HotDocs 2017 – a wrapup

IMG_20160416_2023047Spring in Toronto meant the Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, or ‘#HotDocs’. Over the last 10 years I’ve become increasingly attached to this event, graduating from seeing films after work on the weekends, to taking some time off, to using vacation time to devote to going to as many films as possible. This year did not disappoint. Those of you who have been familiar with my blog know that I intentionally choose films that may have little chance to be in wider release, especially those involving people of colour, women and relevant sociopolitical aspects of current life.  Unlike previous years, I won’t list all the films I saw, just the ones I choose to review, separately.

In addition to blogging, I’m going to try Podcasting for the first time. One of my more old fashioned traits is that I still love hard cover books. So, by association, rather than thinking of podcasts like getting content via radio, I considered the experience to be more like listening to an audiobook. However, now that I am hooked on the NPR, Economist and Freakonomics podcasts, I’m drawn to the opportunity to explore if anyone is interested in listening to what I have to say.

As a celebration of documentary film, I can’t think of another festival that does it better than HotDocs. Other festivals have streams for documentaries, and some (Like Cannes) do not distinguish between  theatrical and a focussed production of a nonfiction motion picture to convey some aspect of reality, principally to instruct, educate, or maintain a historical record. More than one film in my list this year achieved that.

The works of visual art I saw this year that I will share with you are; Intent to Destroy, The Worker’s Cup, You’re Soaking in It, Machines, and Out of Thin Air.

Of all these, the one that made me most uncomfortable (and that’s a good thing..) was Machines. Out of Thin Air is not one that I would have ordinarily added to my list of docs to see, however it is set in Iceland and I just happened to have come back from a vacation there, and that’s why I chose it. Intent to Destroy is a documentary about a film that just went into limited release capturing a sensitive topic that has yet to be fully discussed. The Worker’s Cup was the most entertaining documentary, and You’re Soaking in it was the most frightening.

Have a look at the subsequent reviews in separate submissions to my blog, and tune in to my podcast (Particular Pelicula), if you are so inclined. Fair warning, my thoughts will most likely wander while talking, so podcasts may have more opinions than the blog. I will stick to the TED Talk format of keeping my ramblings to under 17 minutes.

I’ve already begun to plan for the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Not obsessed with motion pictures….no….not me 😉

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