Hot Docs 2013: A Little Different

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:

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2 Responses to Hot Docs 2013: A Little Different

  1. Dor says:

    Yay Hot Docs! I hope I run into you — I will be there for the whole thing (though I have to work M-F from my firm’s office on Bloor and Church so I will mostly see movies week­ends and weeknights).

  2. Bob Turnbull says:

    This is the best news I’ve heard in awhile…Congrats James! I’m really thrilled for you. But you damn well bet­ter let me know at least one screen­ing where you’ll be doing the Q&A — I wanna see you kick­ing ass.

    Also, any nods towards the good parties will be greatly appreciated…B-)

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