The schedule and list of titles for Hot Docs 2012 was announced today. Hot Docs, Toronto’s weeklong non-fiction showcase, is North America’s largest festival and market for documentary filmmaking. Hot Docs has 189 titles slated to screen and has selected Alison Klayman's Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry to open the festival after its success at Sundance. Also among the film selections are the James Franco doc Francophrenia; Marley, the Bob Marley film by Kevin Macdonald; and Detropia, a portrait of Detroit in decay by the directors of the Oscar-nominated Jesus Camp. As you can see, I’m often keen on docs that explore questions of culture and celebrity, so one film that I’m particularly hoping to see is Despite the Gods, which shows the making of a Hollywood/Bollywood action film and is described as an “unforgiving behind-the-scenes look at Jennifer Lynch’s disastrous return to filmmaking after a 15-year hiatus.” I’m also always on the lookout for good Canadian docs. Among the Made in Canada titles in the festival are Theo Fleury: Playing with Fire; The Final Member, which chronicles the quest to add a human specimen to Iceland’s “penis museum”; and 5 new films from the National Film Board: The Mystery ofMazo de la Roche, Petra's Poem, Legend of a Warrior, Who Cares? and The Boxing Girls of Kabul.
I attended Hot Docs for the first time last year and saw some great stuff. I hope to attend more at the festival this year now that school will be out of the way and offer better coverage, too. One great thing about the festival, for anyone who needs a final selling point, is that all screenings before 6 pm are FREE for students (with valid ID) and seniors (60+), courtesy of Scotia Bank. Hot Docs also has a new home in the Bloor Cinema, which is located near Bathurst Station in the Annex. The theatre serves as home base/box office during the festival, but also offers alternative film fare throughout the rest of the year.
All titles and showtimes for Hot Docs 12 can be found here. The festival runs from April 26- May 6 (ie: just when school is out), so I look forward to seeing these films, chatting with festivalgoers in the lines, and following the word on the tweet for #hotdocs12! See you there!