(May 7,2017 – Toronto, ON) It’s the final day of Hot Docs and your last chance to enjoy these films in a festival setting. Most, if not all, will go on to either theatrical distribution or have already secured TV deals, but there is something about a sitting with a festival audience knowing you are one of so many who are there in part because of the particular film you’re watching but mostly because you know you’re surrounded by people who share your curiosity and engagement with the world through documentary films.
The first Canadian film on today’s schedule is Kyoko Miyake’s intriguing film titled Tokyo Idols. It’s this odd, to us, phenomenon where aspiring performers are able to create a fan base of working men who come to worship these young girls and pay to attend special events created in part to increase their idol status but also to make money. It has been called a “fetish economy” and Tokyo Idols explores the topic to its fullest. Writing for Hot Docs, Alexander Rogalski said, “Following Rio, a 19-year-old aspiring pop singer in the twilight of her idol career, and Koji, her dedicated 43-year-old superfan, Tokyo Idols highlights the extremes of fantasy fulfillment.” Tokyo Idols screens at the TIFF Bell Lightbox at 10:00AM.
At 10:15 it’s A Moon of Nickel and Ice. Director François Jacob’s 110 minute feature documentary is set in the major Russian mining centre if Norilsk in the Siberian arctic. It’s an eye-opening portrait of different generations: weary miners and restless teenagers. In this desolate landscape where the wind never seems too stop and the industrial pollution seems to increase on a daily basis, the teenagers want nothing more than to escape a way of life that is not only anchored in the past, but offers no future for their young lives. A Moon of Nickel and Ice is at the Scotia 3. François Jacob was awarded The Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award, sponsored by Jameson First Shot, yesterday.
At 10:45 you can catch the last screening of the 65-minute doc Rue de la Victoire. It follows the life of a gifted performer who is forced to leave post-war Tunisia after the circus school he was attending closes. Pursuing his art in France allows him to see things differently and to come to terms with his past and his future after he returns home. Rue de la Victoire screens with the 20-minute short, The Botanist.
Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World gets its last screening this morning. It’s another well-crafted doc from director Barry Avrich. It is slick and glitzy and in its look alone reflects the world of high-priced art. It’s also an eye-opening look at how those high prices get set, increased and maintained based on not much more than the whims of the insiders. The film is cut into segments, each representing another sector of the world it explores and this helps viewers to grasp both the details and scope of what goes on every day in a work that is driven by ego and greed. Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World screens at 11:00 at the Isabel Bader Theatre.
The big news comes tonight at 7:00 when the winner of the Rogers Audience Award will be made followed by a screening of the film. All the excitement takes place at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on Bloor Street. The director of the film wins a generous $50,000 from the Rogers Group of Funds. It’s a great festival event.
Click here for the full schedule of films on today’s schedule at Hot Docs.