The annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival begins in Toronto on April 23 with plenty of international and North American premieres. Here are five documentaries well worth your time during this year’s festival.
Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck
This highly anticipated documentary is perhaps the first in-depth look at the icon with unlimited access to his family, friends and files. Director Brett Morgen – who previously directed the Rolling Stones’ Crossfire Hurricane – started working on the doc in 2007 which includes interviews with Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain. NME describes it as the “most holistic portrait of a rock icon ever created” while Rolling Stone deemed it “the unfiltered Kurt experience.” Research also revealed a previously unheard original song which created a buzz.
No Place To Hide: The Rehtaeh Parsons Story
This tragic case of Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons once again exposed how bullying can be lethal. Parsons stated four boys raped her in late 2011 while a photo of her during the incident spread through her school via social media. Parsons, 17, committed suicide in April, 2013. Director Rama Rau explains the tragedy by speaking to Rehtaeh’s parents as well as detailing how police reopened the case as hacker group Anonymous became involved. No Place To Hide makes its world premiere during the festival.
There are fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then there are Eric Zata and Chris Strompolos, two obsessed fans from Mississippi who decided to spend seven years recreating almost every scene of the 1982 classic except one. Decades later the film somehow ended up in the hands of Hostel director Eli Roth and took on new life. The interest led to Zata and Strompolos reuniting to shoot that one last scene. The documentary focuses on the duo, the cult status of their film and the lengths gone to finish the recreation.
Out To Win
College standout and NFL draftee Michael Sam came out in 2014, one of the first active professional athletes in the four “major” sports leagues to do so. Out To Win, which debuted this year at South By Southwest, looks back at the struggles gay athletes have gone through and the possible hurdles ahead. The film, directed by Toronto native Malcolm Ingram, features interviews with tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King.
As I Am: The Life And Times of DJ AM
The ups and downs of the late Adam Goldstein, known to most as DJ AM, is revealed in this poignant look at his life. “His story is very complex, he had some deep passions and very aggressive demons,” director Kevin Kerslake said. The film, authorized by Goldstein’s family, highlights his dominance as an acclaimed DJ. However it also looks at the devastating plane crash he survived in 2008 along with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.