Friday, March 20, 2015

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2015 Highlights

HotDocs15

The film line-up was announced this week for the 2015 edition of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.  This year’s line-up will include 210 titles from 45 countries.  102 of these films will be world or international premieres, which includes 17 world premieres from Canada.  In addition, a point has been made that 40% of the filmmakers at Hot Docs this year will be female.  This year’s opening night film will be the international premiere of Tig, which is about comedian Tig Notaro’s battle with cancer.  The film will also be featured as part of this year’s Scotiabank Big Ideas line-up.  Another major highlight of this year’s festival is the Canadian premiere of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, which is described as the definitive documentary about the frontman of Nirvana.

Here are some of the other stand-out films at this year’s Hot Docs:

Being Canadian – Rob Cohen, Canada/USA (Special Presentations)
An ode to Canadiana, which looks to be a very fun watch.  This is one not to miss.

Chuck Norris vs Communism - Ilinca Calugareanu, UK/Germany/Romania (Screen on Screen)
This fight against communist Romania is worth seeing for the title alone.

Deep Web – Alex Winter, USA (Scotiabank Big Ideas)
Former Bill and Ted actor, turned documentary filmmaker, Alex Winter (Downloaded) returns to Hot Docs for this investigation into the deepest corners of the internet.  As a major tech junkie, this is a film I will most definitely be seeing.

Doglegs - Heath Cozens, Japan/USA (World Showcase)
A film about disabled wrestlers in Japan? Count me in.

Jesus Town USA - Julian Pinder and Billie Mintz, Canada/USA (Canadian Spectrum)
This film about the Buddhist star of a small town Passion play looks to be a fun watch.

Live from New York! - Bao Nguyen, USA (Show Me the Funny)
A look into the history of Saturday Night Live. Part of a comedy-centric theme programme this year.

The Nightmare - Rodney Ascher, USA (Nightvision)
From the director of Room 237, comes this real life documentary horror film, which looks into sleep paralysis.  This is supposed to be a quite scary doc, so I will definitely be checking out this one.

Monty Python: The Meaning of Live - Roger Graef and James Rogan, UK (Show Me the Funny)
A documentation of Monty Python reuniting on stage.

Raiders! - Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, USA (Screen on Screen)
A look into a fan-made remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Visit - Michael Madsen, Denmark/Austria/Ireland/Finland/Norway (Nightvision)
What would happen if other life forms from space landed on earth?  This film seeks to answer that question.

That wraps up my highlights.  I’m going to be very busy in the upcoming weeks preparing for this year’s festival, which will be taking place from April 23 to May 3.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).