Hot Docs is one of the best and biggest documentary film festivals. This year’s festival takes place in Toronto from April 28-May 8.
The Special Presentation section (their most high profile section) is made up of 26 films. 11 are directed or co-directed by women. That’s 42%. (Descriptions from IndieWIRE)
THE ADVOCATE FOR FAGDOM D: Angélique Bosio | Germany | 92 min | North American Premiere Romantic-Queercore-punk-zombie pornographer, gleeful crusher of cliché, righteousness and repressive politics: Viva Bruce LaBruce! Scintillating film clips and fabulous interviews with John Waters, Harmony Korine, and Gus Van Sant reveal Toronto’s gift to the world.
BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY D: Constance Marks | USA | 76 min | International Premiere Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this Sundance Special Jury Prize winner sneaks us behind the scenes at Sesame Street to reveal the inspirational story of Kevin Clash, shy puppeteer and creator of the world’s favourite Muppet.
BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD D: Elizabeth Garbus | USA | 93 min | Canadian Premiere Bobby Fischer was the rock star of the chess world, but underneath his brilliance lurked a tormented soul. A gripping, impressively researched look at how this American Cold War hero became a vilified, paranoid recluse.
BUCK D: Cindy Meehl | USA | 88 min | Canadian Premiere A real-life horse whisperer overcomes his dark childhood and emerges as kind of an equine-rooted philosopher, proving his own maxim: horses make better people. Unforgettable, and deservedly the winner of an Audience Award at Sundance.
CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE D: Dori Berinstein | USA | 87 min | International Premiere Broadway powerhouse Carol Channing is as vivacious at 90 as when she first captivated audiences in Hello, Dolly! nearly 50 years ago. Iconic and incomparable, her expansive career – and late-life romance with her junior high sweetheart – is profiled.
FIGHTVILLE D: Michael Tucker, Petra Epperlein | USA | 85 min | International Premiere Brutal. Bloody. Beautiful. FIGHTVILLE throws you into the cage with some of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest names to reveal the raw power and focused determination it takes to emerge a champion.
THE GOOD LIFE D: Eva Mulvad | Denmark | 84 min | Canadian Premiere Born with a silver spoon, headstrong daughter Anne Mette yearns for her affluent younger years. Fortune squandered, living together on one modest pension, she and her mother now struggle to keep tempers in check and wine on the table.
IN HEAVEN, UNDERGROUND. THE JEWISH CEMETERY IN BERLIN-WEISSENSEE D: Britta Wauer | Germany | 90 min | International Premiere This Berlinale Audience Award winner is an enchanting portrait of a 130-year-old Jewish cemetery in the heart of the German capital. A delightful array of characters celebrates life and the immortality of memories.
MAGIC TRIP D: Alison Ellwood, Alex Gibney | USA | 90 min | Canadian Premiere In 1964, the Merry Pranksters – including Ken Kesey and Kerouac-muse Neal Cassady – embarked on an infamous LSD-fuelled road trip across America. Oscar-winner Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood craft original footage and audio recordings into the year’s trippiest time capsule.
MY REINCARNATION D: Jennifer Fox | USA, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland | 100 min | Canadian Premiere When your father is a high Tibetan master and you’re the reincarnation of a famous spiritual teacher, it’s hard to escape the family business. Italian-born Yeshi struggles against Dad, destiny and the divine in this epic drama.
THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX D: Dylan Nelson, Dan Sturman | USA | 85 min | World Premiere Every spring, thousands of hopeful child actors flock to Hollywood for television’s crushingly competitive “pilot season.” Many stay with their families at the Oakwood apartment complex, a place where dreams are chased at surprising costs.
The full list of women directed (and co-directed) films
Ripping Reality – The B-Sides
American Losers – Ada Bligaard Søby
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo – Jessica Oreck (Director), Maiko Endo (Co-Director), Akito Kawahara (Co-Director)
Because We Were Born – Jean-Pierre Duret, Andrea Santana
Invisible Girlfriend – David Redmon, Ashley Sabin
At Night, They Dance – Isabelle Lavigne, Stéphane Thibault
Eco Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson – Trish Dolman
Family Portrait in Black and White – Julia Ivanova
Hand to Toe: An Exploration in the Art of Giving – France Benoit
Inside Lara Roxx – Mia Donovan
Nodin (Wind) – Nodin Wawatie
Only Sky & Water – Tamara Scherbak
Set Backs – Délia Gunn
Simple Rhythm – Tess Girard
St-Henri, The 26th of August – Shannon Walsh
Danger – Nemnemiss McKenzie, Langis Fortin
5 Pictures of a Father – Nadia Josefine El Said
Grande Hotel – Lotte Stoops
Love Always, Carolyn – A Film About Kerouac, Cassady and Me – Maria Ramström, Malin Korkeasalo
Love Crimes of Kabul – Tanaz Eshaghian
Melissamom and Me – Limor Pinhasov
Naked of Saint Petersburg – Ada Bligaard Søby
Our Newspaper – Eline Flipse
Poster Girl – Sara Nesson
Samba within Me – Georgia Guerra-Peixe
Endless Love – Åsa Blanck, Johan Palmgren
Daughters of Malakeh – Jet Homoet, Sharog Heshmat Manesh
Collaborator and His Family – Ruthie Shatz, Adi Barash
Made In Italy
Draquila – Italy Trembles – Sabina Guzzanti
Housing – Federica Di Giacomo
I Am Jesus – Valerie Gudenus, Heloisa Sartorato
Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye – Marie Losier
Bob and the Monster – Keirda Bahruth
Cinema Komunisto – Mila Turajlic
Dust. A Sculptor’s Journey – Jeanne Pope
Invisible Strings: The Talented Pusker Sisters – Ágnes Sós
Marija’s Own – Zeljka Suková
Minka – Davina Pardo
When the Drum Is Beating – Whitney Dow
Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour – Kerthy Fix
Somewhere to Disappear – Laure Flammarion, Arnaud Uyttenhove
Sira – Songs of the Crescent Moon – Sandra Gysi, Ahmed Abdel Mohsen
Workers of the World!
Koundi and the National Thursday – Ariane Astrid Atodji
Lumberfros – Stéphanie Lanthier
Pit No. 8 – Marianna Kaat
Battle for Barking – Laura Fairrie
Better This World – Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega
Flying Anne – Catherine van Campen
Hot Coffee – Susan Saladoff
Jig – Sue Bourne
Love Arranged – Soniya Kirpalani
Matchmaking Mayor – Erika Hnikova
Mothers of Bedford – Jenifer McShane
No Entry No Exit – Mareille Klein, Julie Kreuzer
Somewhere Between – Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Valley of the Forgotten – Maria Raduan
Redemption of General Butt Naked – Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion
Zelal – Marianne Khoury, Mustapha Hasnaoui
Battle for Brooklyn – Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley
People in White – Tellervo Kalleinen, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen
Castle – Massimo D’Anolfi, Martina Parenti
Foreign Parts – Verena Paravel, J.P. Sniadecki