'As outstanding and outspoken as ever:' Hot Docs unveils 25th anniversary lineup
Festival runs April 26-May 6 in Toronto
Hot Docs will showcase "formidable filmmakers" — with 50 per cent of the program comprising work by female filmmakers — as the international documentary festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this spring.
Organizers unveiled on Tuesday the complete list of films slated for its upcoming edition, which takes place April 26 to May 6 in Toronto.
"Formidable filmmakers, in unrelenting pursuit of the truth, are a hallmark of this year's Hot Docs Festival programming," Shane Smith, the festival's director of programming, said in a statement.
"It's exciting to see that documentary storytelling is as outstanding and outspoken as ever, a vital cultural force in connecting us to our world and to each other."
The festival will screen 246 films and 16 interdisciplinary projects — spread out across 14 programs — from more than 50 countries worldwide.
One curated series, entitled the Silence Breakers program, specifically spotlights stories of "brave women speaking up and being heard." Featured films include:
- Netizens, a profile of women fighting back against online harassment,
- Afghan Cycles, about barrier-breaking women training for the women's national cycling team in Afghanistan.
- Yours in Sisterhood, a look at the progress of feminism through a reflection on letters set to Ms. Magazine in the 1970s.
Organizers have expanded the festival's DocX program, which celebrates non-traditional formats. This section will feature virtual reality and interactive experiences, including installations exploring climate change in Greenland, following Indigenous volunteers working to protect the Amazon and a walk through of Jerusalem.
Special guests set to attend the festival include rapper and activist M.I.A.,Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian, and filmmakers Alanis Obomsawin, Morgan Neville, Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker.
Opening night will feature the world premiere of The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution, Maya Gallus' peek into the kitchens of the world's top female chefs.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, organizers will also hold a number of special presentations, including a free, IMAX world premiere screening of the public transit documentary The Trolley at the Ontario Place Cinesphere.