The international film industry and local cinephiles have been sampling hundreds of new titles for the past week at the Toronto International Film Festival. For the latest indieWIREcurated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, we’re taking inspiration from TIFF’s crop of new docs.
Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu’s newest doc screening at TIFF, “Last Call At the Oasis,” focuses on the increasingly troubling worldwide water crisis. For another disturbing water-related doc, check out Stephanie Soechtig and Jason Lindsey’s look at the bottled water industry in “Tapped.”
While we’re on the subject of water, TIFF features a new doc on its icy form in Alex Gibney’s film on Canada’s favorite sport, ice hockey, “The Last Gladiators.” Tommy Haines’ “Pond Hockey” offers a look at the changing culture of the sport.
A culture of change is documented as Egypt’s political landscape undergoes a seismic shift in TIFF’s “Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad, and the Politician,” by Tamer Ezzat, Ayten Amin, and Amr Salama. An indepth investigation into another country’s political process, namely the USA, may be found in Jeff Reichert’s “Gerrymandering.”
Continuing with US politics, TIFF plays host to Nick Broomfield’s “Sarah Palin – You Betcha!”, the UK maker’s attempt to figure out how a smalltown Alaskan mayor almost reached the White House. For Broomfield’s portrait of another scary lady, take a look at the director’s “Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer.”
Director Stephen Kessler has more luck than Broomfield in meeting another celebrity in TIFF’s “Paul Williams Still Alive”, tracking down what happened to the noted ’70s songwriter/performer. Director Brian Herzlinger went on a celebrity quest of his own, courting actress Drew Barrymore in “My Date With Drew.”
Finally, TIFF’s new Kids section offers Bess Kargman’s “First Position,” which follows young ballet dancers as they take part in an international competition. Young athletes are at the core of Petr Lom’s “On a Tightrope,” detailing the rigorous training of orphans of China’s Uighur minority in the ancient tradition of tightrope walking.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “indieWIRE @ Hulu Docs” is a regular column spotlighting the iW-curated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. iW selections typically appear in the carousel at the top of the page and under “Featured Content” in the center. Be sure to check out the great non-fiction projects available to watch free of charge. Disclosure: Some of the selections are titles provided to Hulu by SnagFilms, the parent company of indieWIRE.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).