We’ve got our passes and our program guide and we’re ready to doc!
Hot Docs (the Canadian International Documentary Festival) kicks off tonight with POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold . This is the much talked about new film by director Morgan Spurlock (famous for his Oscar nominated Super Size Me doc in which he ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days)
There are nearly 200 documentaries from across the globe with topics as varied as Toronto’s diverse population.
It can be a little overwhelming trying to decide what to check out but that is also the fun part.
What makes festivals such as Hot Docs so great is that they are extremely social events. As you wait in line to pick up a program guide or to purchase tickets or grab a coffee, you naturally end up getting into a conversation about what’s on people’s “must see” radar.
Of course everyone has their opinions.
To make it a bit easier we’re including links to the TOP PICKS as selected by Toronto film writers:
and the Toronto Star
Among the Hot Docs selection are 4 Polish films (2 features and 2 shorts) and we’re thrilled to say that both feature films have made the Toronto Star’s TOP 10 Festival picks. They are:
At the Edge of Russia (Dir. Michal Marczak)
Synopsis: Hundreds of miles from the nearest town or tree, a smooth-faced young recruit arrives at his Arctic post. Here, etched somewhere into the endless white, is a border. The boy, Aleksey, joins five men, together charged with the absurd task of patrolling the invisible border for invisible enemies.
Through a crisp and unblinking lens, we watch as the gruff old soldiers, each a refugee from civilization in his own way, initiate the boy into their rigorous daily life. It’s a cold, hard routine, the discipline broken only by the occasional vodka and sad song.
Polish director Michal Marczak has assembled a formidable cast of characters in this breathtaking debut, both delicate and bold. At the Edge of Russia is a metaphorical portrait of a crumbled empire whose diligent men still busy themselves tracing meaning in the infinite white. Hot Docs
Sat, April 30 – 6:30pm, Cumberland 2
Tue, May 3 – 1:15 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Fri, May 6 – 7pm, Cumberland 2
Phnom Penh Lullaby (Dir. Pawel Kloc)
Synopsis: Among the many films that will spark discussion and debate in this year’s Festival is this intimate portrayal of the dysfunctional, sometimes disturbing, relationship between an alcoholic woman and her Israeli partner living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
She wants to get married and go to Israel, but he wants a new life, love and acceptance. Living on the margins, earning money by telling tourists’ fortunes, this fraught couple is also raising two young daughters. Drugs, crime and prostitution form the backdrop of their daily existence.
With his first feature, Polish director Pawel Kloc has chosen risky material and a potentially problematic approach. Yet the result is a gripping, formidable character drama with a climax as compelling and heartbreaking as any film this year, non-fiction or not. Hot Docs
Mon, May 2 – 9:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Wed, May 4 – 4pm, Cumberland 2
Sun, May 8 – 5:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
We’ll be running a contest for Hot Docs tickets so tune back for details.