#CouchWorthy: Hot Docs Film Festival 2020

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

Originally Hot Docs was to have run from April 30 to May 10. Thankfully Toronto’s excellent documentary film festival is still running in May just in a different format.

Like every film festival, it’s been upended by the coronavirus and was prompted to call an audible.

Notably it is completely online which is great for the documentary filmmakers and documentary film nerds because all that hard work is still recognized and enjoyed and most importantly shared. (What does suck is the lack of parties with those tasty chicken on a stick things. I mean to put the films online that’s easy however all the networking and connections and the panels that equally give a filmmaker a significant career boost are tragically absent. Similar to those delicious chicken on a stick things.)

Hot Docs Details:

$9 per film ($8 for Hot Docs Members)
5-Film Streaming Bundle: $40 ($36 for Hot Docs Members)

“On May 28, the films will be available for streaming unless otherwise indicated. The Festival officially runs until June 6, and many films will remain available for extended post-Festival viewing until June 24.”

Please Note:
“All films are geo-blocked to Ontario. From the moment you start streaming, you have 48 hours to watch your film.” This is like renting a video at Blockbuster. Old School!

So what is CouchWorthy for this year’s Hot Docs festival?

Cane Fire
This documentary demonstrates the film industry’s pattern of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation has negatively impacted Indigenous Hawaiians. Director Anthony Banua-Simon said: “Jeff Chang’s “Who We Be” definitely informed my inquiry on this film.” A Jeff Change influence is worth checking this out.

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Alexandre O. Philippe’s third documentary about movies following 78/52 (focused on Hitchcock’s Psycho) and Memory: The Origins of Alien (all about Ridley Scott’s Alien movie). Happily I spoke to him last time he was in Toronto and over dinner he shared some things about this documentary that make it a must watch. If you dig horror and 70s cinema then this doc will make your head spin in gleee.

There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace
An honest to goodness doc on Honest Ed’s! Wow. I wonder if they’ll cover that time practically everyone in the city pilgrimaged to Honest Ed’s to meet Mr. T. More than just mourning a long-gone Toronto landmark this documentary traces the impact of the community and that connection to the city’s housing crisis. Sounds like a long overdue and honest look at Toronto.

“C3 Church Global is an evangelical Christian movement founded in 1980 in Australia. Today C3 has 520 churches in 64 countries. #BLESSEDdocumentary takes us inside C3 Toronto’s growing congregation of young hipsters exploring what 21st Century salvation for millenials looks like.” What’s fascinating is #Blessed’s director Ali Weinstein is…an atheist. Unique POV or conflict of interest? Either way it’s fun to talk like Bruno Mars: hashtag blessed!

“What does it mean to be safe in school in the United States? Safe from what, and from whom? Bulletproof poses and complicates these questions through a provocative exploration of fear and American violence.” These questions are more pertinent as we figure out what school is supposed to look like moving forward.

And all this is just to start. Oh there’s more…much more.

Sammy Baltic Web

Sammy Younan @ W • T • F

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