Hot Docs: How To

By on April 22, 2014

It’s that time of the year again – Hot Docs aka our Canadian International Documentary Festival. Beginning April 24th to May 4th. This year Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is going to be a full house of support coming out to celebrate! Not only do we have film critics, movie lovers and directors alone, but we’ve also got volunteers, writers, and aspiring students looking for some inspiration.

Opening night is on the 24th at Bloor Hot Docs where they toast off this weeklong event with a cocktail reception that discusses what Hot Docs has in store! This includes guest speakers who bring along excerpts from their films to be discussed in more detail. If this doesn’t sound like your forte, then they also have a different opening night party held at the Royal Ontario Museum at 9pm. This is more of a social gathering that includes drinks, food, and dancing to celebrate Hot Docs, and that’s exactly where I plan on being!



This year is going even bigger and better than before, so naturally there are some shows that you should look out for. Of course I am always keeping my eye out for these highlight shows so that I can share them with you guys! The first is an 80minute documentary called The Immoralist. This looks at two biologists on their quest to reverse the aging process; all the while dealing with closed minded individuals from the scientific community. This is something these two biologists are extremely passionate about and feel like it can change the world and how we view life! If this sounds like something you’d like to dig your teeth into say no more, I’ve got the times and locations ready for you! The first screening is at Hart House Theater on Sunday April 27th at 7pm, followed closely by a screening at ROM Theater April 29th for 3:30pm, just in case anyone would enjoy a matinee show. Friday May 2nd is at 9:30pm and has a screening at the Fox Theater. The final screening is on Sunday May 4th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for 9:30pm.

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Another show I am looking forward to seeing is called Keep On Keepin’ On. This 82minute documentary follows the life of 93-year-old Jazz musical legend Clark Terry, a spectacular trumpeter who played along side musical geniuses and mentored artists like Miles Davis. Watching this will remind you that age is nothing but a number, and that Clark still influences young artists today, addressing how he had to conquer fears such as stage fright and a stigma of blindness. I feel like this film will move audiences to look for the positive in life and to never take things at face value. It may just challenge you to go after your dreams, and that’s something I think everyone needs to embrace! Screenings begin at TIFF Bell Lightbox Saturday April 26th at 6:30pm; Wednesday April 30th at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema for 9:45pm, before wrapping up again at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Thursday May 1st at 9:45pm.

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The final show that I am excited for this year takes a serious and more educational turn as it discusses violence and colonization in the heart of Africa. This documentary is called Concerning Violence. Most of this film expresses the violence and fear that comes along with people fighting for their freedom from colonization. In order to do this, they use sharp and raw images to explain their story and shock audiences into understanding the truth about violence there. Similarly, they follow musical artists and activist Lauryn Hill and use her as a voice over for these horrific events, transforming this film into an angry yet powerful piece. Think you’re ready to tackle something so serious? I think you can do it! There are 3 screening times, beginning on Sunday April 27th at the Isabel Bader Theater for 4pm. The second screening is on Monday April 28th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, and the final screening is at the Hart House Theater on Friday May 2nd at 2:30pm. As I always say, it’s time to get involved with our city and go out and try something new! This week is bound to be full of surprises at every turn, and I defiantly think that these shows are worth seeing. If you are not interested in any of the 3 I mentioned, you can always go online and check out what else Hot Docs has to offer! Have a great time, and don’t worry, I’ll see you there! For further information please visit:

Jasmine Shanelle Roberts

About Jasmine Shanelle Roberts

Jasmine Roberts is a media student with an honours degree in Communications who lives in Toronto and is obsessed with pop culture, the media and all things entertainment. She completely believes she is married to Perez Hilton and spends the majority of her attention on writing about music, film, entertainment and life in Toronto. She loves to cook and cannot get enough of drama TV. Follow her @Jshanelle335

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