Hot Docs Programmers’ Picks: Part 1

The Trial
Courtesy Hot Docs

By Pat Mullen

The countdown is on! Hot Docs quickly approaches with things kicking off April 26th. Where to begin navigating the 230-odd films in the festival? So many stories, so many worthy causes, so many fresh voices—but so little time.

Fortunately, the programmers at Hot Docs have compiled their picks into handy videos to guide festival goers through the line-up. With 11 days of documentaries screening from morning ‘til midnight, you can be guaranteed to find a doc that speaks to whatever mood you’re feeling or whichever corner of the world you feel like visiting at any given moment of the day. From the coolness of Bill Murray to the Machiavellian misogyny of Brazilian politics to the novelty of boyband fandom, the team has you covered.

The biggies: the films programmers can’t stop talking about.

The Hot Docs team says that they couldn’t shut their mouths about Bill Murray: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man (“so unexpectedly inspiring”), the Canadian doc Letter from Masanjia (“I was on the edge of my seat”), and Over the Limit (“an absolutely remarkable behind the scenes look”), among others.

The game changers: Which Film Changed Your Mind?

Shane Smith, head honcho of the Hot Docs programming team, taps Brazilian doc The Trial, hot off its Berlin premiere, for challenging his perception of impeached president Dilma Rousseff, while Ravi Srinivasan says that Maj Doris changed his idea of what a person could accomplish in his or her golden years with its portrait of an aging Sami artist. Aisha Jamal gives a shout-out to the fun Canadian flick United We Fan for delivering subjects who are far more than TV geeks: they have real connections to the characters on the shows they’re trying to save.

Lighten Up: Which Films Made ’em Laugh Out Loud?

Get ready to LOL with Bathtubs Over Broadway! We 100% endorse Myorcia Watamaniuk’s claim that if this movie doesn’t make you laugh, you should “consult a physician because you’re dead inside.” Great docs don’t need to be heavy ones.

Stay tuned for more recommendations!