The job of any good documentary filmmaker is to show how real life is not only stranger than fiction but also funnier, scarier, dirtier, sadder and more urgent than any ersatz narrative could ever attempt to forge.
And, as it does every year around this time, Hot Docs aims to help prove this when it unspools next week.
Running from April 30th to May 10th at theatres across Toronto, the internationally recognized film festival (now in its 16th year) will be amassing a staggering array of new documentary features from every corner of the globe (171 films from 39 countries, in fact) covering a myriad of diverse subjects with varying degrees of social import.
The guest of honour this year will be First Nations filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, special attention will be shown to pictures from South Korea, Toronto legend Ron Mann (Know Your Mushrooms) will be feted, and a special spotlight will be cast on movies made during the National Film Board’s 70 years in operation.
Other highlights of the festival include: Best Worst Movie, which follows the outrageous cult following that the uproariously awful D-movie Troll 2 has amassed since its direct to video release in the early ’90s; Laughology, which examines the nature of giddiness; Act of God, which explores the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning; Chronicle of a Kidnap, which charts the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah forces which in turn triggered the Lebanon War; and Graphic Sexual Horror, and in-depth look at notorious bondage/ S&M website insex.com and the ultimate effect internet pornography has had on the world.
On the web
For more about the festival, including the full schedule and ticket information, visit www.hotdocs.ca.