Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hot Docs Week: 20 Films to See at Hot Docs.

This Thursday marks the official start of the 2011 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Running from April 28th to May 8th, Hot Docs is a festival that showcases the best in documentaries from around the world. Last year, two documentaries featured at Hot Docs, Gasland and Waste Land, went on to receive Oscar nominations at the 2011 Academy Awards. Which films will be honoured this year? Only time will tell, but what I do know is that this year’s list might be the best one yet!

Thanks to the kind folks at both Hot Docs and NFB I have already had the chance to see a few of the films being screened at this year’s festival. I will post my reviews for you starting Thursday. Until then, below is a list of 20 documentaries playing at this year’s festival that caught my eye:

Please note that tickets can be purchased for all these films, and many more documentaries, at the Hot Docs website.

1. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
2. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
3. Beauty Day
4. El Sicario, Room 164
5. All for the Good of the World and Nosovice
6. Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
7. Wiebo’s War
8. How to Die In Oregon
9. The Pirate Tapes
10. Project Nim

11. Despicable Dick & Righteous Richard
12. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
13. How Are You Doing Rudolf Ming
14. St-Henri, The 26th of August
15. The Bengali Detective
16. Recessionize! For Fun and Profit!
17. Boy Cheerleaders
18. The Redemption of General Butt Naked
19. Matchmaking Mayor
20. Little Voices


  1. Many of these are ones I've watched already or hope to as the week goes on - looks like a bumper crop this year!

  2. @Hatter – There are actually ten others that I am interested in seeing as well but I figured that I would keep the list to just 20. The list was made a few weeks back when the schedule first came out. One film I saw recently, currently on the list, probably would not have made it had I made the list today. Still, I opted not to revise the list as others may find the film far more enjoyable than I did.

  3. I know I won't be going to any of these because it's so inconvenient for me to get there and back living in North York. I'll be happy when I move downtown next month though. All, life will be good.

  4. @Mike – When I use to live in North York, and in the east end, I did not find it too bad getting downtown for festivals. Granted it made catching the late shows a bit of a chore but otherwise it was alright. Plus you can take public transit which saves a few bucks. Living in the west end has been much more inconvenient as I pretty much have to drive downtown, pay for parking, etc. Still, the films make the trek worth it.

  5. @ Mike... Not that it matters much now with your upcoming move, but whereabouts in North York do you live?

  6. Hatter - Finch and Victoria Park. It's about an hour and a half trek downtown every day, assuming the TTC is running properly (LOL I know). How I'm going to be right down on Dundas and Sherborne so it will be movies and crackheads for me ;). Where abouts are you guys located?

  7. @Mike - I use to live at Vic Park and Ellesmere (North York side) for most of my teenage years so I know your plight. Also lived in Scarborough for a bit. Currently residing in Hazel Country (aka Mississauga).

  8. I was actually surprised to recognize a couple of these titles. I can't wait to hear about some of them...since I never seem to get around to watching documentaries unless I'm forced to see them in school.

  9. @Film Conqueror – Hot Docs has a lot of high profile titles this year. While I will have some reviews up, be sure to check out the following sites as well for Hot Docs coverage starting Thursday:

    The Dark of the Matinee
    Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind
    Movie Moxie
    Toronto Screenshots
    Toronto Film Scene
    The Final Girl Project
    Row Three

    These sites will provide good insight into the documentaries playing at the festival that you may want to keep an eye out for.


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