Hot Docs announced its 18th annual lineup this morning, and I have to say I’m pretty excited. The festival will always hold a special place for me… It was very first paid festival job when I was their volunteer coordinator back in 2006, and I couldn’t ask for a better introduction: The fest’s programming never fails to impress me, and I’ve been so pleased to find that its reputation at fests around the world is a pretty glowing one. And this year, Hot Docs is really pushing itself with their biggest slate yet (at 200+ titles, its a third bigger than last year), and a variety of new venues (including the TIFF Bell Lightbox).
One thing I’m particularly excited for is the National Parks Project, a film, music and new media creation that looks at the way the wilderness has shaped the Canadian imagination. The project asked filmmakers to explore Canada’s national parks with a group of musicians and composers, and the result is 13 high-definition documentaries set in Gwaii Haanas, Gros Morne, Nahanni and 10 other national parks across Canada. Each is set to music by artists such as Sarah Harmer, Jim Guthrie, Matt Mays and Sebastien Grainger. Check it out:
Beyond that, Hot Docs is also offering a stellar lineup of queer-positive films, including Sundance alums like Becoming Chaz, We Were Here, and The Ballad Of Genesis And Lady Jaye, which I’ve been so excited for since I heard rumblings about it from Berlin. The film takes on the extraordinarily unique relationship between Genesis P-Orridge, one of the most influential figures in underground industrial music, and his collaborator and muse, Lady Jaye. The two embark on a journey to fuse their individual identities into one by undergoing surgeries to more closely resemble each other.
The queer lineup bodes well for the second edition of this, which will be going down on Saturday, April 30th and, like Hot Docs itself, will be upping the ante this year. Details to come…