Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival 2014

Hot Docs 2014: Mateo Review

Mateo Next Matthew Stoneman doesn’t look like much until you hear him sing.  Riding his very unique gimmick of being “America’s First Gringo Mariachi Singer”, he puts in the hours to attain success and stardom.  An ex-con who ended up falling in love with music, he saves every nickel that he has in order to […]

Hot Docs 2014: Joy of Man’s Desiring Review

Joy of Man’s Desiring Canadian Spectrum Not a documentary in the strictest sense of the word, the latest film from consistently intriguing filmmaker Denis Côté asks if one can truly understand the depression, anxiety, and mindset of every day labourers without ever actually seeing their work? Can one understand a fiction without understanding the truth, […]

Hot Docs 2014: Mad as Hell Review

Mad As Hell Next Mad As Hell profiles a charismatic media personality that doubles as a portrait of the current friction between traditional broadcast media and online video services, painted with the familiar colours of the American political landscape. Cenk Uyger, otherwise known as The Young Turk, dodges a career in law to start a […]

Hot Docs 2014: Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere Review

Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere Mystery, Myth, and Legend Easily one of the most unique movies screening at this year’s Hot Docs, Dave Janetta’s Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere initially presents itself as being about a murder mystery, but gradually transforms into a portrait of the community […]

Hot Docs 2014: Love & Engineering Review

Love & Engineering Love, Factually Atanas, a married Bulgarian engineer living in Finland, is convinced he can find a perfect mate via a computer hack.  Working under the premise that love is something to be “hacked” he sets out with his engineer friends trying to help them find love. Throughout the entire process of their […]

Hot Docs 2014: Life After Death Review

Life After Death World Showcase A thoughtful and darkly comedic look at how the generosity of the religious can be taken advantage of, Life After Death goes to Kigali, Rwanda to look at one young man who might not be walking the righteous path he says he’s following. Kwasa, a young man in his 20s, […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Joe Show Review

The Joe Show World Showcase Joe Arpaio is a pretty horrible person, but he’s also a famous person so he gets away with a lot. The self-appointed toughest sheriff of America turned a job in public office into a vehicle for superstardom. In the early 2000s, he started pulling ridiculous stunts like forcing prisoners to […]

Hot Docs 2014: I’ve Seen the Unicorn Review

I’ve Seen the Unicorn Canadian Spectrum In Mauritius, an island remnant of the UK colonies, there are three things in life that matter: beaches, fishing, and horse racing.  Young Alvinio dreams of becoming a champion jockey in a country where long after the former regime left power horse racing remained the primary socially unifying point […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz Review

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz Special Presentation/Opening Night Gala/Scotiabank Big Ideas A major disappointment not only for the opening night film, but also for filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, whose previous We Are Legion was one of the festival’s biggest surprises a couple of years ago. Knappenberger returns to chronicling internet culture with […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Immortalists Review

The Immortalists World Showcase The Immortalists follows Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews, two very different biologists who share the same goal: reversing the aging process. While their common objective does cause their paths to intersect from time to time, they’re not on the same journey. As a result, the film lacks focus, delving into […]

Hot Docs 2014: I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story Review

I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story Special Presentation/Scotiabank Big Ideas Series One of the most emotionally effective performing arts docs that’s ever been made finds former Hot Docs volunteers turned filmmakers Chad Walker and Dave LaMattina looking at the kind, loving, and sometimes tragically depressed man in the full body suit of one […]

Hot Docs 2014: Hotline Review

Hotline World Showcase Hotline is an emotionally charged and often funny window into the lives of the voices on the other end of the phone line. Filled with interesting people it dodges the pitfall of becoming overly voyeuristic. The few times that actual phone recordings of hotline clients are used, they fit well thematically and […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Homestretch Review

The Homestretch World Showcase One of the best films to ever be made about the stigma of homelessness, Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly’s transcendent, thoroughly objective, look at three Chicago teens forced to grow up too fast is heartbreaking and inspiring in equal measure without manipulation of the audience. It belongs to be talked […]

Hot Docs 2014: Harmontown Review

Harmontown Nightvision/Special Events Community creator Dan Harmon is one of those dangerous talents that mama always warned you about. He’s clearly a funny man and maybe even a bit of a genius. However, he’s also incredibly self-destructive in ways that doesn’t exactly define a good person. If you heard about his public scruff up with […]

Hot Docs 2014: Guidelines Review

Guidelines Canadian Spectrum Jean-François Caissy spends time with some of the troublemakers at a rural Quebec high school over the course of a full calendar year in this strictly observational look at largely at risk kids in a community with precious little to do outside of smoking dope, doing burnouts on wooden bridges, and attempting […]