Hot Docs 2015: Live From New York – Bao Nguyen

2015 represents the 40th anniversary of the television landmark comedy sketch series, Saturday Night Live, and Hot Docs was fortunate enough to host the international premiere of Bao Nguyen’s film that takes a look at the culture that surrounded, followed and influenced the show. Nguyen openly admits that this is far from the definitive history…

Hot Docs 2015: The Visit – Dr. Michael Madsen

If alien life landed on our doorstep, would we be ready? Would we know how to handle it? Are there procedures in place? The simulated experience of an alien’s (the audience) arrival on Earth is put up onto the screen by Madsen, as he puts the United Nations in the spotlight, as the only body in the…

Hot Docs 2015: The Nightmare – Rodney Ascher

Eschewing objectivity, or any real investigation into the phenomena and instead focussing on sharing the experience, The Nightmare is quite possibly the first true horror documentary. Director Rodney Ascher sits down and chats with 8 people, Jeff, Ana, Kate, Korinne, Stephen, Chris, Connie and Forrest, people who suffer from the terrifying phenomena of sleep paralysis. I’ve been…

Hot Docs 2015: Deep Web – Alex Winter

Planetary may have been the most important film at the festival in terms of our species and its relation with our tender planet, but Alex Winter’s documentary, Deep Web, brings to the screen the topical, and argumentative subject of internet privacy. The digital frontier is turning into the latest battleground, a wild west shootout, as…

Hot Docs 2015: Journey with Prabhat – Samarth Dixit & Jessica Sadana

Film preservation, and cinematic history are a huge part of Western culture, as we restore, and catalogue our seemingly endless collection of films, so I was rather interested to see how things played out in other countries. Prabhat Studios was a big and well-recognized Indian studio when talkies came along. After that, though it fell…

Hot Docs 2015: Planetary – Guy Reid

Yesterday morning, I sat down and watched perhaps the singularly most important film that is screening at Hot Docs this year, and if you’re not in Toronto, you can track down this film online, as it was released internationally on Earth Day. Over the past century, man has advanced and for the first time, he…

Hot Docs 2015: (T)error – David Felix Sutcliffe and Lyric R. Cabral 

Screening tonight at the Lightbox at 9:45pm is this thriller of a documentary, that pulls the curtain back from the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts within the continental United States and the revelation that it isn’t all as above-board and by the book as the public would like to believe. Saeed, alias Shariff, an ex-con has been working…

Hot Docs 2015: Tuk-Tuk – Romany Saad 

Screening today at the Scotiabank theatre at 9:15 is this vibrant and intriguing look at the streets of Cairo, through the eyes of three young boys. Bika, Abdullah and Sharon are young, energetic, and hardworking, driving their motorized rickshaws, tuk-tuks, through the busy back streets and throughways of the city. Definitely not old enough to…