Colonization Road Bnr

Festival In-School Selections

We are pleased to offer 14 films in our Docs For Schools Festival In-School program during the Hot Docs Festival, April 26 – May 6.

Teachers can select seven of 11 DVDs, plus three online films. Online films couresty of Vice and their Rise series; details under “Special Opportunity” below.

DVD BOOKINGS OPEN MARCH 22, 10:00 AM (link will appear here)

For Rise films booking, scroll down to Special Opportunity section.


  • Available to Grades 7–12 in Ontario
  • Maximum 7 DVDs per school, not including Rise online films
  • Only one teacher per school may book
  • Teachers will receive DVDs by April 17, for review
  • Class viewings occur April 26 to May 6 (during the Festival)
  • DVDs must be returned in the mail to Docs For Schools on Monday, May 7
  • Program is FREE

Teachers who book will be notified when the education packages are ready mid-April.

If you have questions about any component of the program, contact Lesley at [email protected] | 416.203.2155 x253.

Colonization Road


  • Canada
  • 44
  • STC
  • Michelle St. John

Colonization Road discusses the roads built by the colonial government to bring settlers across the country, connect them with resources to create industry and create a nation. Many of these interconnecting roadways are actually named Colonization Road. Colonization Road follows Anishinaabe comedian Ryan McMahon as he travels across Ontario speaking to Indigenous and settler lawyers, historians, researchers and policy makers who provide history, context and solutions for colonization roads and their impact on Indigenous peoples. Along the way, the film sheds light on treaties and what the process of reconciliation will demand of settlers in the country we now call Canada.

Film website

Driving With Selvi


  • Canada, UK
  • 52
  • STC
  • Elisa Paloschi

Selvi is a charming, strong and utterly courageous young woman who happens to be South India’s first female taxi driver. Selvi was forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. One day, in a desperate bid to escape, she fled to a highway with the intention of throwing herself under a bus—instead, she hailed the bus and started her remarkable journey. Over a 10-year journey, we see a remarkable transformation as Selvi finds her voice and defies all expectations: learning to drive, starting her own taxi company, leading educational seminars and much more.

Film website

From Aleppo To La


  • USA
  • 14
  • STC
  • Julia Meltzer

A short from the feature length film Dayla’s Other Country. Dalya Zeno is a Syrian teen living in in LA with her mom. Unlike most immigrants, when Dalya was very young her family lived in the US and she obtained US citizenship. Her family returned to Syria, but when the war began Dalya and her mom moved to LA. Dalya does enjoy privilege. She knows the language and the culture, but she still faces many of the same challenges of other young immigrants: the struggle to adapt, to fit in yet maintain her own identity, to live in the present.  

Indictment Shelly Chartier


  • Canada
  • 44
  • STC
  • Lisa Jackson
  • Shane Belcourt

Winner of the Alanis Obomsawin Award at the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Indictment is a complex and fascinating true crime story that raises important questions about Canada’s justice system. Sensationalized in the international media as a high-profile catfishing scheme involving Shelly Chartier, a reclusive Indigenous woman from Easterville, Manitoba, NBA all-star player Chris Anderson and Paris Dunn, a 17-year-old model with whom he had an affair, the film weaves together interviews with Chartier, the people close to her, Dunn, psychologists and legal experts in order to gain insight into the woman behind the crime, as well as the effects of colonialism on her community. The filmmakers reveal the softer side of Chartier by exploring her relationship with her husband and the redemptive journey she is still on, humanizing someone who has been portrayed by the media as an evil mastermind.

Film website

Joes Violin 2


  • USA
  • 24
  • STC
  • Kahane Cooperman

In 1946, 23-year-old Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold exchanged a carton of cigarettes for a violin at a flea market in Germany. Seventy years later, Joe makes a simple decision about his violin that changes not only his life, but also the life of another young musician. Together, the two of them discover the illuminating power of a single musical instrument. 

Film website

La Laguna


  • USA, Mexico
  • 40
  • STC
  • Aaron Schock

In Mayan & Spanish, with English subtitles

Deep in the rainforest of southern Mexico, a pair of Mayan boys run free among the relics of their ancient civilization. In their village school, however, 12-year-old Yu’uk and 8-year-old José find themselves lost in a world they can’t fully comprehend, governed by a language they can’t fully grasp. In this breathtaking coming-of-age film, Emmy-nominated director Aaron Schock crafts an immersive, visually stunning portrait of a childhood on the margins of Mexican society. As Yu’uk prepares to leave the local school, the future of his family and his Indigenous community hangs in the balance. La Laguna is an unforgettable story about a boy on the cusp of adulthood and a society on the cusp of change. 

Film website

menstrual man 1


  • Singapore, India
  • STC
  • Amit Virmani

In English, Hindi & Tamil, with English subtitles

Some folks squirm at mention of a woman’s period…not Arunachalam Muruganantham. Considered a madman and pervert by his community, he ignores his detractors and makes his dream—low-cost sanitary pads made by and for rural Indian women—a reality. Using manually operated machines, Muruganantham’s microbusiness model is focused on something more important than profits: providing sustainable employment, hygiene and emancipation to women who would otherwise go without. He’s a man with a million-dollar idea—except money has nothing to do with it. His goal is to make a livelihood, not to accumulate wealth; to operate at a human scale, not a multinational one. Menstrual Man is the inspiring story of a hero who rises above poverty and a lack of education to become a superstar social entrepreneur in the business of breaking cultural taboos and re-inventing the economic pyramid. 

Film website

2012 The Guardian article

2018 The Guardian article

**Please read about Menstrual Man before deciding. While it can be a bit challenging, it is an important story that touches on the plight of a large percentage of women in the world. The main subject is charming, funny and smart, and his motivation and philosophy to aid women in the personal and business sense can only be admired. It will inform and enlighten a too often overlooked subject.



  • Canada
  • 44
  • STC
  • Sonia Bonspille-Boileau

The Oka Legacy examines how the 78-day Oka Crisis transformed Indigenous identity in Canada. Seen partly through Mohawk filmmaker Sonia Bonspille-Boileau’s own personal journey, the film also retraces the events that took place in her hometown of Kanehsatake in 1990 by talking with people who lived through the events firsthand, such as Kanehsatake residents Clifton Nicholas and Waneek Horn-Miller, as well as with those who overcame grief, such as Francine Lemay whose brother Marcel died during the crisis. The film also features Indigenous community activists, such as Melissa Mollen-Dupuis, who were inspired to do great things in other parts of the country after the events of 1990. These compelling characters recount their own personal Oka Crisis stories, reflecting on what Oka’s legacy is—and what it should be.

Sonita 1120


  • Iran, Germany, Switzerland
  • 90
  • STC
  • Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

In English & Farsi, with English subtitles

Eighteen-year-old Sonita is an Afghan refugee in Iran, a passionate music lover in a culture where women are forbidden to sing. When she attempts to launch a career as a rapper, her conservative family intervenes. Desperate for money and shocked by her musical aspirations, they summon her back to Afghanistan to be sold into an arranged marriage. Creative ambition must overcome oppressive tradition in this powerful and inspirational film. When director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami takes Sonita on a suspenseful cross-border journey in pursuit of a U.S. scholarship, this charismatic young woman must learn to defy her family's expectations and channel her frustrations into rousing song. Winner of an Audience Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Sonita is a soaring portrait of an extraordinary young woman discovering the power of her voice.

soundtrack for a revolution 2 4 1


  • USA, France, UK
  • 82
  • STC
  • Bill Guttentag

Tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music - the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. Features new performances of the freedom songs by top artists; archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders. Freedom songs evolved from slave chants, from the labor movement, and especially from the black church. Music enabled blacks to sing words they could not say, and it was crucial in helping the protesters as they faced down brutal aggression with dignity and non-violence. The infectious energy of the songs swept people up and empowered them to fight for their rights. This film celebrates the vitality of this music.

What Lies Upstream 2


  • USA
  • 60
  • STC
  • Cullen Hoback

What begins as a few cases of smelly tap water in West Virginia quickly streams into a stinking tide of unprecedented failure to protect America’s drinking water in filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s latest exposé. On the heels of his unsettling look at the deterioration of privacy in Terms and Conditions, he turns his investigative focus to the increasingly private interests that control public water. Hoback’s dogged research turns up jaw-dropping disregard for science and human safety from chemical companies. But as the crisis in Flint, Michigan, deepens he arrives at more damning sources of contamination: the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control. The very regulatory agencies and government officials sworn to safeguard the country’s most vital resource may now be as corrosive as the chemicals poisoning the public. Provocative and scandalous, What Lies Upstream is a social justice watershed.

Film website


During the 2018 Docs For Schools Teacher Conference, we welcomed filmmaker Michelle Latimer who shared her story and screened two films: Standing Rock, Part 1 and The Urban Rez from the award-winning Vice series Rise.

Vice has provided access to three films from this series via an online link and password. DVD format is not available.

On March 22, the booking link will appear here.

After completing the form, you will receive the link and password the week of April 9. The link will stay active until May 6.

Note: There is no limit to bookings, and these film do not count toward your maximum of seven in-screening films. Due to the last-minute nature of this opportunity, there will be no education packages.


Standing Rock, Part 1 (44 min)
Sacred Water: The people of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation of North and South Dakota fight to stop a pipeline from being built on their ancestral homeland.

Standing Rock, Part 2 (44 min)
Red Power: Over 5,000 Red Power warriors have descended on Standing Rock camp to stand in solidarity and protect tribal burial sites from the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Urban Rez (44 min)
Canada’s largest Urban Rez takes back the streets, battling the intergenerational effect of residential schools, poverty, high crime and violence directed at girls and women. TRAILER

Lead Sponsor

  • Lead Sponsor

Exclusive Education Partner

  • Exclusive Education Partner

Supported By

  • Supported By
  • Supported By

Additional support is provided by The Andy and Beth Burgess Family Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation, The S. M. Blair Family Foundation and through contributions by individual donors.

All >

Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Signature Partner

  • logo documentary-Channel

Presenting Partners

  • logo Bell-Media
  • logo Netflix
  • logo Rogers
  • Logo Samsung

Major Supporters

  • logo Celebrate-Ontario
  • logo telefilm