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culture

Hot Docs Daily: The World Before Her; Call Me Kuchu; Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

What to see today at Hot Docs.

For today’s final instalment of Hot Docs daily, we’ve decided to defer in part to the festival’s official juries, who announced their 2012 award winners at a ceremony held on Friday night. The Best Canadian Feature and Best International Feature winners will have encore screenings this evening, and we’re happy to get behind both selections.

In fact, before Nisha Pahuja’s excellent The World Before Her () took Best Canadian Feature honours, we’d already earmarked it for a recommendation. For early birds, the film will still screen as originally planned (11 a.m., at the Isabel Bader Theatre), but this evening’s bonus presentation (6:30 p.m.) is a welcome a option for those who prefer leisurely starts to their Sunday mornings. Either way, Pahuja’s less-than-optimistic look at the position of women in contemporary India is worth working into your plans.

With respect to Best International Feature-winner Call Me Kuchu, we can’t yet offer a first-hand opinion. But this account of gay rights activism in Uganda—a hotbed of vicious, state-sponsored homophobia—has all the makings of a powerful viewing experience. In addition to their Hot Docs jury prize, filmmakers Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright can boast of a Teddy Award from January’s Berlin Film Festival, which clearly bodes well for this evening’s bonus screening (6 p.m., The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema).

Also receiving an encore presentation (6:15 p.m., at the soon-to-be-shuttered Cumberland) is Ariel Nasr’s The Boxing Girls of Kabul (), which claimed Hot Docs’ Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Prize.

Because we were only lukewarm on that film, we’re offering a bonus recommendation of our own: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet (, 4 p.m., TIFF Bell Lightbox 1). Like a heavy-metal counterpart to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jim Vile’s film is the inspiring story of a former guitar prodigy who’s defied all odds to conquer a debilitating (and theoretically fatal) diagnosis.

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

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