Randy Bachman and M.I.A. Headline Hot Docs Guests

Randy Bachman in Bachman


By Pat Mullen

The red carpet is ready to roll out as soon as the snow melts. Hot Docs announced today the list of guest subjects slated to attend this year’s festival. Among the big names coming to Hot Docs are musicians Randy Bachman and M.I.A. for their films Bachman and Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. Another highlight on the music front is Jack Morris, son of Appalachian singer David Morris who composed the music for Barbara Kopple’s 1976 Oscar winner Harlan County, USA. Morris will perform at the retrospective screening of the film, which is celebrated for its use of folk music to empower the miners on strike. Morris will be joined at the screening by Bernie Aronson, assistant to the president of the United Mine Workers of America. Kopple is this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award recipient.

Other notables include, but are not limited to, comedian/former Late Show with David Letterman writer Steve Young, guide to the hilarious Bathtubs Over Broadway, and Scott Jones, a Nova Scotia musician whose life was altered in a violent attack and is the subject of the NFB doc Love, Scott. Additional guests on the Canadian front include transgender bodybuilder Janae Croc of Transformer, Martina and Tania Halik who share their story of trekking from Vancouver to Alaska in This Mountain Life, activist Laila Haidari whose mission to help Afghans afflicted with heroine addiction is chronicled in Laila at the Bridge, and TV lovers Jeff Knoll, Kaily Russell, Dorothy Swanson and Pat Murphy who share their experiences fighting to save quality TV shows in Michael Sparaga’s United We Fan.

These guests join the previously announced Scotiabank Big Ideas screening guests Carrie Goldberg and Anita Sarkeesian of Netizens and Dr. Junlei Li, co-director of the Fred Rogers Center, for Won’t You Be My Neighbour?. 215 directors will be in attendance at the Festival to introduce their films and participate in post-screening audience Q&As.

Today’s guest list is as follows:

Mark Potok from Alt-Right: Age of Rage (D: Adam Bhala Lough | USA | 2018 | 104 min)– Award-winning journalist known nationally for his more than 40 years of reporting on radical right in the Pacific Northwest.

Georg Friedrich Haas and Mollena Williams-Haas from The Artist and the Pervert (D: Beatrice Behn, René Gebhardt | Germany | 2018 | 96 min) – Composer Georg and kink educator Mollena are in a relationship that explores race, sexuality, politics and power relations through BDSM and a master/slave power dynamic.

Randy Bachman from Bachman (D: John Barnard | Canada | 2018 | 80 min) – Canadian rock legend from The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Steve Young from Bathtubs Over Broadway (D: Dava Whisenant | USA | 2018 | 87 min) – Writer for The Late Show with David Letterman who discovered the lost industrial musical and has made it his life’s mission to unearth all its rare and obscure albums.

Mark Sargent, Patricia Steere and Tim Urban from Behind the Curve (D: Daniel J. Clark | USA | 2018 | 96 min) – Mark and Patricia are members of the Flat Earth Society; Tim is the co-founder of popular science blog Wait But Why who presents evidence disputing flat-earthers featured in the film.

Eric Butler, Betsye Steele and Tre Thomas from Circles (D: Cassidy Friedman | USA | 2018 | 82 min) – Eric is a restorative justice counselor who enforces his no-nonsense approach to counselling vulnerable Black and Latino teenagers at Ralphe J. Bunche Academy in Oakland, California. Tre is his son, and Betsye is the principal of Ralphe J. Bunche Academy.

Dr. Sarah T. Roberts from The Cleaners (D: Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck | Germany, Brazil | 2018 | 88 min) – Assistant Professor of Information Studies at UCLA who is an expert on internet culture, social media and the intersection of media and technology.

Christina Abraham from The Feeling of Being Watched (D: Assia Boundaoui | USA | 2018 | 87 min) – Attorney representing subjects of FBI surveillance in the film.

Dotsie Bausch, Patrik Baboumian, Kendrick Farris, Mischa Janiec and James Wilks from The Game Changers (D: Louie Psihoyos | USA, Canada | 2018 | 88 min) – Vegan athletes: Dotsie is an eight-time US national cycling champion, Patrik is a world-record holding strongman, Kendrick is a record-holding weightlifter, Mischa is a professional bodybuilder and James is an elite special forces trainer and winner of The Ultimate Fighter.

Delayne Medoff from Grandmother and Me (D: Kat Cole | USA | 2017 | 7 min) – A transman who alters his voice and appearance when visiting his grandmother.

Richard and Terri Black, and Terry Williams from The Guardians (D: Billie Mintz | Canada | 2017 | 104 min) – Family members fighting against the state-appointed guardianship of their loved ones in Nevada.

Bernie Aronson and Jack Morris from Harlan County, USA (D: Barbara Kopple | USA | 1976 | 104 min) – A film about labor tension in the coal-mining industry, Bernie was assistant to the president of the United Mine Workers of America; Jack is the son of Appalachian singer David Morris who composed the music for the film and will perform music from the film following the screening.

Eva, Søren, Frederik and Alexander Einshøj from Haunted (D: Christian Einshøj | Denmark | 2018 | 30 min) – A mother who claims to have encountered a ghost outside of her son’s childhood bedroom, two of her children and their father.

Suzanne Barr, Amanda Cohen and Anita Lo from The Heat: A Kitchen ®evolution (D: Maya Gallus | Canada | 2018 | 75 min) – Renowned female chefs: Suzanne was the owner and chef behind Leslieville’s Saturday Dinette, Amanda is chef and owner of Dirt Candy in New York and Anita is co-founder of Rickshaw, Bar Q and Annisa in New York.

Laila Haidari from Laila at the Bridge (D: Elizabeth Mirzaei, Gulistan Mirzaei | Canada, Afghanistan | 2017 | 96 min) – An Afghan woman who has made it her mission to provide much-needed treatment and housing to those addicted to heroin in Afghanistan.

Elif, Dara and Sadia from I Used to Be Normal (D: Jessica Leski | Australia | 2017 | 96 min) – Grown-up fans of popular boybands including One Direction, Backstreet Boys, Take That and The Beatles.

Julie Keith from Letter from Massanjia (D: Leon Lee | Canada | 2018 | 76 min) – A woman who found a letter from a prisoner in a Chinese labour camp in a box of Halloween decorations.

Cara Jones, Scott Jones, Sherise Jones and Lois Waugh from Love, Scott (D: Laura Marie Wayne | Canada | 2018 | 76 min) – Scott is a Nova Scotian musician injured in a violent attack, joined by his sisters Cara and Sherise, and his mother Lois.

M.I.A. from Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. (D: Steve Loveridge | USA | 2018 | 97 min) – Grammy Award nominated British rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer and activist. M.I.A. will be in attendance at the Big Ideas screening on Wednesday, May 2, which has gone Rush, and at a special community screening at the Cineplex Cinemas Scarborough on Thursday, May 3, with tickets still available.

Sarah Ratley from Mercury 13 (D: David Sington, Heather Walsh | Ireland | 2018 | 80 min) – One of the Mercury 13, NASA’s first female astronaut training program.

Mr. Fish from Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End (D: Pablo Bryant | USA | 2017 | 70 min) – Widely published American editorial cartoonist who consistently challenges the First Amendment with his brutally honest cartoons.

Carrie Goldberg and Anita Sarkeesian from Netizens (D: Cynthia Lowen | USA | 2018 | 97 min) – Anita is the founder of Feminist Frequency, a not-for-profit educational organization that analyzes modern media’s relationship to societal issues such as gender, race, and sexuality; Carrie is a victims’ rights attorney featured in the film.

Norman MacArthur and William Novak The Night of All Nights (D: Yasemin Şamdereli | Germany | 2018 | 96 min) – Couple featured in the film who’ve been married for over 50 years and reflect on their relationship and share secrets for long-lasting love.

Alexandru Duru from Omni: an act of gravity (D: Bogdan Stoica | Canada | 2017 | 80 min) – Montreal engineer who invented a hoverboard and tried to achieve a Guinness World Record.

Jason Vandenberghe from Playing Hard (D: Jean-Simon Chartier | Canada, USA | 2018 | 90 min) – Creator of the video game For Honor which Ubisoft, one of the world’s biggest gaming studios, developed.

Brandilyn Haight and Steve Marshall from Siblings (D: Audrey Gordon | France | 2017 | 63 min) – Brandilyn is young woman reunited with her sibling at an annual summer camp for siblings living in foster care with different families; Steve is her adoptive grandfather.

Justa Montero and Jose Maria “Chato” Galante from The Silence of Others (D: Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar | Spain | 2018 | 96 min) – Sufferers of human rights violations during Francoist Spain, Justa is co-founder of the Feminist Assembly of Madrid and Chato is Spokesperson for the Platform in Support of the Argentina Lawsuit (CEAQUA).

Martina and Tania Halik from This Mountain Life (D: Grant Baldwin | Canada | 2018 | 77 min) – Mother-daughter mountain climbers who embarked on a six-month trek through the treacherous Coast Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges of western North America.

Janae Kroczaleski from Transformer (D: Michael Del Monte | Canada | 2017 | 78 min) – A transwoman and a former competitive bodybuilder.

Reggie Brown from United Skates (D: Dyana Winkler, Tina Brown | USA | 2018 | 86 min) – Roller rink skater who fights to save roller rinks and the subculture of dance skating, which have provided the Black community with a safe space for family and tradition for decades, before they disappear for good.

Jeff Knoll, Kaily Russell, Dorothy Swanson and Pat Murphy from United We Fan (D: Michael Sparaga | Canada | 2018 | 97 min) – All fighting to get their favourite cancelled TV shows back on the air: Jeff Knoll is one of the leaders of the Jericho campaign and a current Oakville, ON, city councillor; Kaily Russell is fighting for Person of Interest; Dorothy is the founder and Pat is the co-founder of Viewers for Quality Television.

Madonna Thunder Hawk from Warrior Women (D: Christina D. King, Elizabeth A. Castle | USA | 2018 | 67 min) – Lakota activist and community organizer who has spent years tirelessly fighting for the civil rights of Indigenous people.

Junlei Li from Won’t You Be My Neighbour? (D: Morgan Neville | USA | 2018 | 93 min) – Dr. Junlei Li, co-director of the Fred Rogers Center, which supports the development of current and emerging leaders in the fields of early learning and children’s media.

Vixen Vu and Malcolm Lovejoy from WORK (D: Claire Allore | Canada | 2017 | 11 min | World Premiere) – Vixen is a webcam girl and Malcolm is a porn star who share their experiences in the sex industry in this film and discuss the emotional labour involved in their work.