Hot Docs Announces 13
(Matrch 16, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, has announced 13 documentary features that will screen in this year’s Special Presentations program. Special Presentations features a high-profile collection of world and international premieres, award winners from the recent international festival circuit and works by master filmmakers or featuring star subjects. The 2021 Hot Docs Festival will be available for audiences across Canada to stream on the Hot Docs at Home VOD platform, available at hotdocs.ca, from April 29 – May 9.
Notable subjects featured as part of the Special Presentations program sponsored by Crave, include comedians Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Marina Franklin, Nikki Glaser, Jessica Kirson, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger, and more, in a film about female comics taking the male-dominated world of stand-up by storm directed by Andrea Nevins (Hysterical); Canadian designer, innovator, and educator Bruce Mau (Mau); and American writer Stewart Brand, a tech visionary known for publishing American counterculture magazine The Whole Earth Catalogue and founding of THE WELL, a virtual community that was a precursor to the internet (We Are As Gods).
This year’s Special Presentations will include the international premieres of Homeroom, in which Emmy Award-winning director and cinematographer Peter Nicks captures the anxieties and stress of a senior high school class navigating the unprecedented challenges of the 2020 school year; Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner In the Same Breath, an investigation into COVID-19’s origins and the leadership that misled the world about the global health crisis; Rebel Hearts, the story of a group of nuns in the 1960s who stood up to the patriarchy of the Catholic Church; Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, an inspiring look inside the minds and hearts of the creators, artists, writers, and educators of Sesame Street; and WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn, which explores the rise and fall of one of the biggest corporate flameouts and venture capitalist bubbles in recent years, WeWork, and its hippie-messianic leader Adam Neumann.
Special Presentation titles appear below, ordered alphabetically:
BEHIND THE HEADLINES
D: Daniel Andreas Sager | P: Marc Bauder | Germany | 2021 | 90 mins | North American Premiere
For the first time, cameras embed with the German investigative unit that broke the explosive Panama Papers story, following the journalists’ pursuit of the truth behind the political assassination of a Maltese reporter and yet another history-making financial scandal.
CRACK: COCAINE, CORRUPTION & CONSPIRACY
D: Stanley Nelson | P: Stanley Nelson, Cameo George, Naimah Jabali-Nash, Keith Brown, Nicole London | EP: Marcia Smith | USA | 2020 | 90 mins | Special Screening
A cheap, powerful drug emerges during a recession, igniting a moral panic fueled by racism. Acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson explores the complex history of crack in the 1980s. Includes exclusive Q&A with Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award recipient Stanley Nelson.
D: Peter Nicks | P: Sean Havey | USA | 2020 | 90 mins | International Premiere
The resilience and optimism of Oakland High School’s 2020 senior class is captured in verité footage and social media videos as they confront anxieties over test scores, growing demands for social justice and the unprecedented uncertainty of a rapidly spreading pandemic.
D: Andrea Nevins | P: Rebecca Evans, Carolina Groppa, Ross M. Dinerstein | USA | 2021 | 88 mins | International Premiere
Hysterical is a backstage pass into the lives of the hilarious, boundary-breaking women shattering stand-up comedy’s glass ceiling. Featuring Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Marina Franklin, Nikki Glaser, Jessica Kirson, Sherri Shepherd, Iliza Shlesinger, and more. Premiering on FX Canada this summer.
IN THE SAME BREATH
D: Nanfu Wang | P: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn | USA | 2021 | 95 mins | International Premiere
Nanfu Wang’s (director of One Child Nation, winner of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize) searing investigation into COVID-19’s origins and spread exposes not only a global crisis of misinformation, but the leadership that misled the world about a still-unfolding emergency.
D: Benji Bergmann, Jono Bergmann | P: Karol Martesko-Fenster | Austria, USA | 2021 | 76 mins | International Premiere
Revolutionary Canadian designer Bruce Mau reveals truths that have shaped his long and expansive career, from designing sustainable platforms to social movements. His way of seeing could be just what’s needed in this critical time in history.
NIKE’S BIG BET
D: Paul Kemp | P: Corey Russell, Paul Kemp | Canada | 2021 | 80 mins | North American Premiere
Alberto Salazar was a coaching legend until his recent doping ban shocked the running world. Did his “Just Do It” attitude and questionable practices push the limits of human performance and technology too far?
D: Pedro Kos | P: Shawnee Isaac-Smith, Kira Carstensen, Judy Korin | USA | 2021 | 103 mins | International Premiere
A group of pioneering nuns in 1960s Los Angeles stood up to the patriarchy in such revolutionary ways, demanding pay cheques, marching on Selma and making political pop art, they would change Catholicism and the face of faith forever.
STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET
D: Marilyn Agrelo | P: Trevor Crafts, Ellen Scherer Crafts, Lisa Diamond | USA | 2021 | 107 mins | International Premiere
Featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, this inspiring journey takes us inside the minds and hearts of Sesame Street creators, artists, writers and educators, who together established one of the most influential and enduring children’s programs in television history.
THROUGH THE NIGHT
D: Loira Limbal | P: Loira Limbal, Jameka Autry | USA | 2020 | 72 mins | Ontario Premiere
Working multiple jobs, desperate to make ends meet for their families, two New York mothers drop off their children at a 24-hour daycare centre run by a woman that binds the neighbourhood together.
D: Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir | P: Christian Beetz, Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir | Germany, Israel | 2021 | 75 mins | World Premiere
Seven young people from across the world were innocently uploading shiny bright 2020 plans when “virus” started trending. Over a year’s worth of real-time posts and massive reality checks chart their innocent optimism and surprising resilience to a global change no one saw coming.
WE ARE AS GODS
D: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg | P: David Alvarado, Kate McLean, Jamie Meltzer, Jason Sussberg | USA | 2021 | 95 mins | Canadian Premiere
Environmental iconoclast Stewart Brand believes re-engineering woolly mammoth DNA and “de-extinction science” could reverse climate change. Is he an oracle envisioning a brave new world or will his controversial views cement him as eco-pariah?
WEWORK: OR THE MAKING AND BREAKING OF A $47 BILLION UNICORN
D: Jed Rothstein | P: Ross Dinerstein | USA | 2020 | 101 mins | International Premiere
Utilizing interviews with journalists, experts, high-ranking former employees and former members Wework: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn explores the rise and fall of one of the biggest corporate flameouts and venture capitalist bubbles in recent years—the story of WeWork, and its hippie-messianic leader Adam Neumann.
The full Festival lineup, including the opening night film, will be announced March 23. At that time, Festival ticket package holders, including Doc Soup subscribers, can redeem their ticket packages, and Hot Docs Members can purchase single tickets. Ticket packages and passes are now on sale online. Single ticket sales open to the public on March 30.
SOURCE: Hot Docs