One of the most eagerly awaited festivals of the year, Hot Docs opens tonight with a screening of Act of God (pictured above), Jennifer Baichwal’s contemplation on the effects of being struck by lightning (at the Winter Garden, 6:30 p.m.). It’s followed at 9:30 p.m. by Inside Hana’s Suitcase, a documentary covering the mysterious delivery of a battered suitcase from the Auschwitz museum to the Tokyo Holocaust museum, and the story the suitcase itself holds.
There are over ten days of film to come, however, and we’ll take a look at a few of the hot picks across the festival after the jump—with complete daily coverage starting this Saturday.
Action Boys (Sunday, 9:45 p.m., Innis Town Hall; Monday, 4:15 p.m., Cumberland 2). Co-presented by the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, this film follows Jung Byung-Gil as he auditions for and attends the “Seoul Action School,” training to perform in Korean action films. Sure to be of interest to anyone interested in what goes into working on Asian action flicks!
Best Worst Movie (Tomorrow, 9:45 p.m., Innis Town Hall; Saturday, 11:45 p.m., Bloor Cinema; Sunday, 2 p.m., ROM Theatre). Now, we all know the best worst movie ever is The Room, but if you enjoy something kitschier, few can argue with Troll 2 as a top bad movie pick, and its cult status has now turned the cast members—many of whom probably did their best to forget the whole experience—into unlikely stars. This film follows them as they tour North America, appearing at Troll 2 screenings.
Zombie Girl (Tomorrow, 6:30 p.m., Bloor Cinema; Sunday, 4 p.m., Royal Cinema). A winner at Slamdance, this follows a twelve-year-old girl from Austin, Emily Hagins, as she struggles to complete her directorial debut, the horror film Pathogen. Is this the next American Movie?
The Yes Men Fix the World (Tuesday, 9:15 p.m., Cumberland 3; Thursday, 4:45 p.m., ROM Theatre; tomorrow, 11:45 p.m., Bloor Cinema). Do we like “pranksters” the Yes Men or not? We’re never quite sure if their pranks are funny or pointless, really, but we guess that this documentary, which follows their attempts to basically stir shit up, will make up our minds one way or the other.
Graphic Sexual Horror (Tuesday, 11:59 p.m., Bloor Cinema; Friday May 8, 9:45 p.m., Innis Town Hall). With a title like this you surely know if you want to see it or not already, huh? But this is probably a far more sober look at the rise and fall of a literal “torture porn” website.
There are far more than that on offer (check out Hot Docs’ superbly usable website to investigate their schedule for yourself; cleverly, they also link to any reviews of the films that have been published) and we’ll be continuing to look at the films during the festival, with our own reviews to come of films including Tyson (playing Tuesday, 9:15 p.m. at the Isabel Bader) and We Live in Public (playing Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at the Bloor and next Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Isabel Bader), amongst others, to come.
And don’t forget that Hot Docs is still extremely affordable, with all daytime screenings (before 6 p.m.) free to seniors and students, late night screenings (after 11 p.m.) a mere $5 (and you can see every screening after 11 p.m. for only $10 with an “All-You-Can-Eat Late-Night Pass”!), and a ten-ticket festival pass only $90.