The full line-up and schedule for this year’s Hot Docs film festival went online earlier today, and if you’re a documentary fan living in the Toronto area, I think you’ll be pretty pleased with the selections. This year’s festival runs from April 29th to May 9th, and even if you don’t plan on attending, it’s still worth perusing the listings just to make a note of some of the intriguing non-fiction films to keep an eye on in the coming months.
Although there don’t seem to be quite as many high-profile films this year, there are still a lot of cool hidden gems buried among the various programs. I’ve made a short list of some of the highlights after the jump, but you should head over to the Hot Docs official site to browse the full line-up for yourself. You can also see reviews of some of these films over at The Documentary Blog!
- Babies: Canadian premiere of the Focus Features doc that follows the lives of four babies growing up in different cultures across the world.
- Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage: Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn (Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Global Metal) delve into the history of Canadian rock legends Rush.
- The People vs. George Lucas: Likely to be one of the more popular titles at Hot Docs this year, the movie pits George Lucas against his fans in a mock trial to determine who should be granted ownership of this massive franchise.
- Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: An “all-access expose” of the 75-year-old comedienne and her controversial life spent in showbiz.
- Teenage Paparazzo: Adrian Grenier (Entourage) follows a 13-year-old who wants to be a paparazzi, delving into the nature of celebrity culture and those who seek to document it.
- 12th & Delaware: The latest film from the directors of Jesus Camp takes place at a street corner in Fort Pierce, Florida, where a pro-life centre opens up directly across from an abortion clinic.
- David Wants To Fly: David Sieveking follows his idol David Lynch and explores the world of transcendental meditation — including the political quarrel that results when founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi dies.
- And Everything is Going Fine: Steven Soderbergh’s tribute to the late American playwright, screenwriter and performer Spalding Gray, constructed entirely out of archival footage.
- Kings of Pastry: D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow the intense competition between 16 top chefs at the Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
- Candyman: The David Klein Story: Peter Jackson’s good friend Costa Botes (who co-directed the mockumentary Forgotten Silver with him) looks at the eccentric inventor of Jelly Belly jellybeans.
- Casino Jack and the United States of Money: Director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) examines the flaws of the American political system by documenting the rise and fall of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
- The Oath: Character study of Abu Jandal, a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden.
- AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story: Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas examine the challenging career of comedian Bill Hicks.
- Sins of My Father: The son of drug lord Pablo Escobar retraces his father’s steps in order to try and make amends.
- Blank City: About New York City’s No Wave art scene of the late 1970s including such subjects as Jim Jarmusch, Debbie Harry, and John Waters.
- Space Tourists: Sundance award-winner featuring dual storylines about someone determined to make a trip to space, and those who profit from collecting space shuttle debris back on Earth.
- Thieves By Law: Three former kingpins pull back the veil on the Russian mafia.