Hot Docs Announces First Titles for #HotDocs14!

Sacra Gra
The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, aka Hot Docs, has announced the first 14 titles in the Special Presentations programme for #HotDocs14. Included among the films are Sacra Gra, last year’s Golden Lion winner from the Venice Film Festival; Return to Homs, a Grand Jury Prize winner for World Cinema at Sundance; and Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger from Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger. The forst wave of title included one Canadian film, Igal Hecht’s The Sheik, although more local content can be expected in the next rounds of programming announcements. Hot Docs runs April 24 – May 4.

The first films in the line-up are:

Children 404
Dir. Askold Kurov, Pavel Loparev | Russia | 70 min | World Premiere
An intimate firsthand account of how Russian’s LGBT youth have become defenseless after President Vladimir Putin passed a law forbidding “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.”

A Dangerous Game
Dir. Anthony Baxter | UK | 90 min | World Premiere
In this explosive tale, everyday heroes battle against Donald Trump and a cast of greedy Goliaths who want to turn some of the earth’s most precious places into golf courses for the super-rich.

Dir. Victor Kossakovsky, 32 film students VVAA | Russia, Spain | 70 min | Canadian Premiere
Legendary director Victor Kossakovsky sends 32 film students to document Barcelona’s massive and violent anti-austerity street protest in 2012. Set to an operatic score, his stunning collage transforms into a brilliant crowd-sourced street ballet.

Everyday Rebellion
Dir. Arash T. Riahi, Arman T. Riahi | Austria, Switzerland, Germany | 118 min | Canadian Premiere
What do topless Ukrainian women, Syrian dissidents and Wall Street Occupiers have in common? A colourful new tactic—creative non-violent protest. See why and how modern pacifism is winning in this slick tribute to disobedience.

The Great Invisible
Dir. Margaret Brown | USA | Canadian Premiere
With unprecedented access, this comprehensive documentary utilizes an investigative eye and a humanizing touch to examine the causes and impacts of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
Dir. Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina | USA | 85 min | World Premiere
With an incredible archive of home videos, the story of Caroll Spinney reveals how a big heart and unstoppable talent created two of the world’s most beloved Muppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

Mission Blue
Dir. Robert Nixon, Fisher Stevens | USA | 95 min | Canadian Premiere
The trailblazing career of internationally renowned oceanographer and eco-activist Sylvia Earle is celebrated in this beautifully shot testament to her passionate commitment to saving the world’s oceans and its imperiled inhabitants.

Point and Shoot
Dir. Marshall Curry | USA | 82 min | International Premiere
Baltimore native Matthew VanDyke shares extraordinary visual tales of his adventures motorcycling across the Middle East—including when he joins forces with Libyan rebels to oust Muammar Gaddafi, is captured and held in solitary confinement for six months.

Return to Homs
Dir. Talal Derki | Syria, Germany | 87 min | Canadian Premiere
Filmed over the course of two years, Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-winner Return to Homs takes us into the lives of two friends caught in the middle of the raging civil war in Syria.

Rich Hill
Dir. Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos | USA | 92 min | International Premiere
In a small rural town, three young residents find themselves dreaming big but living small in this achingly beautiful, Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning depiction of adolescence.

Sacro Gra
Dir. Gianfranco Rosi | Italy, France | 2013 | 93 min | Canadian Premiere
Following the stories and endeavours of citizens living and working along the giant ring road that encircles Rome, this Venice Golden Lion winner paints an enchanting portrait of everyday moments in The Eternal City.

The Sheik
Dir. Igal Hecht | Canada | 95 min | World Premiere
Every hero needs a villain. Without the Iron Sheik there could be no Hulkamania. Khosrow Vaziri’s transformation from Olympic wrestler to American pop culture icon is a personal and emotional tale that will “make you humble.”

Ukraine is not a Brothel
Dir. Kitty Green | Australia, Ukraine | 80 min | Canadian Premiere
Ukraine’s gorgeous group of topless feminist activists, FEMEN, take off their shirts to take on their government, exposing gender inequality and government corruption through their provocative public protests.

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
Dir. Joe Berlinger | USA | 90 min | Canadian Premiere
Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger strips away the myths surrounding infamous Boston gangster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger, exposing the truth behind his criminal empire and revealing shocking new allegations of government corruption and complicity.

Please visit www.hotdocs.ca for more info on this year's festival.