Notable subjects featured as part of the Special Presentations program include scientist and TV personality Bill Nye (Bill Nye: Science Guy), Dolores Huerta (Dolores), wrestler Hulk Hogan (Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press), and Jimi Hendrix and Buffy Sainte-Marie and singer-songwriter and The Band cofounder Robbie Robertson (Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World).
Award winners from the recent international festival circuit include Chasing Coral (Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Sundance 2017), Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World (World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Masterful Storytelling, Sundance 2017), and Strong Island (U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award, Sundance 2017).
Special Presentations will screen as part of the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, running April 27 to May 7. The complete Special Presentations program and the full selection of films to screen at Hot Docs 2017 will be announced on March 21, including the 2017 opening night film. Ticket packages and passes are now on sale online. Single tickets and package redemption will be available online and at the CraveTV Hot Docs Box Office, located at 605 Bloor Street, beginning Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
Special Presentation titles appear below in alphabetical order:
BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY
D: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg | USA | 2017 | 101 min | International Premiere
In the 90s, Bill Nye’s infectious enthusiasm for science inspired a generation of kids, but with his field increasingly under attack, the bow-tied science guy now finds himself leading an urgent crusade against creationists and climate change deniers.
D: Jeff Orlowski | USA | 2016 | 93 min | International Premiere
From the director of Chasing Ice comes this breathtaking cinematic journey below the world’s oceans to its coral reefs. Spectacular time-lapse footage reveals the devastating impact of climate change, which threatens to eradicate this marvelous ecosystem—within our lifespan.
D: Peter Bratt | USA | 2017 | 98 min | International Premiere
Often overshadowed by her United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta was a powerhouse activist who defied 1950s gender conventions as she unflinchingly fought to protect women and people of color in her push for social change.
D: Ross McDonnell, Tim Golden | Ireland, USA | 2017 | 105 min | Canadian Premiere
When five-year-old Elián Gonzalez was plucked from the ocean near Miami in 1999, it sparked a flashpoint for simmering US-Cuban tensions. Decades later, with relations warming, the media firestorm and ensuing international custody saga is revisited.
JOSHUA: TEENAGER VS. SUPERPOWER
D: Joe Piscatella | USA, Hong Kong | 2016 | 78 min | Canadian Premiere
China’s government meets its fiery match in young Joshua Wong. Rallying thousands of fellow students to skip school and occupy the streets in support of Hong Kong’s autonomy, he becomes one of his country’s most notorious—and unlikely—dissidents.
IN LOCO PARENTIS
D: Neasa Ni Chianain, David Rane | Ireland, Spain | 2016 | 99 min | Canadian Premiere
A heartfelt look at the lives of two soon-to-be-retired educators—and married couple of almost 50 years—whose passion and idiosyncratic teaching styles inspire and challenge the young students of Ireland’s last primary-age boarding school.
NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS
D: Brian Knappenberger | USA | 2017 | 93 min | International Premiere
The trial between wrestler Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, but ended up as a case study in how big money can silence media through legal means. An examination of the perils and duties of the free press in an age of inequality.
RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD
D: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana | Canada | 2016 | 103 min | Canadian Premiere
The sound of rock ’n’ roll was forever changed by Link Wray’s distorted guitar. Decades later, his legacy—and that of other Native Americans who shaped popular music—is given overdue recognition in this Sundance award winner. The film also features Executive Producer and guitarist Stevie Salas, who has put together a group of music royalty to discuss the influence of Indigenous music on rock and roll.
D: Yance Ford | USA, Denmark | 2017 | 107 min | Canadian Premiere
Twenty years after an unarmed African-American was shot during an altercation with a young white mechanic, his brother revisits the circumstances that left his sibling dead and the killer uncharged in this powerful investigation of love, loss and justice.
THE WORKERS CUP
D: Adam Sobel | United Kingdom | 2017 | 92 min | Canadian Premiere
On the backs of 1.6 million migrant workers, Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But far from the roaring crowds and media spectacle, 24 construction companies compete for glory and the thrill of hoisting the Workers Cup.
Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. Its 24th annual edition will run from April 27-May 7, 2017. An outstanding selection of over 200 documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and the Doc Shop. Hot Docs owns the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.