Hot Doc’s World Topping Fest Program Soars Online

Hot Docs has solidified itself as North America’s largest and most important documentary film festival after 28 years and the pandemic means audiences from anywhere can take in the rich festival fare – whenever they want.

Hot Docs Festival
Thursday, Apr. 29 – Sunday, May 9
Stream online anytime during festival dates
$13 (individual films) – $259 (full festival pass)
hotdocs.ca

Hot Docs has solidified itself as North America’s largest and most important documentary film festival after 28 years and the pandemic means audiences from anywhere can take in the rich festival fare – whenever they want.

They are going virtual for the second year with over 200 films, many world premieres, all available anytime on demand during the festival dates. There are no specific screening times. Once a ticket holder hits “Play” they have 48 hours to watch the film. Full program available online Pre-recorded Q&As will also be available. Here are our top picks:

Screenshot from Subjects of Desire

Subjects of Desire

103 minutes

This timely and thought-provoking documentary deconstructs North American beauty standards and digs into the shift towards Black aesthetics and features. Women share their lived experiences and explain that, while their features are seen as desirable, they are favoured on white women.

 

Lukas Graham posing

7 Years of Lukas Graham

77 minutes

Lots of artists sky-rocket to fame seemingly overnight. Danish artist Lukas Graham became one of those after his single “7 Years” earned three Grammy nominations and led to a world tour. But often missing from these success stories is the years of hard work and selfdoubt. This documentary follows Graham’s career from his perspective including his fight to stay grounded amid stardom.

Screenshot from Lady Buds

Lady Buds

93 minutes

The US cannabis industry is full of regulation and deep-pocketed corporations that can make business seemingly impossible for small business owners. Lady Buds follows six diverse and inspiring women trying to pave their way in California’s marijuana market. The documentary honours the history of the cannabis industry, from LGBTQ activists who fought for legalization to social justice movements for individuals victimized by the War on Drugs campaign.

Screenshot from Playing with Sharks

Playing with Sharks

91 minutes

For Valerie Taylor, the phrase “swimming with sharks” has a very literal meaning. A diving legend and conservationist, Taylor has dedicated her life to the preservation of sharks. This documentary compiles film footage spanning 50 years, including the making of Jaws.

Screenshot from Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm

Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm

91 minutes

Even if you haven’t heard of Rockfield Studios, you’ve likely heard of the artists that recorded there. This film interviews rock legends Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne and Liam Gallagher among others to uncover the unlikely story of a small Welsh dairy farm turned recording studio.

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