(April 18, 2016 – Montréal, Québec) For the first time in its history, North America’s largest documentary festival, Hot Docs, will screen films at this city’s Phi Centre while the festival is up and running in Toronto. The annual Toronto festival runs from April 28 to May 8 while three great docs while play here, one each night, on May 3, 4 and 5. In partnership with the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), these three powerful documentaries range from the digital revolution that exalts and disrupts our codes to the intriguing and potentially terrifying mysteries of the web to a portrait of youth lost in their search for freedom.
This 3 day mini-festival kicks off on May 3 at 7:30PM with the Montréal premiere of Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World from prolific director and producer Werner Herzog. With his inquisitive and critical gaze, the German director invites us on a no-holds-barred exploration of the online world. Through a series of eclectic interviews featuring everyone from digital pioneers to victims of cyberbullying to online game addicts, Herzog paints a complex portrait of the connected world we live in that is both amusing and deeply terrifying. The screening will kick off with the short film The Dog, directed by Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari for The New Yorker, which recounts the relationship between the Japanese and their Aibo robot dogs.
On May 4 at 7:30PM its a film titled Tickled. One day, New Zealand journalist David Farrier stumbled upon a strange online video that introduced him to the mysterious world of competitive endurance tickling. His curiosity was piqued, so he asked to interview the organizers. What followed was a series of threats and intimidation tactics, which was all that this journalist needed—having built his career on bizarre stories—to take his investigation further. Resistance to his project was so strong that what was meant to be a simple article turned into an investigative documentary. Co-directed by Dylan Reeve, the documentary has all the trappings of a suspense film, proving that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. It turns out that tickling is a pretty serious affair. Tickled was an official selection at the 2016 Sundance Festival, and before it screens attendees will get to see the short film The Magic Hodge, directed by Frédéric Moffet, which explores the secret “wildlife” of a former military site that was transformed into a nature reserve.
The last of the three Montréal premieres is the 2015 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam award-winning When The Earth Seems To Be Light. Unlike the two previous films, this one starts at 8:00PM on May 5. It’s the story of skateboarders, artists and musicians, of a lost youth that has become almost invisible in post-Soviet Georgia. An endearing band of marginalized characters drift through the streets of Tbilisi, consider the meaning of life, love and absolute freedom as they make their way between buildings in ruin, political protests and religious restrictions. Directed by Tamuna Karumidze, David Meskhi and Salome Machaidze, When The Earth Seems To Be Light is an apt depiction of modern youth in flux, fighting through the surrounding apathy to dream of a better world. Prior to When The Earth Seems To Be Light, the short film Northbound, directed by Jørn Nyseth Ranum, will be screened. It was an official selection at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and follows four of the best Norwegian skateboarders and their encounter with an arctic winter and its frozen beaches.