A Hot Hot Hot! Year for Hot Docs Film Festival

Posted on: April 19, 2012 by Author

Category: General

A Hot Hot Hot! Year for Hot Docs Film Festival


Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival that, each year, presents over 150 documentaries from Canada and internationally. This year the 19th annual festival ran from April 26th to May 6th and broke all previous attendance and screening records. Attendance was an estimated 165,000 people (i.e. the entire population of Oakville), almost 10% increase over last year’s numbers of 151,000 attendees, and 395 films were screened.


The winner of the People’s Choice award was “Chasing Ice”, directed by Jeff Orlowski. He follows National Geographic photographer James Balog as he travels to the Arctic to photograph climate change. With below -40 temperatures and high winds, Orlowski was unsure about the future of his footage. However, he now has the most visual evidence of climate change. Years of film footage are translated across the screen in seconds, paired with stunning images that must be seen on the big screen.


The Canadian Feature Prize winner was Indo-Canadian director Nisha Pahuja’s film “The World Before Her”. The film follows twenty handpicked contestants for the Miss India pageant that are in a month-long beauty boot camp. The beauty pageant training is starkly contrasted with young women in the women’s wing of Hindu fundamentalist camps. Paujia stated:


“With the film, we just hope to be part of the dialogue. These young women may represent opposing extremes but in their hearts they share a common dream: to help shape the future of India as she meets the world before her.”


Many people are constantly being reminded that it is a challenging time to be a filmmaker, however this year’s Hot Docs festival indicates that Canadian and International filmmakers are still prominent cultural contributors.


Although it seems that reality TV has been around for quite some time, documentary films are finally gaining more popularity across mainstream audiences – now appearing in large theatres. Further, names like Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore are quite recognizable across mainstream audiences. It is fortunate that there is a growing population eager to watch and support the truth being projected by talented filmmakers, as well as individuals that are willing to approach filmmaking in a more truthful manner.


We love documentaries here at Nettel Media. In fact, our very own Karene will be embarking on an adventure this summer in Uganda with Director of Photography Moussa Faddoul and they’ll be capturing the whole thing on film. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook and Twitter for more information!




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