With over 150 queer-themed film and video festivals happening around the world, Canada boasts a diverse crop of its own, including Toronto's Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Hot Doc’s and the Queer West Film Festival. And with movie events throughout the year from sea to sea in a country renowned for its queer-friendliness, LGBT festivals spotlight innovative work by new directors and never before seen films.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market event . Running from April 26 to May 6 2012, Hot Docs’ 19th edition will present an outstanding selection of 189 documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates.
Below is a video by Toronto Xtra Gay and Lesbian Newspaper (Xtraonline) "Hot Docs 2012 Queer Preview." Toronto television producer Nicolas Kazamia speaks with International Programmer, Lynne Crocker, about the Queer films at the 2012 Hot Docs Film Festival.
Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, May 2 and 3, and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.
There are still so few films that depict Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Tran community from the perspective of filmmakers Hoc Doc’s has very successfully established a niche for itself. Today, it draws crowds from across the GTA and surrounding areas.
This Year Hot Doc’s is presenting several films that discuss LGBT issues, culture and subjects:
74 minutes | USA | (Subtitled) English Spanish | International Premiere | Rating: 14A
Screenings Wed, May 2 9:45 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 - Thursday, May 3 7:00 PM The ROM Theatre and Sun, May 6 9:00 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
- Nestled inconspicuously in the East end of Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park neighbourhood is a historic bar called the Silver Platter. It’s been a staple in the Latino-LGBT community since 1963, serving as a safe space and anything-goes playground. In 2008, first-time director Wu Tsang, an L.A. performance artist, co-founded a popular weekly party called Wildness, bringing a new queer generation through the legendary doors and shining a contemporary spotlight on an old watering hole. The influx of new patrons effected some changes, for better or worse. Tsang’s documentary homage to the place so many called home magically brings the Silver Platter to life, conjuring her spirit and voice, guiding viewers - through her colourful and tumultuous history and present. Wildness is a worthy and provocative tribute to community, creativity and dignity. Lynne CrockerUnited in Anger: A History of ACT UP
Gordon 93 MINUTES | USA | CANADIAN PREMIERE | RATING: PG
Screening Wed May 2 at 9:30 pm The Cumberland – Friday May 4 3 pm TIFF Lightbox and Sunday May 6 1:15 pm at The Revue Cinema
-Never-before-seen archival footage pushes us into the frontlines of early AIDS activism, one of the most empowering grassroots movements in recent history. Two days after Larry Kramer’s 1987 passionate speech that warned the audience that, unless they fought for change, half of them would die of AIDS within six months, a diverse group of 300 men and women galvanized to form the radical, messy and extremely effective umbrella of ACT UP and its affinity groups. Motivated to the extreme, many had never protested before, but they quickly mastered the art of headline-grabbing media actions that forced attention from an apathetic government, made AIDS a national issue and fought for fair access to treatment. United in Anger captures the power, sexiness and irreverent energy of a movement that redrew the map of AIDS politics, shook up the world and saved the lives of millions. Gisèle Gordon
Call Me Kuchu
87 minutes | USA | (Subtitled) English Luganda | North American Premiere
Screenings Wed, May 2 9:45 PM Isabel Bader Theatre - Thu, May 3 7:00 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 and Sat, May 5 9:00 PM Isabel Bader Theatre
Uganda, a country where over 40 per cent of its citizens are Roman Catholic, has become ground zero in an American evangelical war on the “homosexual agenda.” Enter David Kato, a veteran activist who’s been working tirelessly to repeal his country’s homophobic laws and liberate his fellow gay and transgendered citizens—called “kuchus”—from persecution. Kato’s mission is intensified when a new anti-homosexuality bill proposing death for HIV-positive gay men is introduced. Call Me Kuchu documents the courageous efforts of Kato and his team to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The result is both a hard-won victory and a devastating loss for the international gay community. Shannon AbelThe Mystery of Mazo de la Roche
52 minutes | Canada | Toronto Premiere
Screenings Sun, Apr 29 4:45 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 - Mon, Apr 30 6:30 PM Isabel Bader Theatre and Sun, May 6 4:15 PM Cumberland 3
Mazo de la Roche was one of the most successful women writers of the 20th century. Her novel Jalna, the dramatic story of a family dynasty in northern Ontario, skyrocketed her to international fame in 1927 when she won a major literary prize. By the time she died in 1961, 11 million copies of her books had been sold in 93 languages, and the Whiteoaks of Jalna became a beloved CBC television miniseries in the 1970s. Despite her fame, her private life remained a mystery. She lived with her lifelong companion, Caroline Clement, in what was then called a “Boston marriage” and they creatively constructed public personas that protected their private lives. Beautifully shot and edited, the film transitions between lush fictional scenes that speculate about her private life with Caroline to literary archives and interviews with de la Roche’s adopted daughter, her biographers and acclaimed writers Marie-Claire Blais and Susan Swan. Lynne Fernie
The Great Liberty
79 minutes | Sweden | (Subtitled) Swedish German | North American Premiere | Rating: 14A
Screenings Sat, Apr 28 6:30 PM The ROM Theatre - Mon, Apr 30 4:30 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 and Sun, May 6 9:15 PM Isabel Bader Theatre
When Klas Ehnemark’s estranged father is brutally murdered by his lover in the German village of Grosserlach, he’s asked to testify at the trial. To paint a picture of his father, a man he hardly knew, he travels back in time. He prepares his court address visually by sifting through photographs, home movies, and audio diaries to reveal a free spirit who chose a different way of living. Klas breathes life back into his father by visiting his house, the scene of the crime. He films himself seeing things for the fist time in an eerie evidentiary style, and match-cuts his footage to his father’s own self-recorded videos, occupying the same space as him, if only for a fleeting moment. The Great Liberty searches for a state of mind, the social and sexual freedom his father had been seeking his whole life and found only in death. Angie Driscoll
Over My Dead Body
78 minutes | Canada | (Subtitled) French | Toronto Premiere
Screenings Fri, Apr 27 10:00 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 and Sun, Apr 29 4:00 PM The ROM Theatre
With masterworks like Pornography of the Soul and A Little Tenderness for Crying Out Loud!, queer Montreal choreographer and wild child of the international dance scene Dave St-Pierre has shocked audiences with raw aesthetics, violent physicality and the astonishing beauty of naked humanity, provoking comparisons to Pina Bausch’s theatre of cruelty. Now, only 34, St-Pierre’s health is seriously declining: his cystic fibrosis has worsened, plastic tubes connect him to an oxygen tank, and without a transplant he will die. As the months pass and he waits for the call about a donor that could save his life, director Brigitte Poupart—his “soul sister” and longtime collaborator—gathers stunning excerpts from his danceworks, beautifully composed images and tableaux, scenes from the hospital and operating room, interviews, graphics and text and brilliantly manipulates them into a portrait of an artist facing death and a powerful, immersive work of contemporary documentary cinema. Lynne Fernie
She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column
Screenings Fri, Apr 27 7:15 PM The Royal Cinema - Tue, May 1 9:00 PM Cumberland 2 and Fri, May 4 7:00 PM Fox Theatre
Friday April 27 - Young Toronto female artists launch new film: The Story Of Fifth Column World Premiere @ The Royal Cinema. . She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column is a documentary movie about a group of young female artists from Toronto in the early eighties who came together to use music, film, and self publication to defy conventions of art practise, gender ideas, and femininity. These endeavours snowballed into global movements such as the political feminist Riot Grrrl movement, and the Queercore punk movement. Shot over 2 years in Toronto, New York City, and Berlin, this film looks at their work, and explores why you may not have heard of them, despite their impact.
The film combines tonnes of never before seen photographs and rare archival film to also look at the contributions of this group of young people to the core of Canada’s rich subculture, and investigates the reasons these cultures often slip through the cracks of our history and art-heritage.
The three core members of the band, Caroline Azar, Beverly Breckenridge and G.B. Jones help tell their story here – along with other former members of the group and their friends, such as notorious filmmaker and controversial artist Bruce LaBruce, who helped create the hugely impactful J.D’s fanzine with Jones. The film also features activist, musician and writer Kathleen Hanna (Le Tigre, Bikini Kill) who fronted the Riot Grrrl movement, as well as the legendary performance artist and musician, and comrade to the band, Ms. Vaginal Davis.
The Details She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column was directed and produced by Kevin Hegge, with executive producer Kelly Jenkins Tickets $14.50 each Friday, April 27 at 7:15pm The Royal Cinema http://www.theroyal.to 608 College Street (416) 466-4400 in the heart of Toronto's only Queer District.
Film Festival Details Admission: Individual tickets to Hot Docs 2012 are $14.50. Tickets to all Late-night screenings (screenings after 11:00 P.M.) are $5 each or $10 for an All-You-Can-Eat Late-Night Pass (one ticket to each screening). Packages and passes are available, too. TICKET INFORMATION: http://www.hotdocs.ca/festival/online_box_office/