The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival announced the full lineup for the 24th edition on Tuesday, unveiling a final list of 230 titles from 58 countries. Nearly half of the films included in this year’s lineup (48 percent) come from female filmmakers. The festival received 2,906 total submissions.
Lana Šlezić’s “Bee Nation” will screen as the opening night world premiere. The film centers on students in Saskatchewan who compete in the first province-wide First Nations Spelling Bee. Other films in the Special Presentations program include “Pre-Crime,” about forecasting software and algorithms that predict future crimes; “Step,” the directorial debut for Tony Award–winning producer Amanda Lipitz about three high school seniors in inner-city Baltimore and their step dance team, and “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of Isis,” a look at the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.
“The Hot Docs programming team has scoured the globe to bring the finest documentaries to Toronto audiences,” Hot Docs director of programming Shane Smith said in a statement. “As our world shifts in startling new ways, Hot Docs is committed to showcasing those films that tackle topics of global importance: from environmental issues and human rights, to international conflict. We also seek out masterful documentary storytelling in all its forms, from unheralded stories of unique individuals to quirky subjects that really are stranger than fiction.”
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Highlights from this year’s festival include Brian Knappenberger’s “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press,” about the legal battle between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media; “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” from David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg (“The Immortalists”), and “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower,” about one of China’s most notorious and unlikely dissidents.
The Special Presentations program will also feature two films from Joe Berlinger: a 25th anniversary screening of “Brother’s Keeper” and the international premiere of “Intent to Destroy” about genocide in Armenia.
You can check out the complete lineup, along with scheduling and ticketing information, on the festival’s official website. The festival boasts 13 total screening programs, including DocX (their interdisciplinary section), the Nightvision series and a number of slates dedicated to specific areas of the globe, including Japan and Canada.
The largest documentary festival in North America, Hot Docs 2017 will run from April 27 – May 7 in Toronto.