So, the 20th edition of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival starts next week. And normally by this time, I’ve posted several preview posts talking about the films I’m most excited about. Why not this year? Well, I’m very pleased to share that I’ll be working for the festival this year. I only found out about a week ago, but I’ve been busy preparing and that might explain my absence not just here, but on Twitter as well.
I’ll be doing the intros and Q&A sessions for about 20 films over the festival’s ten days (April 25-May 5, 2013). Even looking at my schedule makes me tired, but it’s going to be a great opportunity to meet filmmakers and to help them enjoy the festival and the city. I’m honoured to do it, but I have to admit it’s a little strange, too. The job of festival programmer can be divided into two halves: the pre-festival job of screening submissions and evaluating whether they’re festival-worthy, and then the work during the festival itself, showing the films and hosting the filmmakers. In 2009 and 2010, I was doing the first part of the job for Hot Docs, and this year, I’m doing the second part. Hopefully one day I’ll get to do the whole thing, but I’m tremendously excited (and a bit nervous) nonetheless.
I’m not going to share my schedule here because, frankly, I really don’t want anyone who knows me to be in the audience (although it’s bound to happen). But I am hoping to see a number of other films, too, and having to re-arrange my schedule at the last minute has put me into a little bit of a panic. I’ve been fortunate to have seen a number of films ahead of the festival, too, but here’s where things will become a little bit strange.
As an employee of the festival, I’m not certain yet what sort of coverage I can provide here. I’ve already written a few capsule reviews, which you may or may not see here. And as in past years, I have a few guest contributors who will likely be posting here during the festival. I hope you can appreciate the delicate situation I’m in, which is to say that I may not be able to “cover” the festival the way I have in previous years.
With that in mind, though, I’m happy to point you to some other great local writers who will be covering Hot Docs this year: