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Hot Docs Showcase Catalogue

Bring outstanding Hot Docs titles to your community with the Hot Docs Showcase.

Independent cinemas, film societies, student associations, museums, libraries and other non-traditional screening venues can access the catalogue below of high quality Canadian and international documentary films.

For bookings, please email Erin Lau.

Please note: Hot Docs Showcase films are not available for bookings by individuals for private screenings.

Bee Nation 4

BEE NATION

  • Canada
  • 78
  • PG
    Director:
  • Lana Šlezic

Top 10 Audience Favourite, Hot Docs 2017

Kahkewistahaw First Nation Reserve is a world away from Toronto in so many ways, but for Grade 3 student William Kaysaywaysemat III it’s a journey he’s keen to make to represent his school and community. Through the first province-wide First Nations Spelling Bee, William and many others have an opportunity to compete against the nation’s best. There’s one way to spell success, but many ways to define it. The tensions of the competitions are highly compelling cinema, but the heart of the film lies with the families and teachers. They've built an empowering support system, challenging policies of inequity and refusing to limit their children's options. As Chief Kahkewistahaw Community School principal Evan Taypotat says, “Never judge a person 'til you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.” Bee Nation highlights kids who have dedicated themselves to their education in an inspiring story that encourages us all to be our best selves. Alexander Rogalski

Inac Lrg

IN THE NAME OF ALL CANADIANS

  • Canada
  • 88
  • STC
    Directors:
  • Vivian Belik & Jennifer Bowen-Allen
  • Patrick Reed & Andréa Schmidt
  • Ariel Nasr & Aisha Jamal
  • Karen Chapman
  • Jérémie Wookey, Annick Marion & Janelle Wookey
  • Khoa Lê

Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms gets six fresh perspectives with In the Name of All Canadians, a compilation of short documentaries commissioned by Hot Docs. From Indigenous rights to the controversial 'notwithstanding clause,' participating filmmakers take the Charter's key tenets off the page and into the lived experiences of the country we call home.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Last Animals 1

THE LAST ANIMALS

  • USA, UK
  • 92
  • PG
    Director:
  • Kate Brooks

Top 10 Audience Favourite, Hot Docs 2017

There are only five northern white rhinos left on Earth. Slaughtered for their horns’ alleged medicinal qualities—with the black-market value of rhino horn exceeding that of cocaine—these animals teeter on the brink of extinction. Elephants in Central Africa risk a similar fate due to global demand for jewellery and carvings made from their tusks. Filmmaker and photojournalist Kate Brooks tells the story of the courageous individuals working against time and increasingly dangerous criminal syndicates to save the planet’s last animals. From rangers and military soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who risk their lives fighting poachers, to a zoo in the Czech Republic that goes to all lengths to keep the Northern Whites alive, to a FBI-like investigator in Seattle who tracks seized ivory DNA, extraordinary work is being done. But will it be enough? Myrocia Watamaniuk

Let There Be Light 5

LET THERE BE LIGHT

  • Canada
  • 80
  • G
    Directors:
  • Mila Aung-Thwin
  • Van Royko

The most expensive and complex science experiment ever conducted is a current attempt to build an artificial sun on Earth. If it works—and that’s a big if—it means cheap, clean energy for the entire globe. If it’s a bust, naysayers and fossil fuel fans win. Dedicated scientists from the world’s wealthiest countries are collaborating in an effort to turn nuclear fusion from theory into sustainable practice. Out of public view in the French countryside, they’re in a race against time before funding expires and political will weakens. Set against the monstrous scale of this project and its science fiction–like qualities, maverick engineers in improvised laboratories hustle to achieve the same results for a fraction of the cost. In the process, they’re courting independent investors who are gambling on the potential for humanity’s biggest breakthrough since we learned to control fire. Alexander Rogalski

Maison Du Bonheur 1

MAISON DU BONHEUR

  • Canada
  • 64
  • G
    Director:
  • Sofia Bohdanowicz

In 30 carefully constructed segments, Maison du bonheur paints an endearing picture of the everyday life of 77-year-old Juliane Sellam, a long-time resident of Paris. Alone in her Montmartre apartment, Sellam enjoys the little things in life. As we listen to her muse about her life as an astrologer, Sellam moves through her daily routine: making her morning coffee, watering plants, putting on makeup. Each segment is narrated by Sellam or the filmmaker herself, slowly constructing a dual portrait of two very different but equally charming women. In the restrained formalist style of Chantal Akerman and with the deeply personal approach of Agnès Varda, Sofia Bohdanowicz presents a unique voice that confirms her as a strong observer and artist of the everyday. Maison du Bonheur is an experimental documentary rich in personal details, intelligent in its narration and playful in its tone. Aisha Jamal

Manic 6

MANIC

  • Canada
  • 87
  • 14A
    Director:
  • Kalina Bertin

Crossing distance and time, the prophesizing voice of the filmmaker’s father, George, haunts the opening of the film: “Across the decades I will walk with you.” Back in the present, we hear the desperate voice of his daughter Felicia: “I was just sitting down on the floor, writing on the walls of my hospital room. I don’t get it, like why this keeps happening. I don’t understand…” Could the mysterious legacy of the father be the answer to the desperate mental health issues plaguing his daughter? In a brave attempt to find an answer to her sibling’s struggle with bipolar disorder, filmmaker Kalina Bertin turns the camera on her own household. Through home movies, interviews and personal observations, she searches her father’s fragmented personal history to find a man who alternately took on the roles of prophet, scam artist, cult leader and father of 15 children worldwide. Aisha Jamal

Mermaids 8

MERMAIDS

  • Canada
  • 76
  • G
    Director:
  • Ali Weinstein

Ever since the success of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, starring red-headed Ariel, North America has been in love with mermaids. In Ali Weinstein’s film Mermaids, we meet a handful of 21st-century women who identify as living, contemporary versions of the legendary aquatic creatures. Each of them has her own deeply personal reason for “mermaiding.” For Harlem resident Cookie, it’s something she shares with her husband, Ralph, who lovingly sews her tails by hand. Transgender Julz has always wanted to be “one of the girls” and mermaiding allows her to forget her tough Bible-Belt upbringing and be an insider for once. With carefully choreographed underwater scenes and thought-provoking characters, Mermaids is a wonderful testament to the healing power of the imagination. Aisha Jamal

New Chefs On The Block Photo 3

NEW CHEFS ON THE BLOCK

  • USA
  • 96
  • G
    Director:
  • Dustin Harrison-Atlas

Think starting your own restaurant is easy? Think again. Nearly 30 per cent of new restaurants fail within the first year, and most are risky investments that rely on borrowing from banks and unquestioned commitment from friends and family. Filmmaker Dustin Harrison-Atlas’s debut feature chronicles the roller-coaster ride of two young chefs in Washington, D.C., as they tackle opening their first restaurants. From design to demolition to opening night, Atlas serves up a multi-year portrait of chefs Aaron Silverman of Rose's Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly...Pizza! In the digital age where the difference between a two-star and three-star rating can make or break you, New Chefs on the Block is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at two dedicated chefs where one becomes the most famous new restaurant in America and the other redefines his definition of success. Ravi Srinivasan

Ramen Heads 04

RAMEN HEADS

  • Japan
  • 93
  • G
    Director:
  • Koki Shigeno

Considered an edible embrace, comforting ephemera and an art form by master chefs and legions of fans, ramen—the perfectly slurpable combination of broth and noodles—inspires umami poetry. Japan's reigning king of ramen, Osamu Tomita, takes us into his kitchen, where he shares recipes, trade secrets and flavour philosophies. A mouthwatering survey of culinary history, famous restaurants and specialty ingredients, Ramen Heads makes a compelling case for finding Japan’s heart through its stomach. Chef Tomita takes the viewer on a tasting tour that includes visits to his favourite shops (some are even kept anonymous for fear of discovery), long waits in even longer lines and behind-the-scenes access to his restaurant’s 10th anniversary. Together with two other ramen masters, he creates a once-in-a-lifetime batch of ramen he hopes will inspire the next generation. For this event, foodies wait overnight for limited meal tickets. Ramen is a rock star. Angie Driscoll

Resurrecting Hassan 1 Photo Credit Carlo Guillermo

RESURRECTING HASSAN

  • Canada, Chile
  • 100
  • 14A
    Director:
  • Carlo Guillermo Proto

Winner, Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary

With passion, the three members of the Harting family make a living singing a cappella ballads in the Montreal metro. All three are blind and haunted by the tragic drowning death of the only seeing member of their family, Hassan. Enter Russian mystic and cult-like leader Grigori Petrovich Grabovoi, who promises to help his followers regenerate and resurrect the dead. For the Hartings, Hassan’s resurrection is their only hope for completing their family once more. With intimate access and unflinching observations, the film chronicles the Hartings’ attempts at dealing with their collective grief. What emerges is a highly unusual family portrait of three complex yet lovable characters. Aisha Jamal

Shiners 2

SHINERS

  • Canada
  • 78
  • G
    Director:
  • Stacey Tenenbaum

Don has been polishing shoes in Manhattan for over 15 years. Once an accountant and pastry chef, he’s now a shiner and showman, a street corner philosopher who plies his trade in the public eye. This cinematic travelogue illuminates an eclectic range of charming shoe shiners and their working conditions around the world, from a simple wooden box full of tools to a high-end shoe salon. The contrasts are striking between a boutique service in Japan that rivals a tea ceremony’s attention to detail and a mother in La Paz, Bolivia, who has worked outdoors since she was 16 to provide for her children. Though they share a common calling, these entrepreneurs bring their own special touches to their trade. Seamlessly blending individual portraits while highlighting their collective humanity, director Stacey Tenenbaum walks a mile in her subjects’ shoes to elevate this unassuming vocation to an art form. Alexander Rogalski

Tongue Cutters 1

TONGUE CUTTERS

  • Norway
  • 85
  • PG
    Director:
  • Solveig Melkeraaen

Cod tongue is a delicacy in Norway, and the job of cutting the cod’s tongue is traditionally reserved for children. In this charming and whimsical coming of age story, nine-year-old Ylva dreams of following in her family’s footsteps and earning money by working a season in the fisheries of northern Norway. Leaving her big city Oslo life behind, she arrives in a small fishing village and meets 10-year-old Tobias, a highly skilled and ambitious tongue cutter who takes her under his wing and shows her the art. With slickers on and knives sharpened, the joyful duo dive into their work. Over time, they discover they have much in common, and as Tobias’ big dreams inspire Ylva, their bond grows. A beautiful friendship is formed while knee-deep in fish heads. Heather Haynes

Unrest 1

UNREST

  • USA
  • 97
  • STC
    Director:
  • Jennifer Brea

Top 20 Audience Favourite, Hot Docs 2017

Journalist and Harvard PhD candidate Jennifer Brea had her whole life in front of her until she grew mysteriously ill. Eventually she became bedridden and nearly unable to move. With the help of her husband, she discovered she had chronic fatigue syndrome and that she wasn’t alone. In fact, there were millions just like her around the world. Still unrecognized by many as a disease, patients are mostly forced to live at home waiting for a cure. From her room, Brea connects with others who share their stories as she searches for a cure and deals with the everyday struggle of her debilitating condition. The effects of chronic fatigue syndrome are heartbreaking, and the lack of care for it disturbing, but Brea’s unwavering hope and force of will is truly inspiring. Her film has the power to raise awareness and advance progress in conquering a cruel and widespread illness. Adam Cook

Youre Soaking In It Photo 2

YOU'RE SOAKING IN IT

  • Canada,
  • 75
  • G
    Director:
  • Scott Harper

Advertising is inescapable. It covers public spaces, punctuates the airwaves and fills our personal screens with a sole purpose: to influence our behaviour. It has evolved and adapted to each technological wave, from print to TV and the Internet, selling everything from shampoo to politicians. From Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley, Scott Harper deconstructs advertising’s pervasive presence through a comprehensive and engaging look at the dynamic changes it has made over the past half century—shifting from “mad men” to “math men.” Every mouse click and swipe makes caveat emptor ever more urgent and difficult. As Big Data provides an exciting new frontier for industries to target their campaigns to individuals, the era of splashy billboards and catchy jingles may have given way to a much more sophisticated means of tapping into our subconscious. What happens when companies know you better than you know yourself? Alexander Rogalski

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