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culture

Hot Docs Daily: Marley, Indie Game: The Movie, Legend of a Warrior

What to see today at Hot Docs.

We begin today’s installment of Hot Docs Daily with a reminder that all of the festival’s pre-6 p.m. screenings are free to students with valid ID.

Why, you ask?

First, because it’s a terrific policy, and, second, because, if you’ve ever laid eyes on the walls of a university dorm, you know that students share a particular fondness for Bob Marley (and Tanya Chalkin’s Kiss).

As such, this afternoon’s Canadian premiere of Marley couldn’t take place at a better time or venue (3:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre, smack in the middle of U of T’s St. George campus). We haven’t yet screened Kevin Macdonald’s authorized biography of the reggae legend, but the film made its U.S. theatrical debut on 4/20 (obviously), and has earned high praise (sorry) from critics. If there’s a slight hitch, it’s that all advance tickets to the much-anticipated screening have already been sold, but at least the rush line is as good a place as any to study for finals.

Video games are another cornerstone of campus culture, and our second recommendation is the best doc on the topic since 2007′s The King of Kong. Where that film looked at a legendary gaming rivalry, Indie Game: The Movie (), from Canadian filmmakers James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot, goes behind the scenes to profile several of the industry’s fastest-rising talents—including the creators of Xbox LIVE Arcade hits Braid, Super Meat Boy, and the recently-released Fez—and to offer compelling evidence that game development deserves to be considered a bona fide art form.

In addition to tonight’s rush-only 9 p.m. screening at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, Indie Game will be simulcast to Cineplex cinemas nationwide. Visit Cineplex’s Hot Dos Live! listings for GTA ticket availability.

Of course, gaming and Bob Marley aren’t beloved by students alone. And in keeping with the widely-accessible subject matter of the above picks, we also recommend this afternoon’s screening of Legend of a Warrior (, 1:30 p.m., The ROM Theatre), which currently tops the standings in the stakes for the Hot Docs audience award. Corey Lee’s film is a diaristic account of his own preparations to quite literally do combat with his daddy issues, as he attempts to mend his distant relationship with his martial artist father.

For our full index of festival reviews, head over to our handy Hot Docs hub.

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