"Now in its 17th year, the Hot Docs film festival has gone from a low-key industry conference to an internationally renowned event with upwards of 120,000 attendees," writes Vanessa Farquharson in the National Post. Hot Docs opens tonight with IMPACT: A Green Gala in support of Docs For Schools. Through May 9, over 170 films will be screened in various locales all over Toronto.
"Some of the best docs present intimate portraits of people no screenwriter could invent," writes Jason Anderson, who's chosen to organize the Star's guide along those very lines, "the people that Hot Docs patrons are about to encounter."
NOW Magazine lists "10 Hot Docs films to lock down" and presents capsule reviews of dozens more. So, too, does the National Post.
Bob Turnbull has been previewing the festival for nearly two weeks now with a fine batch of entries at Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind. He and The Mad Hatter, also anticipating Hot Docs at The Dark of the Matinee, have recorded a preview podcast as well. At Toronto Screen Shots, James McNally's begun posting reviews.
"If the BBC's Planet Earth series had trained its lens on human young, the result might look a lot like Babies," writes Adriana Barton, introducing her interview in the Globe and Mail with director Thomas Balmès, who "shot 400 hours of footage over two years to document the early smiles, frustrations, mischief and first steps of four babies in four disparate nations: Japan, Namibia, Mongolia and America."
If you're attending (or perhaps even if you're not), you may want to follow @hotdocs on Twitter.
That image, by the way, is not from Babies, but rather, from Doug Block's new film, The Kids Grow Up, which Anthony Kaufman has found to be "a profound, and utterly relatable, contemplation of parenthood, aging and youth’s swift passing."
Update, 5/11: At Twitch, Kurt Halfyard has the list of ten Audience Award-winners. At the top: Thunder Soul, "a film chronicling the reunion of the Kashmere High School Band — 35 years after their initial success — in honor of their mentor (who turned the school's mediocre jazz band into a legendary funk powerhouse over three decades ago.)"
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