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A gif animation with a series of the 2024 Hot Docs Festival's graphics with textured face images with text overlay'2024' and 'April 25–May 5'
Just Announced—2024 Festival Full Line-up!
The 2024 Hot Docs Festival's full line-up is officially out! With 168 documentaries from 64 countries and 83 world and international premieres, this year’s Festival will showcase compelling stories of visionary filmmakers and intriguing subjects from Canada and around the world, offering you an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a wide range of topics.

From the opening night screening of Luther: Never Too Much to Big Ideas presented by Scotia Wealth Management to the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, the 31st edition of the Festival will bring you a wide range of programs and events to celebrate the finest documentaries together.

Members' and package holders’ exclusive booking window is now open!

Become a member or buy a 12- or 20-ticket package today and book your must-watch documentaries before single tickets go on sale to the public on April 2.

 Capsule Reviews of Selected Docs:

THE BONES (Canada/Germany 2024) ***½

Directed by Jeremy Xido

Paleontology is the study of ancient life, from dinosaurs to prehistoric plants, mammals, fish, insects, fungi, and even microbes.  For fans of JURASSIC PARK, this is the doc to be watching!   It reveals the true evidence of the world of fossils by traversing the globe alongside paleontologists (one featured in the doc has a role in Spielberg’s JURASSIC PARK) on a quest to unearth dinosaur fossils that may hold the key to save humanity from extinction. It is shown that the bones disappear into the hands of fossil dealers, who stand to make millions by selling them on the open market.  A cinematic adventure that reaches from the Mongolian Gobi Desert to the floor of a Paris auction house, "The Bones" exposes the clash between science, post-colonial reckoning, and hard-nosed capitalism.  Educational inspiration in a field that very few know about.  THE BONES arrives as a special screening at Hot Docs on Friday, May 3rd, 7:30 pm, Scotiabank Theatre 7.





Directed by Pamela Hogan


  THE DAY ICELAND STOOL STILL is October 24, 1975. On this well-planned and orchestrated day, 90 percent of Iceland’s women walked off their jobs and out of their homes.  Fed up with the gaping inequity between the value of women’s labour and women’s wages, female employees, wives and mothers just stopped—stopped working, cooking, cleaning and looking after their children—together on that fall morning.  The country came to an abrupt standstill, but a revolution had begun. Fascinating archives and inspiring animation accompany new interviews with the women and activists who were there that day. Through interviews and archive footage, the film documents the days before, on and after what the women call “Strike Day”.   Like Strike Day, this is a well-documented and orchestrated feel-good film that would have both genders cheering for the victory of women in the workforce which is equivalent to a citron for mankind.  Iceland is at present the country in the world with the most female equality.


DEVI (Nepal/South Korea/UK 2024) ***

Directed by Subina Shrestha


This doc is all about Devi.  The doc follows Devi as she interviews other rape victims and how she copes with her injured past.   In 1997, 17-year-old Devi’s life took a harrowing turn. Arrested during the onset of civil war in Nepal, she was accused of rebellion, subjected to torture, and endured the unimaginable trauma of rape while in custody. Branded a “victim,” Devi faced the weight of social stigma and battled depression and isolation. Her story didn’t end there, however. Devi is an immersive vérité film (the doc plays just as it is, with little or no theatrics or dramatics) that follows her remarkable journey. From joining the rebel frontlines to ascending through the ranks and eventually serving as a member of parliament after the war’s end, Devi defied all odds.  The doc shows how difficult it is to make a change in society where men accept this fate of women.  Devi complains, and with reason that three of her attackers are now serving in Parliament.  How then can there be change?   But with all due respect to DEVI, the doc repeats itself too often with Devi making same complaints again and again.



Directed by Alfredo Pourailly de la Paz


This doc about the father/son relationship spans more than 5 years from the time the father, nicknamed Toto suffers health problems from the strenuous work of extracting the precious metal manually to the success of the son’s making of his fabulous gold harvesting machine to make the gold harvesting job easier.  The setting is Tierra del Fuego in Chile, Toto’s 60-year-old body cannot take it anymore.  But he has to work to earn a living with the little income he gets from his artisanal gold-digging process is just enough to sustain himself. He fears he might die but at the same time loves life. His son, Jorge, is quite the mechanical genius while also proving himself an apt rodeo rider in one scene.  Nothing fancy but nothing wrong in this doc that moves like a home movie mostly narrated by Toto himself.

(Screening: Apr 28 04:00 pm, Apr 30  08:30 pm)



Directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel


Every doubling in the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the temperature of the earth by 4C.   The HERE NOW PROJECT consists of videos taken by people in the year 2021.  The doc tells the story.  Witnesses to environmental phenomena pick up their phones to share this moment with the world.  Drawing from thousands of hours of in-the-moment footage, Emmy Award–winning filmmakers Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel chronicle the year 2021: a pivotal chapter in the fight against our new climate reality. Seen through the eyes of everyday people around the world, The Here Now Project transforms the common act of shooting a cell phone video into an act of resistance.  The state of Texas is under a winter storm warning; a tropical cyclone hitting Southern Indonesia for the first time; swarms of locusts destroying crops in Kenya; and intense pollution in the Sea of Marmara, Turkey; these are just a few of the videos capturing the catastrophes due to climate change around the world,  Warning: Because these are people’s videos, they contain everyday people’s language like: “Holly F***!” “Colder than a miner’s arse.”  and of course, the very common saying, “You must be f***ing kidding me!”  Evoking a sense of agency and celebrating the power as a population, the film captures the simultaneous, global nature of climate change and highlights the deep human resilience, resourcefulness and courage needed to confront it. At once epic and intimate, its message is clear: We’re all in this, together.  A mesmerizing and unforgettable doc!

NEVER LOOK AWAY (New Zealand 2024) ***½

Directed by Lucy Lawless


The doc NEVER LOOK AWAY celebrates famed photojournalist Margaret Moth, warts and all.  Born in Gisborne, New Zealand, as Margaret Wilson, she got her first camera at age 8.  Moth covered the Persian Gulf War, the rioting that followed Indira Gandhi's assassination, the civil war in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the Bosnian War. She had been described by colleagues as quirky, tough, fearless and funny.  The doc works avoids being a biopic by omitting Margaret’s past.  When the first boyfriend (the17 year-old), Jeff Russi asks Margaret of her past, her reply is that she had forgotten.  So, no mention of her childhood is found in the doc.  Risks come with a price.  No one is invincible - Margaret Moth included,  In July 1992, Moth was shot and severely wounded while filming in Sniper Alley in Sarajevo.   Director Lawless also goes personal, trying to understand the woman who faces danger and dismisses family life.  What is behind her anger?  Why is her background leading to this state?  

ROUGE (USA 2024) ***

Directed by Hamoody Jaafar


The basketball doc is all about basketball, so non-basketball players might want to stay away though the filmmakers try to include other issues like racial prejudice and black poverty into the equation.  The coaches and players of Rouge River High School are examined.  The doc is more successful in looking at the school coaches who are an inspiration for the younger players.  In the 1950s, legendary high school basketball coach Lofton Greene led the racially integrated River Rouge High School Panthers to a record number of state championships in a league of otherwise segregated schools. Now, almost 70 years later, LaMonta Stone, a former Panther himself, has returned to the struggling industrial town of River Rouge, Michigan, to coach the Panthers as they chase the school’s 15th State Championship. Stone and three of his star student-athletes, including seniors Brent Darby Jr. and Ahmoni Weston, and junior Legend Geeter, strive to fulfill generations’ worth of work on and off the court by preparing for their next chapter of life.

THE STRIKE (USA 2024) ***½

Directed by Joebill Munoz and Lucas Guilkey 


THE STRIKE tells the story of a generation of California prisons as they endure decades of solitary confinement and, against all odds, launch the largest hunger strike in US history. Told through intimate interviews and archival verité footage, the film goes beyond making a case against solitary confinement by illuminating the power of organizing this prisoner-led resistance, and in doing so, flipping the true-crime genre on its head

The strike refers to a hunger strike, inspired by reading about Bobby Sands who protested with a hunger strike till he died after 66 days.  The doc reveals how it took years before the strike began.  The ex-prisoners say that they are already dead, so what is there to lose?  And how do the prisoners who enter the hunger strike communicate among themselves?  THE STRIKE is an extremely engrossing doc for the mere fact of how human beings can be so cruel to another in the name of punishment.  Informative, educational and scary, THE STRIKE should serve as an important and urgent message to generally be kind to one another.


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