Media Room



Toronto, May 22, 2014 – The Vancouver International Film Festival and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival are pleased to announce the return of the Best of Hot Docs, a selection of documentary screenings taking place from June 20-26 at Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street. The Best of Hot Docs will celebrate the Vancouver premieres of nine outstanding films from this year’s Hot Docs lineup.

Screening times and descriptions for the Best of Hot Docs selections appear below. In some cases, filmmakers or subjects may be in attendance for post-screening discussions.

Friday, June 20 at 6:30 PM
I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY (repeats Thursday, June 26 at 6:30 PM)
D: Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina | USA | 85 min

“A joy to watch.” – The Globe and Mail

With an incredible archive of home videos, the story of Caroll Spinney reveals how a big heart and unstoppable talent created two of the world’s most beloved Sesame Street Muppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

Friday, June 20 at 8:45 PM
D: Doug Block | USA | 92 min

“Moving and joyous.” – The Mind Reels

Is there real love after marriage? Years after shooting their wedding videos, filmmaker Doug Block tracks down several of his customers to find out if they lived happily ever after. His before and after footage provides insight on what keeps couples together.

Saturday, June 21 at 4:00 PM
D: Kris Kaczor | USA | 92 min

“The stuff great films are made of.” – Huffington Post

A fiery octogenarian spends her golden years cold-calling constituents and attending city council meetings in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. Can one little old lady make history by banning single-serve plastic water bottles?

Saturday, June 21 at 6:30 PM
AN HONEST LIAR (repeats Thursday, June 26 at 8:45 PM)
D: Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom | USA | 91 min

“Excellent.” – Dork Shelf

Famed magician James “The Amazing” Randi, enraged at seeing self-proclaimed psychics and faith healers using his cherished illusions dishonestly, commits his life to exposing lying profiteers, but ultimately has to confront a secret of his own.

Saturday, June 21 at 8:45 PM
D: Brian Knappenberger | USA | 105 min

“As engrossing as it is important.” – NOW Magazine

This inspiring and emotional portrait of Internet visionary and activist Aaron Swartz explores how one of the most promising minds of a generation found himself staring down a government prosecuting him under the very laws he was fighting against.

Sunday, June 22 at 6:30 PM
D: Jean-Nicolas Orhon | Canada | 81 min

3/4 stars - The Globe and Mail

Challenging conventional thinking, first-person stories from slum dwellers on four continents and brilliant analysis by such critics as Robert Neuwirth make the case that slums—home to a billion people worldwide—are the solution and not the problem.

Sunday, June 22 at 8:45 PM
D: Joe Berlinger | USA | 107 min

“Vivid.” – POV Magazine

Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger strips away the myths surrounding infamous Boston gangster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger, exposing the truth behind his criminal empire and revealing shocking new allegations of government corruption and complicity.

Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 PM
D: Thomas Balmès | Finland, France | 80 min

“Outstanding.” – POV Magazine

In 1999, TV and the Internet come to Bhutan in an attempt to improve the country’s “gross national happiness.” We see the imminent arrival of these new technologies into the last remaining unconnected village through the eyes of an eight-year-old monk.

Wednesday, June 25 at 8:45 PM
D: Jesse Roesler | USA | 82 min

“Inspiring.” – The Arts Guild

When a five-star chef, a retired teacher and a sixth-grade girl make a simple gesture to feed the poor, they unexpectedly ignite a movement in the fight against hunger, and prove that individuals can make an enormous difference.

A 5-Pack ticket package is only $52 ($50 for Vancity Theatre Members). Single tickets are $12 each. Tickets and ticket packages can be purchased at the Vancity Theatre box office (1181 Seymour Street) or online at

The Best of Hot Docs is generously supported by presenting partner City, sponsor Rogers Group of Funds and media sponsor The Georgia Straight.


Hot Docs (, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, presented its 21st annual edition from April 24–May 4, 2014. An outstanding selection of 197 documentaries from Canada and around the world were presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs also mounted a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. Hot Docs is proud to include Scotiabank as its Presenting Platinum Partner, and Rogers Group of Funds, Telefilm Canada and documentary Channel as its Presenting Partners.

Every year the Vancouver International Film Festival ( hosts one of the largest cultural events in the country. Over 152,000 attendees enjoy this annual celebration of film. VIFF also mounts the annual Vancouver Film + TV Forum, the largest event of its kind in western Canada. Year-round, VIFF operates the luxurious Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre where some of the best festival-style films from around the world are screened to enthusiastic audiences.

Media Contacts:

Laine Slater, Vancity Theatre
Phone: 604-685-0260 x809

Patrycja Cieniewicz, Hot Docs
Phone: 416-203-2155 x292

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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