The last few days I have been ‘hot-docing’ it.
I attended my first documentary film festival in Wellington New Zealand in 2009. In 2012 I experienced Hot Docs in Toronto for the first time and have been going ever since. This festival happens annually in late April/early May and it just celebrated its 25th anniversary this year (2018).
Documentaries and travel are similar. They both help you to see how things really are rather than just the narrow and limited portrayals the media and glossy brochures offer. Through travel and doc films you get access to various places, experiences and perspectives all while getting a glimpse into a different kind of life in another place.
I’ve been on an adventure without leaving the city. A doc film ticket is a budget-friendly alternative to a trip overseas and it still manages to take you on a journey.
Some of my Hot Docs highlights over the years:
- Speed Sisters, Palestinian female race car drivers
- Take Light, the troubled electrical business in Nigeria
- Anote’s Ark, the plight of the sinking islands of Kiribati
- Sugar, an indictment of the sugar industry
- Africville, an interactive presentation of the African-Canadian community of the same name (which no longer exists) in Halifax
If you’re looking for a rainy day activity whilst in Toronto check out the Ted Rogers cinema on Bloor street west, a block east of Bathurst. They show documentary films year-round, some of which have been shown at the festival.