Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2016: Highlights of the Fest

The full line-up was announced today for the 2016 edition of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. This year's line-up will feature 232 films from 51 countries. The festival will kick of on April 28 with the opening film League of Exotique Dancers, directed by Rama Rau. Here are highlights of some of the notable selections that will be screened at this year's Hot Docs.
League of Exotique Dancers (Rama Rau, Canada) - April 28, 9:45 PM (Opening Night)
A dazzling cast of vintage burlesque dancers share candid and sometimes outrageous stories about their lives on stage and off in the heyday of the art, as they prepare for a rare performance for the Legends of Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend.

Bobby Sands: 66 Days (Brendan Byrne, Ireland) - May 3, 9:00 PM
This riveting account of a turning point in Northern Ireland's bloody conflict draws directly from the hunger strike diary of Bobby Sands, which recorded the climax of a five-year protest by imprisoned Irish Republicans.

De Palma (Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, USA) - May 2, 6:15 PM
From Carrie to Mission: Impossible to Scarface and beyond, Brian de Palma has created some of cinema's most iconic work. In this career-spanning, funny and candid conversation, he reveals his unique perspective on life, work and the past 50 years in film.

Fear Itself (Charlie Lyne, UK) - May 1, 10:00 PM
Everything from recent horror hits to obscure cult classics lend scenes to this eerie investigation into the cinema of supernatural frights and subversive creepy crawlies. Is it possible that horror movies know us better than we know ourselves?

The Happy Film (Hillman Curtis, Ben Nabors, and Stefan Sagmeister, USA) - May 1, 6:30 PM (Scotiabank Big Ideas)
Art project meets self-improvement quest as graphic design guru Stefan Sagmeister strives to reshape himself into a happier, more fulfilled person through a dedicated mix of meditation, therapy and drugs.

How to Build a Time Machine (Jay Cheel, Canada) - May 2, 6:30 PM
Inspired by H.G. Wells's science-fiction classic, two men—an animator and a physicist—pursue radically different approaches to time travel, passionately seeking the elusive tools and knowledge to alter the events that shaped their lives.

The Last Laugh (Ferne Pearlstein, USA)
Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Carl Reiner, a 90-year-old Auschwitz survivor and others uproariously debate and test the limits of comedy's ultimate taboo: how to joke about the Holocaust, or if it's even ethical to try.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Werner Herzog, USA) - April 29, 9:45 PM
"Does the Internet dream of itself?" Werner Herzog deep dives into the murky morass that is the Internet today—from hacking to cyberbullying, robot sentience to scientific breakthroughs, no bits or bytes are left unturned in this thought-provoking, brain-tickling reverie.

O.J. Simpson: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, USA) - April 29, 6:30 PM (Socialbank Big Ideas)
Part riveting biopic, part legal thriller, this five-episode series from the makers of ESPN’s legendary 30 for 30 program brings new perspectives and unprecedented access to the complex story of America’s most famous murder trial.

Operation Avalanche (Matt Johnson, Canada/USA) - April 29, 9:45 PM
From local filmmakers comes one of Sundance's most talked-about films, an ingenious genre-blending fiction that combines surreptitiously shot footage of NASA facilities and archival material to bring a well-known conspiracy theory about the 1969 Moon landing to life.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (Joe Berlinger, USA) - May 8, 6:00 PM (Socialbank Big Ideas)
This immersive tour de force plunges deep into a mega self-help seminar with famed motivational speaker Tony Robbins, revealing how attendees are pushed to the brink of their emotional limits in their zealous pursuit of success.

That is only a small selection of the films that will be playing at Hot Docs this year, which will run from April 28 through to May 8, 2016. Tickets are now available to order from

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).