unstoppable force for change in the lives of Chicago’s at-risk women.
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.
Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
With audacity and verve, the National Lampoon magazine became America’s top humour publication, casting a wide cultural net and launching the careers of many comedy legends including John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray.
East End Forever
Eight years after East End Kids, Laganière catches up with its subjects to recollect the dreams they once shared onscreen and to trace to unexpected paths their lives have taken.
East End Kids
In this Hot Docs award winner, Laganière revisits the low-income neighbourhood of her youth and arms young people with cameras to document their lives and reveal their hopes for their future.
Boiling over with poetry, absurdity and compassionate insight, this revealing portrait of a country in transition focuses on public sector workers in the Congo who resiliently toil—sometimes in vain—to reconstruct a nation marred by civil war.
End of the World
As the looming threat of the Mayan doomsday prophecy hangs over a dark night in Poland, the radio speaks of the end of the world while crisis dispatch centres and therapy groups share their own personal struggles
With stunning visuals, this creative travelogue visits India’s big cities and small tourist towns, exploring the nation’s history through the once-robust community of tour guides who have been rendered jobless with the advent of audio guides and apps.
Every Last Child
Caught in the crosshairs of violence and politics, healthcare workers are everyday heroes as they struggle to protect children from polio in Pakistan—the epicentre for this crippling disease that has once again become a global threat.
Exotica, Erotica, Etc.
As a former prostitute lyrically recalls her encounters with the lonely sailors she has met at port, her poetry combined with exquisite cinematography of the ships at sea creates a stunning visual essay of adventure, desire and heartbreak.
Fake Fruit Factory
Added to the National Film Registry’s 2011 list of culturally significant films, Chick Strand’s glorious short film Fake Fruit Factory guides us through the experience of women crafting papier-mâché fruit and vegetables in a small factory in Mexico.
The Fiancee of Life
With a delicate touch, Laganière bravely provides a space for children who have lost a parent or sibling to speak honestly, and often profoundly, on their feelings about death.
Filming Obstinately, Meeting Patricio Guzmán
This revealing portrait of acclaimed filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award, takes the viewer on an intimate journey of his life’s work in the shadow of Chile’s tumultuous past.
When an enterprising entrepreneur inadvertently buys a human foot at an auction, he fashions it into an unlikely tourist attraction. But when the original owner lays claim to his errant extremity, a stranger-than-fiction and larger-than-life legal battle ensues.
Gorgeously hand-painted sequences from her films illuminate a black Montreal artist’s magical 10-year search across continents to discover the true identity of a black lumberjack mentioned in a popular Quebec song.
Deliciously lavish and inventive, the world’s top restaurants unveil their latest offerings to the new power players on the culinary scene: globe-trotting Foodies whose online reviews reach hundreds of thousands and can make or break a dish.
From inspiration to opening night, For Grace follows renowned American chef Curtis Duffy as he strives to overcome adversity in his personal life to build his dream restaurant.
For the Record
Court reporters, live captioners and CART providers strive for the world speed record in court reporting in this fascinating look at the world of the stenographer, the "keepers of the record" from the Nuremberg trials to 9/11.
With some of the world’s largest fracking operations on his territory, a young Indigenous leader and lawyer confronts the fractures within his community and himself as he struggles to reconcile traditional teachings with the law to protect the land.
Frame by Frame
Four Afghan photojournalists risk their lives to build a free national press and tell their country’s stories after years of war and an oppressive Taliban regime that banned all photography.
From This Day Forward
An awkward teenager when her father first came out as transgender, the director returns to her parents as she approaches her own wedding day to ask how, against such high stakes, they made their love last.
In this moving and honest look into the lives of children of same-sex parents, the challenges of navigating a world rife with gender stereotypes and homophobia weave into the routine struggles of just growing up.
Giovanni and the Water Ballet
Ten-year-old Giovanni has a dream—to compete in the Dutch Synchronized Swimming Championships. With the unwavering support of his "girlfriend" Kim, he wades into the female-dominated sport and tries to fit in. Is he in over his head? An adorable look at the future, as seen through Giovanni’s burgeoning romantic relationship and synchro skills.
When a fairy village mysteriously appears in Overland Park, Kansas, locals become involved in the running narrative, touched by the tiny doors and miniatures, and connected by curiosity over its origins. The Gnomist is a delightful and enchanting reminder that kindness can be a cure and magic, a medicine, with the right dosage.
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life
In 1924, the makers of King Kong teamed up with journalist and sometime-spy Marguerite Harrison to document the twice-yearly migration of over 50,000 people and half a million animals by the Bakhtiari tribe of what was then Persia.
In 1997, Grant Hadwin cut down The Golden Spruce, a unique 300-year-old tree that was both sacred and scientifically remarkable, in a desperately audacious sounding of the alarm to save BC’s rainforest; instead, it brought sorrow and despair.
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
The team behind Oil Sands Karaoke captures the stunning beauty of Haida Gwaii, where Aboriginal rights activists, newcomer ecologists and quirky islanders unite to create a sustainable and healing community—now at risk from a proposed oil tanker route.
Hell Runs on Gasoline!
“There’s a hell of a lot of debris on the track,” the stadium announcer blares as cars ablaze billow plumes of burnt gasoline smoke. Welcome to the adrenaline-filled Autodrome in St-Félicien, Quebec, in this operatic front seat ride to a day at the races.
Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi
The potential and perils of online vigilantism and crowdsourcing are starkly realized for a family searching for their missing son, when the theory that he is a terrorist behind the Boston Marathon bombings goes viral.
The majestic landscapes of Mongolia provide the backdrop for this project, which takes users directly into the heart of a distant nomadic community of yak herders. Directed by celebrated Montreal-based team Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël, Herders demonstrates the power virtual reality offers by taking us to locales we will likely never visit ourselves.
Highrise: Universe Within, Live
A one-night-only participatory live performance launching the final chapter of the acclaimed Highrise digital documentary project, Universe Within, Live takes audiences on a fascinating journey from Brooklyn to Mumbai to Guangzhou through the original portraits of highrise residents and their digital lives from around the globe. Mixing live and recorded images, documentaries and music, this performance is navigated by a live host in conversation with the audience.
Home Cooked Music
Is there anything more Canadian than a moose-antler electric guitar? After a near-death experience, retired machinist Lorne Collie started making whimsical stringed instruments. Filmmaker Mike Maryniuk imaginatively weaves weathered doc footage and handcrafted animation to create an inspired portrait of this playful, musical inventor.
Hot Sugar's Cold World
A modern-day Mozart or a hyped music producer, Hot Sugar is in crisis. He mixes everyday noises into Grammy-nominated beats, but when girlfriend, Internet-phenom “Kitty,” dumps him, he takes off to Paris seeking himself and new sounds in this fantastical road trip.
A House in Fog
For over a hundred years, Soraiia's family has eked out a living on the estate of a wealthy landowner. Now faced with old age and eviction, this shotgun-wielding mountain woman continues to survive off the lush and mysterious landscape around her. Beautiful cinematography frames bitter reality, with stunning results.
How to Change the World
In the early 1970s, a group of young Canadians combined forces to create Greenpeace. Using interviews and previously unseen footage, this is the story of a group of friends who set out to change the world.
How to Cross (From Jiliz to Jiliz)
Though she can see the rooftops of her family’s village in Georgia from her house in Armenia, young Lusine has not seen her relatives in six years. Though the physical distance between them is small, she must travel over 100km to visit; the border is invisible, but intrudes on everyday life.
How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy
When documentary film giants Les Blank and Richard Leacock convene in Leacock’s kitchen, the conversation is sprightly and the food delicious. The two friends reveal their recipes for good living and great filmmaking.
I Thought I Told You to Shut Up!!
When cartoonist David Boswell debuted Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman in the 1970s, the no-holds-barred countercultural icon seemed destined for stardom. That is, until everything sputtered awry. This buoyant tribute to the love of cartooning is a heartfelt reminder that true success needn’t hinge on a Hollywood ending.
Imraan, C/o Carrom Club
Eleven-year-old Imraan looks after a carrom club in the slums of Mumbai. He attends to the club’s patrons who waste most days gambling and smoking hash. Though still a boy in body and heart, he is forced to grow up quickly in order to navigate the realities of a man’s world.
In Conversation With Master Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman and Producer Karen Konicek
Prolific and innovative, legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has helmed such classic documentaries as Titicut Follies, High School, Welfare, Crazy Horse, National Gallery and At Berkeley. Join Wiseman and long-time collaborator Karen Konicek in a live on-stage conversation with award-winning CBC journalist and host Piya Chattopadhyay as they discuss their next project, In Jackson Heights, and longevity in an evolving media landscape.
Enter the reactor core of Indian Point, a nuclear power plant situated only 35 miles from New York City. Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the plant has become a battleground for politicians, big business and activists.
It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise
A deep friendship was struck between the artist behind the beloved Eloise children’s series and Lena Dunham, a long-time admirer—as evidenced by her Eloise tattoo! Together they chronicle his life and work in this delightful and loving documentary.
Jesus Town USA
In this cinematically stylish comedy, the Wichita foothills stand in for Jerusalem as a small Christian community that has re-enacted Christ’s Passion for 88 years grapples with the news that the paperboy playing Jesus is a Buddhist.
Journey with Prabhat
Established in 1929, the legendary Prabhat Film Company broke boundaries, made national stars and gave India a film industry lauded by international audiences. This nostalgic ode shines the spotlight on those pioneers, paying tribute to the origins and art of cinema.
When 17-year-old Claudia is abandoned by her parents, she is left on her own to care for her severely autistic older brother while living as an illegal immigrant in Brazil. In this beautifully intimate portrait, director Eui Yong Zong tells the story of two siblings whose love for one another underscores a courageous but difficult existence.
Karachi Stories: Graveyard for Giants
Massive freighters line the beach in a shipyard in Pakistan, dwarfing the labourers surrounding them. Dismantling the ships is dangerous work, yet they are willing to risk their lives for the income. Karachi Stories: Graveyard for Giants beautifully portrays the severity of the situation while capturing its allure to photographers and tourists. Shannon Hanmer
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
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.
On the eve of its 30th anniversary, the filmmaker behind landmark Holocaust documentary Shoah reflects on suicidal thoughts, death threats, political pressure and even a severe beating endured to fulfill creation of his 10-hour masterpiece.
The Last Mogul
The legendary Lew Wasserman has been credited with creating—and later dismantling—Hollywood's studio system in a near-mythic career spanning more than six decades. But what does Lew's legacy mean in the modern media landscape transformed by Kickstarter, Netflix and YouTube?
Last of the Elephant Men
From the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor to the bustling streets of Phnom Penh, three generations of indigenous Bunong elephant owners struggle against industrial development to save these magnificent creatures at the heart of their own and their people’s identity.
The Last Smallholder
Carson Lee is the only farmer left in a once-thriving agricultural community in the Yorkshire Dales. The Last Smallholder observes his fierce commitment to the stewardship of the land and offers a moving elegy for his fading way of life.
In Uganda, a Finnish woman shares a deep friendship with her Ugandan housemate, but when they courageously confront religious leaders on women’s rights and sexuality they face a treacherous government backlash that could cost them everything.
Listen to Me Marlon
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 Little Deputy
Filmmaker Trevor Anderson’s remembrance of an awkward father-and-son moment in a kitschy 1980s western photo parlour—crystallized in an old-timey black and white photograph—is endearingly re-imagined by Anderson with 19th-century dazzle and a wry commemorative sense.
Live From New York!
Lorne Michaels couldn’t have guessed that his little sketch comedy experiment would become America’s highest temple of comedy. Saturday Night Live alumni Chase, Curtain, Newman, Samberg, Poehler and countless more, reflect on 40 years of television magic.
The Living Fire
Set in the Ukraine’s breathtaking Carpathian Mountains, three generations of shepherds struggle with change as their simple but laborious way of life becomes harder to sustain when faced with the allure of the modern world.
Love Between the Covers
A guilty pleasure or a disparaged art form? Romance fiction outsells all other genres combined, yet its largely female authors and readers are derided—until now! Nora Roberts and other titans confront the sexism and stereotypes of this multi-billion dollar industry.
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.
In 2005, acclaimed character actor Vincent Schiavelli (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus) died in his family’s Sicilian village. Ten years later, his estranged son returns to collect a surprise inheritance and confronts unexpected feelings in this lyrical study of family ties.
Music legends and civil rights icons Mavis Staples and the Staples Singers shine in this powerful film rich with six decades of glorious songs and wonderful stories from the star herself, alongside Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan and more.
Mend and Make Do
In this stop-motion stunner, a British household literally comes to life. As the irrepressible Lyn recounts a tale of love, marriage and family bliss, her clothes and furniture begin a lively interpretive dance, revealing the humour and beauty within the very fabric of our lives.
From Turkey’s Mount Ararat to the streets of New York, experts and enthusiasts raise the alarm over the disappearance of populations of glorious songbirds – humanity’s canary in the coalmine signalling ever-worsening environmental devastation.
A sweeping cinematic investigation across five continents into the politics of birthing and breastfeeding, Milk constellates debates about the medicalization of birth, midwifery and the use—or abuse—of infant formula.
An enigmatic New York curator investigates her brother's long-unsolved murder while obsessing over the violent work and life of an outsider artist from New Orleans, but her quest for answers leads to mysteries long buried.
Mom and Me
In this deeply personal film, the director delves into her complicated relationship with her mother, following her painful journey through addiction, prostitution and homelessness on the streets of Toronto, and ultimately shapes a moving testament to love and hope.
Monty Python: The Meaning of Live
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.
The Moon and the Violin
There’s no business like show business in this award-winning film about a retirement community for artists. Often funny, sometimes bittersweet, the residents reflect on their successes, failures and lives lived with creativity and passion.
Go behind the scenes with the inspiring children and music teachers at Sistema Toronto and see firsthand how this international movement employs ensemble-based music to build community, confidence and a next generation of talent. To be followed by a live performance by the Sistema Toronto Yorkwoods Orchestra and a special in-conversation session.
A 12-year-old mute refugee from Darfur lives in a Tel Aviv slum but is allowed to attend a rich private school. Exposed to two disparate worlds and belonging to neither, he faces a staggering crisis in this heartbreaking study of haphazard immigration policies.
My Enemy, My Brother
A child soldier risked his life to protect an Iraqi enemy during the brutal Iran-Iraq war. Twenty-five years later, these two men are serendipitously reunited as the saviour becomes the saved in this compelling celebration of the resonance of kindness.
My Gal, Rosemarie
Rosemarie is turning 90 years old and all she wants is her favourite treat: In-N-Out Burger. Her husband Ray, who is a bit of a hoarder, is happy to oblige. My Gal, Rosemarie offers us the simple joys of life as this lovely couple dreams of another 10 years together.
My Jules Verne
In this exploration of his literary hero, Guzmán captures the iconic author’s spirit of storytelling and adventure through his far-reaching influence on contemporary explorers charting the centre of the earth and the far reaches of outer space.
My Love Don't Cross That River
A Korean husband and wife known as the ‘100-year-old lovebirds’ inhabit a fairy-tale romance; but with love comes loss, and as death looms over one, the other holds tightly not ready to let go.
Nan Lakou Kanaval
Shot on 16mm, this kaleidoscopic glimpse into the annual Haitian carnival celebration is seen through the eyes of an enchanted young woman. Witness as fantastical costumes and Haitian rara and raboday music take over the city streets in a sensuous reverie where “the dead sing as if they were alive.”
After arriving in the Netherlands, an eight-year-old Congolese refugee tries to make sense of his strange new world. He marvels at the whiteness of skin, struggles with the guttural Dutch language and explores his new surroundings with wide-eyed wonder. But not all is rosy in this tender look at the immigrant experience.
News From Home
New York circa 1976 is famed-filmmaker Chantal Akerman's visual backdrop for the letters from her mother since relocating to the city in this visual time capsule and poetic exploration of distance, alienation and disconnection.
Nicola Costantino: The Artefacta
In this stunning and artistically crafted portrait of Nicola Costantino—Latin America’s most controversial and admired visual artist—audiences become completely submersed in her work as she prepares to represent Argentina in the Venice Biennale 2013.
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.
No Place to Hide: The Rehtaeh Parsons Story
Those closest to Rehtaeh Parsons, the Canadian teenager whose suicide due to cyber-bullying shocked the world, recall her brief life, exposing the systems that failed her and the public outcry, led by Anonymous, for justice.
Nostalgia for the Light
In this contemplative exploration of the quest for the unknown, astronomers gaze at the stars from observatories in Chile’s Atacama Desert, while women search the sands below for remnants of their loved ones who “disappeared” under Pinochet.
Nuestro Monte Luna
The deadly risks faced by teenaged matadors-in-training are overshadowed by the threats to their livelihood when the controversial sport of bullfighting, and the values and traditions at its heart, is challenged in Colombia.
Of the Unknown
Set in Hong Kong, where millionaires and the “working poor” live side by side in one of Asia’s wealthiest and most densely populated cities, Of the Unknown explores how social and economic status clips some people’s wings while permitting others to soar.
Omo Child: The River and the Bush
After witnessing the killing of a child as a youth, and then learning of his two older sisters who met the same fate, a young Ethiopian man is determined to one day stop his tribe’s horrific custom of slaying ‘cursed’ children.
On Her Own
When her parents suddenly die, Nancy inherits the fifth-generation family farm on the verge of foreclosure, but with incredible strength and determination she risks it all—including family bonds—to try and save her ancestral home.
On the Bride's Side
With elaborate planning and more than a little nerve, a Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist help a group of refugees travel safely from Italy to Sweden, where they will seek asylum, by staging a fake wedding.
On the Rim of the Sky
When a young idealist arrives with revolutionary ideas for the children of a remote village on the edge of a lush cliff in China’s Sichuan province, conflict mounts between him and the village’s veteran teacher.
Orbis captures the circulatory nature of global consumerism and the effects it has on the inhabitants of Umlazi, a town just outside South Africa’s busiest port. From children coming of age to scrap metal collectors making a living, everyone in Umlazi is touched by international capitalist mechanisms that the port brings to the fore.
Bollywood stars shine larger than life in the one-of-a-kind film posters hand painted by Mumbai’s last screen painter, but as his workshop is threatened by demolition and his livelihood by plastic posters, he fights to pass on his craft.
Orion: The Man Who Would Be King
Thrust into the spotlight by a crazy scheme concocted after The King’s death, an obscure singer skyrockets to fame masquerading as Elvis resurrected, but seeking success on his own terms, he quickly discovers his golden voice has become his curse.
Out to Win
The groundbreaking 2014 NFL draft of Michael Sam blew the closet door wide open on the challenges facing LGBT athletes. Trailblazers Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Jason Collins give voice to their pioneering leadership.
Over the Rainbow
Leny discovered her true sexual identity at 68, when she fell in love with another woman. Now in her 80s, she has adopted the gay lifestyle with urgency and pride—pushing determinedly through reminders of her failing body and past regrets.
Indians worship the cow as “Gau Mata” or Mother Cow. But the cows in Bikaner, Rajasthan are treated as anything but sacred—left to graze on plastic bags and garbage in city streets. An eye-opening look at the taboo tension that exists between human behaviour and belief; practice and preaching; defiling and deifying.
Paris is Burning
Electrifying audiences with a window into the fierce—and fiercely competitive—world of the 1980s New York black and Latino LGBT ball scene, this paradigm-shifting classic is as audacious and profound as the day it was released 25 years ago.
Brutally kidnapped at 14, a young Guatemalan woman survives when many others do not. Now her family and those of other victims are bravely fighting back and demanding justice amidst a chilling climate of violence and impunity.
Thirty years after establishing Utah’s first SWAT team, a former sheriff looks on in horror as that same unit kills his son-in-law in this timely investigation of the controversies behind recent police shootings and the militarization of American law enforcement.
Florida Justice Transitions trailer park is home to 120 convicted sex offenders. With unprecedented access, this Sundance winner exposes unspeakable acts and tragedies, and questions whether, even in this sheltered community, freedom can, or should, exist.
The director's con-artist brother sits imprisoned in Brazil, facing deportation to Canada. He's an elusive world traveller, a skilled liar and manipulator, both charming and charismatic. How do you trust someone who feels no obligation to truth?
The Pinochet Case
Following events in the months after Pinochet’s arrest in London, Guzmán captures the intricacies of the Chilean dictator’s arraignment on charges of crimes against humanity—the first such case against a leader since the Nuremberg trials.
In the snowblown wilds of an alpine landscape, a team of alchemists runs tests on the elements. But who are these beaker-wielding white coats, and what dark arts are they performing? The Place takes us on a mysterious journey through the borderlands of physics and metaphysics, science and the supernatural.
A moment of transitory madness that nearly cost the director’s brother his arm sparks this surreal exploration of life inside India’s most prestigious medical school: a place where isolation and intense academic pressure often drive students to despair.
Witness Earth like never before. Combining arresting cinematography with provocative thoughts from the world’s foremost environmentalists, scientists and philosophers, Planetary offers an alternate theory for survival in our planet’s most desperate age.
In picturesque St John’s, Newfoundland, three friends are forced to face their mortality when they are diagnosed with cancer. This award-winning firsthand work from the director behind My Left Breast chronicles their funny, gut-wrenching and inspiring stories.
Pleasure at Her Majesty's
Peek behind the curtain as Monty Python, Peter Cook, Alan Bennett and other leading British comedians come together in 1976 for the first of what would become the groundbreaking Amnesty International comedy benefit galas.
Poem of the Day
A boy reads poems on the streets of Medellín, Colombia, hoping to raise money for his family. When he teams up with a mischievous old woman, they transform their gritty city into a place of wonder and discovery. A lyrical and heartbreaking tribute to the power of the imagination.
Polar Sea 360°
The impact of climate change is being acutely observed in the Arctic, where the melting of glaciers and icecaps is causing major transformations in the environment, notably through the Northwest Passage. This breathtaking virtual reality voyage takes users directly into those remote settings, allowing us to personally experience the wonder and scale of these threatened habitats.
Pop-Up Porno: m4m
One man’s foray on gay “dating” app Grindr quickly climaxes from nice to naughty to uncomfortably nasty when a dick-pic triptych reveals his hook up to be too close to home for comfort. Director Stephen Dunn brings new meaning to the word “pop-up” in this hilarious send up of online dating.
Portraits of a Search
As the Mexican drug wars rage on, thousands of mothers ceaselessly search for their children who’ve vanished in the senseless conflict. Choosing different paths, three brave mothers confront the uncertainty of their inquiries in this powerful film.
A tight-knit group of female film editors—accustomed to toiling behind the scenes at the Ukrainian archives—are thrust in front of the camera in this affectionate tribute to hard work in dark spaces, manual film splices and friendship in the workplace. A celebration of celluloid and the playful, shy and savagely skilled women who preserve it.
Possessed by Djinn
After a Jordanian man tragically kills his four-year-old daughter, convinced she is possessed by evil, the filmmaker launches a disturbing investigation into a controversial Islamic belief in the supernatural forces of “djinn.”
The Queen of Silence
Suffering severe hearing loss, a young Roma girl is an outcast in her community; but when she discovers a Bollywood DVD in the trash, her dark world transforms into an enchanted stage in this extraordinary fairy-tale musical.
From confronting bishops over the Affordable Care Act to protesting for women’s equality at the Vatican, American nuns have bucked the hierarchy for decades by following a gospel of love, social justice and inclusion to transform their country and the Church.
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.
Robinson Crusoe Island
Guzmán embarks on a journey to the real island on which Robinson Crusoe was shipwrecked, where he discovers the truth behind a legend, the beauty of adventure and the interweaving of two very different odysseys.
When Colorado legalized marijuana, the Denver Post hired the world’s first marijuana editor. Sit back as he and his pot reviewers, “high” mommy bloggers and grass-preneurs roll establishment and counter-cultures into a strange new canni-business.
Sailing a Sinking Sea
The nomadic seafaring Moken of Myanmar and Thailand keep their unique way of life alive amidst the sweeping changes that encroach upon them. This immersive documentary paints a lush portrait of their daily practices and beliefs through traditional folklore and music.
Sam Klemke’s Time Machine
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 one man’s self-documentation.
The Sandwich Nazi
Deli owner Salam Kahil is an art collector, former male escort, amateur musician and sandwich maker to the homeless in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside who delights in shocking his customers with outrageously lewd stories.
Scotiabank Big Ideas: Danny
Join us in a discussion with Danny Williams, the outspoken Canadian politician at the centre of Danny, a dynamic portrait laced with humour, political shenanigans and backroom anecdotes. Hear directly from the charismatic premier who stared down two prime ministers and Big Oil to transform the fortunes of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Scotiabank Big Ideas: Deep Web
Following the internatioanl premiere of Deep Web Lyn and Kirk Ulbricht join WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg (This Machine Kills Secrets) and director Alex Winter to discuss the plight of their son, Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder of the online black market Silk Road, and the murky world of operating in the darkest corners of the internet.
Scotiabank Big Ideas: Out to Win
From such pioneers as tennis champs Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King to tomorrow's superstars, Out to Win chronicles the personal stories of the trailblazers whose sacrifices and conflicts have consumed their professional aspirations, and charts the greater path ahead for professional LGBT athletes around the globe.
Scotiabank Big Ideas: Sweet Micky for President
Ex-Fugee Pras Michel joins us to discuss Haitian politics, the future of his home country, and his political campaign supporting controversial musician Michel Martelly for President of Haiti in the pivotal election following the 2010 earthquake, as depicted in Sweet Micky for President.
Scotiabank Big Ideas: Tig
Join comedian Tig Notaro in conversation about the film Tig, which charts her life in the eventful year following her bravely candid 2012 stand-up performance. Opening with "Good evening, I have cancer," her groundbreaking set made her an overnight media sensation.
Made over eight years, this award-winning trip into the imagination of Canadian cartoonist dubbed “Seth” combines animation and stylized live action to imitate the artist’s comic book aesthetic.
The Shore Break
On South Africa’s Wild Coast, two cousins square off—one supports a shady mining proposal, while the other risks everything to preserve her tribe’s land. As royal families are deposed and corrupt officials grandstand, who will triumph in this provocative eco-exposé?
Shoulder the Lion
Three artists’ dramatic experiences of sensory loss—a blind photographer, a musician battling tinnitus and the brain-damaged painter who inspired Million Dollar Baby—are visually rendered into this ravishing essay about art’s singular ability to transform and transcend.
Three sisters with major musical aspirations give up their dreams, bowing instead to the traditional demands of starting a family. They marry young, face motherhood early and become domestically shackled—prompting an essential dialogue between the generations about female emancipation and education in India.
A Sinner in Mecca
A devout gay Muslim man living in New York risks his life on a perilous pilgrimage to Mecca, hoping to find the answer to a burning question: is it possible for someone like him to be a good Muslim?
Small Things, Big Things
Education is experiential for children attending the alternative Sita School in a small Indian village. A year in the life of the students and teachers showcases its holistic approach to learning that emphasizes creativity and social interaction.
In a small Quebec hospital, patients smoke cigarettes, sleep under the stars and reap the benefits of a novel approach to palliative care that treats the facility like a home and the patients like family.
Songs of Freedom
Celebrated Canadian opera soprano Measha Brueggergosman takes users with her on a personal voyage through Canada and Cameroon as she performs a beautiful selection of spirituals. This finely crafted film provides a remarkable visual and auditory experience, allowing users intimate access to these powerful performances.
After her photographs of Montgomery, Georgia’s, racially segregated proms ignite a firestorm that force the town to finally integrate, the filmmaker returns to find a controversial murder trial and historic election that expose the true pace of progress in America.
Spartacus & Cassandra
Two Roma children find belonging under the big top when a young trapezist takes them under her wing. But when the circus folds, they must choose between the custody of their indigent parents or that of the French state.
The late Gene Morris proclaimed himself “The Greatest Living Spear Hunter in the World”—a legacy he tried to preserve by building a museum in his own honour. But in his megalomaniacal attempts to become legendary, he may not end up being remembered for the reasons he had initially intended.
Bold and fearless, the first all-female car racing team in the Middle East is burning rubber and tearing up tracks all over Palestine as they defy the odds and shatter stereotypes of Arab women.
Stand by for Tape Back-up
Reminiscing while grainy fragments from Ghostbusters, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and other childhood touchstones play from an old VHS tape that he and his grandfather frequently used, the filmmaker imparts a poetic and humourous meditation on memory and loss.
One of Canada’s first-ever musical sensations to crack the American market, 70s pop group The Bells is the focus of this intimate and loving portrait, directed by the daughter of two of its lead vocalists
Summer school on the beach might seem like a recipe for fun, but a young physics teacher struggles with finding his place as his quantum approach to the world baffles and sometimes insults his peers and students.
Strangers with Patrick Watson
In this intimate and understated virtual reality project, users are invited to go behind the scenes with the acclaimed Montreal singer Patrick Watson as he works on his music at home in his studio loft. This privileged look at the creative process also provides a nuanced demonstration of how new virtual reality technology can capture the details and atmospherics of everyday environments.
The Strongest Man
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 gentle profile shows how a man’s earnest dream can make him a superhero.
As obesity rates skyrocket and doctors treat the first generation of children suffering from fatty liver disease, the sugar industry has adopted the Big Tobacco playbook to sow confusion and doubt—and keep its profits sweet.
The Superstars of Koti
High in the Himalayas, three boys are united as “chosen ones” by the local ancient deity. This coming-of-age tale sees them navigate outside influences, social conditioning and their own identity issues carrying the weight of a god on their shoulders.
Four Anishinaabe men courageously share their stories of abuse, reflecting on hundreds of lives derailed by a predatory minister whose horrific actions left already fragile communities in Northwestern Ontario to suffer in silence.
Sweet Micky for President
Musical strains resound in the pivotal Haitian presidential election following the 2010 earthquake. As ex-Fugee Pras Michel campaigns for controversial musician Michel Martelly, things get heated when former bandmate Wyclef Jean throws his hat into the ring.
Territory is a compelling and melodic look at the territorial nature of humans and primates. The native Barbary macaques have been staking their claim on the Rock of Gibraltar for over 300 years; humans have attempted in vain to keep them at bay, but the government's next move may be their last.
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.
Thank You for Playing
When a four-year-old boy is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his father begins working on a new kind of video game to honour the life of his son: a profound and immersive virtual experience of hope.
They Will Have to Kill Us First
Under threat of torture and death, musicians fight to keep their songs alive in northern Mali where Jihadists have ruled with a strict interpretation of sharia law since 2012.
Those Who Feel the Fire Burning
Cameras literally fall overboard when a boat smuggling undocumented people capsizes. Swirling shots and stunning aerials assume one drowned man’s soul in this experimental roving observation of refugees across Europe stuck between dreams and despair.
Policeman Gil Valle secretly chatted online about kidnapping and eating women. He never touched anyone, yet “The Cannibal Cop” now faces a life sentence. This sensational court thriller begs a most prescient question: when does virtual fantasy become criminal?
In 2012, comedian Tig Notaro took to the stage and opened her act with "Good evening, I have cancer." A testament to her defiant spirit and incredible humour in the face of adversity, Tig follows the year after her groundbreaking set.
Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle
This investigative look at the allegedly “non-lethal” TASER gun shows how their initial promise as a safer alternate weapon for law enforcement has proven complicated—even fatal.
Toto and His Sisters
While their mother is imprisoned, young Toto and his teenaged sisters strive to raise themselves in this raw and astonishing look at drug abuse, lost innocence, and the dawning realization of a world of possibilities beyond a Bucharest slum.
Thirty days at sea showcases powerful rolling Atlantic swells in breathtaking black-and-white as a crew commands a cargo ship between continents. The ocean's vastness and immense power contrasts the routine duties of modern seafarers in this cinematic meditation.
Patrick O'Brien aka TransFatty, an NYC DJ, internet personality and filmmaker, views his ALS diagnosis as “enlightenment by shotgun” and turns his world upside down to document the changes it brings, all with humour and an artist’s eye.
Welcome to Treasure Island, a former naval base and nuclear dumping ground that now plays home to nearly 2,000 low-income families. Told through the eyes of the island’s youngest residents, the film explores the cost of environmental injustice and provides powerful commentary on the value of human lives.
Seventeen years old, African American and poor, “T-Rex” knows a gold medal in women’s boxing at 2012 Olympics is her only chance of escaping family drama and a dead-end town. Get knocked out by the hype and hypocrisy of the celebrity sports industry.
Amongst the thousands of tuk-tuks zipping through Cairo’s frenetic streets are three child-drivers who maneuver the narrow thoroughfares and slim economic prospects of contemporary Egyptian life, seizing every opportunity to find joy in difficult circumstances.
From the archives of the “queer Smithsonian,” San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society, comes the forgotten history of a gay Korean War veteran tasked with writing the military discharges for over 1,300 outed gay seamen. The Typist details a conflicted clerk’s participation in discrimination and his divided allegiance to homosexuality and heroism.
Four young men embark upon an adventure of a lifetime. Traversing desert to mountain, they ride over 3000 miles from Mexico to Canada on adopted wild mustangs—a journey once a reality for western frontiersmen.
The tiny town of Uncertain, Texas, is the unlikely setting for this arrestingly beautiful Southern Gothic tale of three men grappling with their demons—all under the quiet threat of their water supply being choked by an aquatic weed.
What happens if intelligent alien life lands on Earth? You will be glad to know the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs has a team ready for extra-terrestrial contact. See a rare simulation of their response scenario in this cinematic gem.
War of Lies
How did one refugee in Germany become the American government’s justification for the 2003 Iraq invasion? The unrepentant Iraqi “engineer”—the lone source of weapons of mass destruction misinformation—finally reveals how the war based on his lie truly began.
Warriors From the North
This complex and multilayered story of a father desperately trying to make contact with his son who has joined al-Shabaab offers chilling insight into what fuels the current trend of Western Muslim youth joining radical groups abroad.
Welcome to Leith
A real-life horror story unfolds in the near-deserted town of Leith, North Dakota, when a dangerous white supremacist attempts to buy up land in a plot to establish a community of neo-Nazis.
As cowboy and lawman navigate their rapidly changing hometowns and an ever-growing divide, Western paints a stunning and subtle portrait of two towns straddling the US-Mexico border that previously existed in harmony.
What Happened, Miss Simone?
The legendary Nina Simone is brought back to life in this intimate portrait of her tumultuous life. Deemed the "High Priestess of Soul,” Simone made her mark as a pianist, singer and civil rights icon.
Obsessively kept from the outside world by their father in a Manhattan apartment, six remarkable teenage brothers grow up inhabiting a world entirely shaped by movies, but newfound freedom offers a reality much different than what they imagined.
The Wolverine: The Fight of the James Bay Cree
In a Cree territory called Eeyou Istchee, an ancient legend involving the battle between a wolverine (Kuekuatsheu) and toxic-spraying giant skunk (Mishi-zhigaag) serves as a potent allegory against uranium mining development through a cinematic weaving of animation and local nature footage.
A Woman Like Me
When filmmaker Alex Sichel is diagnosed with terminal cancer, her survival instinct resorts to storytelling, conjuring a fictitious version of herself, played by Lili Taylor, to navigate her tumultuous journey in this exceptionally creative, funny and moving documentary-drama hybrid.