Hot Docs Festival 2018 in Toronto: Preview

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Flynn McGarry in Chef Flynn
Flynn McGarry in Chef Flynn

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2018 takes place Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, May 6, 2018 at various Toronto venues. It’s a great opportunity to see a wide range of documentaries that you wouldn’t otherwise have exposure to. Some of the venues hosting the festival include the Aga Khan Museum, Cinesphere, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Hart House Theatre, Innis Town Hall, Fox Theatre, Isabel Bader Theatre, The Revue and Scotiabank Theatre Toronto. We’ve highlighted a few of the fascinating documentaries appearing at this year’s Hot Docs Festival:

The Artist and the Pervert, directed by Beatrice Behn and René Gebhardt

The Artist and the Pervert is an important film that unabashedly presents the beautiful and creative partnership between Austrian composer Georg Haas and Body-Positive Activist Mollena Williams-Haas, and their master-slave sexual relationship. Directors Behn and Gebhardt do an exceptional job of raising the difficult questions of race, gender, and power without ever relying on the crude, vulgar, or sensational. An honest argument for how monumental self-acceptance and openness can be towards building a solid relationship. Audiences are sure to leave questioning their understanding of equality, and that will ultimately be where the film’s true strength shines: igniting necessary conversations. Check out a trailer of The Artist and the Pervert here:

The Artist and the Pervert will be screened on Fri., April 27, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 3, on Sun., Apr. 29, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. at Hart House Theatre and on Fri., May 4, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Hart House Theatre.

The Heat, directed by Maya Gallus

The Heat is an introduction into the difficulties faced by women in the restaurant industry. Female chefs in New York City, Toronto, and internationally, and many of whom are Michelin recognized, open up about their experiences navigating and coping with the fart-boy culture that perpetuates in the industry today with a one-sided call for change. Honest interviews have some female chefs admitting to their role in conforming to the system, while others express exhaustion over the many years of endless struggle. This film’s strength is what sets it apart: only women recounting their personal stories. No fluff, filler, or excuses.

The Heat: A Kitchen ( R ) Evolution will be screen on Thurs., April 26, 2018 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, on Sat., Apr. 28, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 and on Sun., May 6, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. at Isabel Bader Theatre.

The Cleaners will be screened at the Hot Docs Festival 2018 in Toronto.
The Cleaners will be screened at the Hot Docs Festival 2018 in Toronto.

The Cleaners, directed by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck

The Cleaners is a very disturbing look at the little-known jobs of content moderators of the large social media platforms. Most of this work is contracted out to third party companies operating in the Philippines. The documentary profiles several of the content moderators – one former content moderator and some who have surreptitiously agreed to be interviewed – and the stringent rules by which they must abide when determining whether content is appropriate for the platform. The documentary raises critical moral and ethical questions about the soul-destroying nature of the content moderators’ work. Every user of social media should see The Cleaners.

The Cleaners will be screened on Mon., April 30, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema and on Wed., May 2, 2018 at 2:45 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 3 and on Fri., May 4, 2018 at 9 p.m. at the Revue Cinema.



Take Light, directed by Shasha Nakhai

Toronto-based filmmaker Shasha Nakhai’s Take Light is about the power supply and electrical grid crises that has plagued Nigeria for decades. Having grown-up in the African nation, Nakhai’s people-first narrative focuses on the daily struggles of residents, desperate hospital employees, and the electricians fighting to feed their own families despite regularly getting caught in the crossfires of angry locals. Nakhai presents the cat-and-mouse reality of the situation on ground level without bias, and reminds viewers that ingenuity and survival instinct can carry people further than misguided hope in the empty promises of corrupt politicians.

Take Light will be screened on Fri., April 27, 2018 at 6:45 p.m. at Hart House Theatre and on Tues., May 1, 2018 at 3:15 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 3 and on Thurs., May 3, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 3.

Flynn McGarry in Chef Flynn
Flynn McGarry in Chef Flynn

Chef Flynn, directed by Cameron Yates

Chef Flynn uses home video to map out the rise to culinary stardom of Chef Flynn McGarry, who in 2014 held a pop-up dinner in New York City, at age 15. The film focuses on the drive and dedication of an exceptional mind, but ultimately explores the concept of nature v. nurture: Is McGarry’s filmmaker mother responsible for her son’s trajectory, or is she simply the fully supportive mom a creative mind needs to thrive to its full potential? A wonderfully candid exploration into family dynamics, the high pressure fine dining world, and the new terrain of professional development.

Chef Flynn will be screened on Sat., April 28, 2018 at 6:45 p.m. at Isabel Bader Theatre and on Sun., Apr. 29, 2018 at 10:45 a.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 and on Sat., May 5, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. at Isabel Bader Theatre.

Janae in her basement gym in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Janae in her basement gym in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Transformer, directed by Michael Del Monte

Matthew Kroczaleski was a world-class powerlifter and bodybuilder, a Marine, a pharmacist and father of three sons. Transformer documents the back-and-forth transition of Matthew to Janae and the difficulty in leaving his male body behind – a body that defined him through its size, strength and ability to shield him from pain. The extremely likable Matthew/Janae may not have the support of his parents, but his sons are completely devoted to their father, no matter which gender s/he chooses. Del Monte presents a sensitive, unsensational look at the enormous challenges of living as gender fluid in a binary world.

Transformer will be screened on Fri., April 27, 2018 at 6 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre 3 and on Sun., Apr. 29, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre 3 and on Thurs., May 3, 2018 at 8:15 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre 13.

Tickets for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival 2018

Regular tickets are $17 per film; Premium tickets are $22-$24.

Purchase tickets for the Hot Docs Festival at the CraveTV Box Office at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, 506 Bloor Street West, 416-637-3123, email: [email protected]

Free Daytime Screenings courtesy of CBC Docs

Seniors (60+) and students with valid ID can take advantage of free admission to films that start before 5 p.m. Pick up your tickets at the screening venue’s box office on the day of the screening, subject to availability.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Take light sounds really good . I’ve never been to a film festival , would love to go one year .

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