More from Hot Docs 2023
by Staff Editors
(March 31, 2023 – Toronto, ON) The National Film Board (NFB) and several independent distributors have announced their participation in the 30th annual Hot Docs Canadian and International Documentary Festival. We’ll start with the NFB.
Holly Andersen’s short doc is titled Hebron Relocation. Born in Makkovik, Nunatsiavut, Andersen always knew that the house she lives in carries within its frame the echoes of the forced displacement of northern Labrador Inuit. Hebron Relocation weaves together intimate stories from Andersen’s community and rare footage, in a heartfelt look at a difficult past that has changed the lives of Labrador Inuit forever. There’s a lot to see and the impact is far larger than the 15 minutes it takes to watch this film, in its World Premiere.Hebron Relocation is produced through the Labrador Documentary Project, which supports Indigenous storytelling by working with first-time Labrador Inuit filmmakers to create and distribute Inuit stories from Inuit perspectives.
The Ontario Premiere of Undertaker for Life! (Croque-mort. C’est beau la vie!) from Acadian director Georges Hannam runs 52 minutes. Turns out the soft voices and often dour expressions associated with undertakers belies their true disposition. Anything but gloomy they’re funny, generous and dedicated. Despite the somewhat frightening name of their occupation, undertakers are actually charming philosophers and keen observers of life. We only see their sombre side, but away from the funeral rites and on camera, they turn out to be amazingly insightful.Renowned director Philippe Falardeau brings a short series to this year’s festival. Titled Lac-Mégantic: This is Not an Accident, the 4-part series revisits the tragedy that hit that Québec town almost 10 years ago. If you’re not familiar with the story, a runaway train derailed in the heart of this idyllic town. Within seconds, six million liters of Bakken oil exploded, killing everyone in its path, incinerating downtown. At the heart of this series are the survivors who share their most intimate stories of lost loved ones and the string of injustices they’ve faced since that summer night. Yet, the steps needed to prevent another Lac-Mégantic tragedy are still not in place. It will screen on Saturday, April 29 at 4:00pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3.
One of the many programs at Hot Docs is a section called Persister. The festival defines is as “Films by women, about women speaking up and being heard.” One of the films in that program this year is Coven, from director Rama Rau, making a return visit to the festival. What’s it about? Three millennial women explore what it means to identify as a witch in today’s world, and set out to discover if the rituals, lore, and sacred places of their ancestors can help them channel their gifts, confront their obstacles, and claim their power. Rau was given the Don Haig Award by Hot Docs in 2011. Coven will screen Apr 28, 8:45pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 1 and again on May 5, 6:00pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 2.
In the Artscape program, look for Echo of Everything from director Cam Christiansen. The 117 minute doc follows the source of music’s power, explored through science, history, and philosophy. Filmed with global interviews, stunning music, and dance performances, woven with drama, animation, expressionism, and archival material. Created during the pandemic, Christiansen reflects on the human condition, resilience and his own personal relationship with music. Screenings are scheduled for April 29, 5:45pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 2 and May 5, 2:15pm at the Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 6.
The start of the festival is still almost a month away and we will have more information throughout April and during the festival, keeping our focus firmly on Canadian films and filmmakers
Click here for more information about tickets and passes at Hot Docs 2023.