(May 23, 2014 – Vancouver, BC) If you live anywhere near Vancouver and couldn’t make it to Toronto for this year`s Hot Docs film fest, no need to worry. The Vancouver International Film Festival and Hot Docs have announced the return of the Best of Hot Docs, a selection of documentary screenings that will take place from June 20-26 at Vancouver`s Vancity Theatre. The Best of Hot Docs will celebrate the Vancouver premieres of nine outstanding films from this year`s Hot Docs lineup.
Following is a list of screening times and descriptions for the Best of Hot Docs selections. In some cases, filmmakers or subjects may be in attendance for post-screening discussions.
Friday, June 20 at 6:30 PM I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY (repeats Thursday, June 26 at 6:30 PM) D: Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina | USA | 85 min”A joy to watch.” – The Globe and Mail. With an incredible archive of home videos, the story of Caroll Spinney reveals how a big heart and unstoppable talent created two of the world`s most beloved Sesame Street Muppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
Friday, June 20 at 8:45 PM 112 WEDDINGS D: Doug Block | USA | 92 min “Moving and joyous.” – The Mind Reels. Is there real love after marriage? Years after shooting their wedding videos, filmmaker Doug Block tracks down several of his customers to find out if they lived happily ever after. His before and after footage provides insight on what keeps couples together.
Saturday, June 21 at 4:00 PM DIVIDE IN CONCORD D: Kris Kaczor | USA | 92 min “The stuff great films are made of.” – Huffington Post. A fiery octogenarian spends her golden years cold-calling constituents and attending city council meetings in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. Can one little old lady make history by banning single-serve plastic water bottles?
Saturday, June 21 at 6:30 PM AN HONEST LIAR (repeats Thursday, June 26 at 8:45 PM) D: Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom | USA | 91 min “Excellent.” – Dork Shelf. Famed magician James “The Amazing” Randi, enraged at seeing self-proclaimed psychics and faith healers using his cherished illusions dishonestly, commits his life to exposing lying profiteers, but ultimately has to confront a secret of his own.
Saturday, June 21 at 8:45 PM THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ D: Brian Knappenberger | USA | 105 min “As engrossing as it is important.” – NOW Magazine. This inspiring and emotional portrait of Internet visionary and activist Aaron Swartz explores how one of the most promising minds of a generation found himself staring down a government prosecuting him under the very laws he was fighting against.
Sunday, June 22 at 6:30 PM SLUMS: CITIES OF TOMORROW D: Jean-Nicolas Orhon | Canada | 81 min 3/4 stars – The Globe and Mail. Challenging conventional thinking, first-person stories from slum dwellers on four continents and brilliant analysis by such critics as Robert Neuwirth make the case that slums—home to a billion people worldwide—are the solution and not the problem.
Sunday, June 22 at 8:45 PM WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER D: Joe Berlinger | USA | 107 min “Vivid.” – POV Magazine. Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger strips away the myths surrounding infamous Boston gangster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger, exposing the truth behind his criminal empire and revealing shocking new allegations of government corruption and complicity.
Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 PM HAPPINESS D: Thomas Balmès | Finland, France | 80 min “Outstanding.” – POV Magazine. In 1999, TV and the Internet come to Bhutan in an attempt to improve the country’s “gross national happiness.” We see the imminent arrival of these new technologies into the last remaining unconnected village through the eyes of an eight-year-old monk.
Wednesday, June 25 at 8:45 PM THE STARFISH THROWERSD: Jesse Roesler | USA | 82 min”Inspiring.” – The Arts Guild. When a five-star chef, a retired teacher and a sixth-grade girl make a simple gesture to feed the poor, they unexpectedly ignite a movement in the fight against hunger, and prove that individuals can make an enormous difference.
A 5-Pack ticket package is only $52 ($50 for Vancity Theatre Members). Single tickets are $12 each. Tickets and ticket packages can be purchased at the Vancity Theatre box office and there is more information online.
Speaking of 112 Weddings, the film, distributed by Toronto`s Kinosmith, opens today at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto and runs until May 30th. The director, Doug Block will participate in Q&A sessions via Skype at the two screenings today as well as on May 25th at 4:00PM. Speaking about his film, Bloick said, “I would never claim 112 Weddings is the definitive film on marriage. I’m a documentary filmmaker, not a social scientist. My intention was to simply interweave 10 real-life love stories and see if it reveals a bigger picture view of love and long-term relationships.” There is more information online at the Hot Docs website.