Hot Docs 2009 Announces Full Lineup

This morn­ing, Hot Docs announced the full lineup for the 16th edi­tion of this inter­na­tion­ally-renowned doc­u­ment­ary film fest­ival, run­ning this year from April 30 — May 10. From the press release, I learned that there were almost 2,000 films sub­mit­ted, and from that huge num­ber, 171 films from 39 coun­tries were selec­ted for screen­ing.

Sean Farnel at the press conference
Hot Docs Director of Programming Sean Farnel at the press con­fer­ence (Photo: Jay Kerr)

My involve­ment this year star­ted a num­ber of weeks ago, when I was invited to help screen sub­mis­sions as an Associate Programmer. Now my role shifts back to being a mem­ber of the online media. I’m hop­ing to watch and review as many of these care­fully-chosen doc­u­ment­ar­ies as I can fit into my sched­ule. Just hav­ing a look over some of the selec­tions, I’m excited and look­ing for­ward to my sixth year of attend­ing what is prob­ably my favour­ite local film fest­ival. Here are just a few of the high­lights I’m anti­cip­at­ing:

  • Act of God (Jennifer Baichwal) will open the fest­ival, explor­ing the lives of people who have been struck by light­ning.
  • Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country (Anders Østergaard) takes us onto the streets of Myanmar (Burma) with foot­age shot by protest­ing monks.
  • Let’s Make Money (Erwin Wagenhofer) pen­et­rates the world of high fin­ance and neo-lib­eral eco­nom­ics.
  • Objectified (Gary Hustwit) will make its Canadian premiere after sev­eral packed screen­ings at SXSW.
  • Rough Aunties (Kim Longinotto) are a group of remark­able women who care for the abused chil­dren of Durban, South Africa.
  • Sergio (Greg Barker) is a por­trait of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio Vieira de Mello who was the vic­tim of a bomb attack in Iraq in 2003.
  • Tyson (James Toback) is a con­tro­ver­sial por­trait of the fighter Mike Tyson by one of his closest friends.
  • We Live in Public (Ondi Timoner) is a doc­u­ment of Internet pion­eer Josh Harris’ dec­ade-long exper­i­ment in liv­ing his life online in the pub­lic eye.
  • Winnebago Man (Ben Steinbauer) intro­duces us to the man behind the infam­ous YouTube hit, the world’s angri­est RV sales­man.

Tickets and passes are already on sale, and I can assure you that Hot Docs is one of the best bar­gains for film lov­ers in this city.

Here’s a link to the full sched­ule.

P.S. Looking over the final lineup, I real­ize that none of the 61 doc­u­ment­ar­ies I watched in February made it in. And I saw some very good films.

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