There is so much to do in Toronto that it can become pretty overwhelming. Where should I go? Where do I start? Can I find fun things to do that don’t break the bank? Have no fear, let us guide you through our favourite parts of Toronto!
Try This: Hot Docs
Founded in 1993, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. Each year, the festival presents a selection of approximately 200 cutting-edge documentaries from Canada and around the globe.
Their mission is to advance and celebrate the art of documentary, to showcase the work of documentary filmmakers and to facilitate production opportunities.
I was thrilled to be able to see Franca: Chaos and Creation at the Ted Rogers Hot Docs cinema, a documentary revolving around the life of Italian Vogue Editor Franca Sozzani. The film was excellent, and one of many that are currently playing this month. If you like fashion – this is definitely a must see!
I have been a fan of documentary film making for a while, however, I had never attended any Hot Docs events previously (I know, what was I doing?!). I was enthusiastically blown away by my experience. The cinema was massive with both a lower and upper level as well as a quant snack bar. The film played at 2:30 in the afternoon, but there was a keen group of viewers in attendance.
After the film, I had the chance to talk with Alan, the managing director of the cinema, and asked him a few questions about Hot Docs.
sheblogs: How does Hot Docs select the films to screen?
We are looking for films from a broad spectrum of what will appeal to our audience. We know our 5000+ members very well and we want to screen films that provoke them, show great filmmaking, as well as explore important issues that are relevant to the times.
Not only are documentary films played year round, but the Festival that takes place in April showcases the 200 best and newest documentaries from all around the world, grouped into special presentations and themes. This year’s festival will pay tribute to the Gemini Award winning director and producer Maya Gallus, and will have a theme that will focus on Japanese docs.
sheblogs: What one documentary do you suggest that everyone see at least once in their lifetime?
“Harlan County, USA” by Barbara Kopple. It is such a riveting film and is a testament to the importance of documentary film making.
But I wouldn’t miss out on “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” that will be playing at the theatre shortly. This film is also by Barbara Kopple – she and Gigi will be coming into the theatre to talk about the film!
sheblogs: What else should we know about Hot Docs?
For people who have not explored documentary films; fiction is awesome but there is nothing like seeing a great doc – it has the power to change your life. Documentaries are real eye openers that change perspectives on issues. It can be a completely transformative experience and I recommend that everyone try it.
Check out all that Hot Docs has to offer (and hey, some of their films are even FREE! including their new series which features films from countries under Trump’s ban list).
And a free live Oscars viewing on February 26th.
Stay tuned for the full schedule of the Hot Docs Festival in April