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Review: 'A Woman Like Me' is a unique cancer journey Special

When Alex Sichel found out she had breast cancer — an incurable form, at that — she began to work through accepting her diagnosis with a film mirroring her life.

Review: 'Mussa' is a moving look at African refugees in Israel Special

For a documentary with a mostly silent protagonist, 'Mussa' has a lot to say about Israeli society and the country's attitude towards African refugees.

Op-Ed: The films you should be seeing at Toronto's Hot Docs 2015

North America's largest documentary film festival is slated to hit Toronto from April 23-May 3, and as usual there's a plethora of options. Here are some suggestions on what you should check out.

Review: 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight' removes the stigma of mental illness Special

Could you forgive your brother if he killed your mother? What if he did so because he was schizophrenic? John Kastner's 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight' is a moving and empathetic look into a Brockville, Ont. mental institution.

Review: 'The Creator of the Jungle' is an ode to art Special

On a basic level, 'The Creator of the Jungle' is a story about a man who builds huge wooden structures and stars in homemade Tarzan movies. On a thematic level, it's about the unrelenting pursuit of art that lasts.

Review: 'The Overnighters' is a moving story of faith and hypocrisy Special

If you're out of work but could make a six-figure salary elsewhere, would you move? But more importantly, will "elsewhere" be willing to take you in? Jesse Moss takes viewers into Williston, North Dakota in his moving doc, 'The Overnighters.'

Review: Looking for Oscar at Hot Docs

Toronto - How to choose movies when attending a film festival? I tend to build three columns: one for directors with track records I like; one for obscure films where I might discover new talent; and one for films that smell of Oscar glory.

Review: 'The Joe Show' may boil your blood Special

Joe Arpaio is probably the most infamous sheriff in all of the United States. Unsurprisingly, 'The Joe Show' feeds well off the controversy to build a portrait of a loved and hated public figure,

Review: Keeping it Canadian at Hot Docs

Toronto - This week marked the inaugural National Canadian Film Day, presented by REEL CANADA and sponsored by the CBC, Cineplex and Scotiabank, among many others. To commemorate the event, here are notes on two standout Canadian-produced docs I caught mid-week.

Review: 'Point and Shoot' is a thorough adventure Special

At some point in our lives we all wish we were out in the world having adventures. Matthew VanDyke took this to its logical extreme, and 'Point and Shoot' chronicles his transition from adventurer to revolutionary.

Review: Hot Docs makes the world smaller one film at a time Special

Hot Docs Film Festival showcases some of the best documentaries from around the world. We look at ‘Beijing Ants’; ‘The Condemned’; ‘The Engineer’; and ‘No Lullaby.’

Review: Hot Docs explores outsiders in foreign places Special

Nothing makes for more interesting viewing than the clash of two cultures; in 'Wonder World of Ice,' it's a group of Chinese sculptors living in a slow-moving Finnish town. In 'Bugarach,' a French town gets unwanted attention from New Age fanatics.

'Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case' looks at the human behind the artist Special

'Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case' is a new documentary tracing the Chinese artist’s life post-incarceration. Its filmmaker says you don’t have to love Ai’s art to appreciate the story of a human being facing incredible odds.

‘The Sheik’ producers clothesline 'shocking' article

Producers of ‘The Sheik’ respond to an unflattering article in the National Post that they suspect was a politically-motivated attempt to embarrass Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow.

Review: Hot Docs provides vivid reminders of the world’s darker affairs Special

High-profile subjects are generally included in Hot Docs Film Festival’s “Special Presentations” programme. We look at ‘Concerning Violence’; ‘Silenced’; and ‘Watchers of the Sky.’

Review: Globetrotting at Hot Docs to overlooked places

Toronto - Perhaps the greatest value of documentaries is their ability to help us bring empathy to the lives and the values of people who are different than we are. "Virunga" and "Happiness" are two shining examples, screening at the Hot Docs Film Festival.

Review: 'Hotline' is all about human connections Special

Given the advancement of technology and the state of the modern economy, it seems like the volume of hotline calling should be falling. In fact, call rates are on the rise, and 'Hotline' shows why they're still relevant.

Review: 'Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case' lights fires Special

It's impossible to talk about Ai Weiwei's art on its own. "I'm not a political artist, I'm just political," Ai says at one point in Andreas Johnsen's film, and it perfectly sums up the outspoken artist.

Review: Hot Docs looks at the truth behind the legends of men Special

One of the criteria for inclusion in the Hot Docs Film Festival “Special Presentations” programme is high-profile subjects. We look at ‘Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me’; ‘The Notorious Mr. Bout’; and ‘Whitey: United States of America v. Jame

Review: The world of 'Giuseppe Makes a Movie' is a warped one Special

Giuseppe Andrews made a small name for himself playing parts in films like 'Independence Day' and 'Detroit Rock City' but now creates strange independent films. 'Giuseppe Makes a Movie' follows him as he creates one in two days.

Review: 'Mateo' paints a complex portrait of an American mariachi singer Special

Matthew "Mateo" Stoneman makes a living in Los Angeles as a mariachi singer. As if that wasn't bizarre enough, 'Mateo' tells a globetrotting tale layered with complexity.

Review: 'Stream of Love' shows romance has no age limit Special

"Even an old goat likes a lick of the salt." An old woman says this near the middle of the documentary, and it perfectly sums up the theme of Ágnes Sós' 'Stream of Love.'

Review: ‘Doc of the Dead’ rises to the occasion Special

‘Doc of the Dead’ explores zombie culture through interviews with some of the movement’s most notable contributors and fans.

'Love Me' explores the male search for love, online and overseas Special

Toronto - Internet dating is big business, particularly overseas, where Ukrainian and Russian women sign up in droves to meet American men.

Review: Hot Docs is all about 'Love, Factually' Special

Hot Docs Film Festival adds “Love, Factually” to this year’s programme, featuring documentaries about people in love, looking for love and everything in between. We look at three selections: ‘Love & Engineering,’ ‘Love Hotel’ and ‘Love Me'

Review: ‘Big Men’ are drenched in oil money Special

‘Big Men’ is a black gold exposé that goes behind closed doors with key players in the African oil industry, including government officials, foreign investors and local militants.

Review: ‘Buying Sex’ is deliberately conflicted Special

‘Buying Sex’ presents viewers with two radically different visions of the future of prostitution in Canada, asking them to decide which would result in a more just society.

Review: Ulterior motives abound in ‘I Will be Murdered’ Special

‘I Will be Murdered’ is about a murder investigation that was elevated to a national sensation when the Guatemalan lawyer’s posthumously released video prophesized his death and accused his killer.

Review: The Pirate Bay is in choppy waters AFK Special

‘TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard’ is a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial court case that explores the issues a new generation of media consumers and questions how governments should deal with copyright in the Internet age.

Review: 'American Commune' shows how dreams can sour Special

'American Commune' charts the rise and fall of America’s largest utopian socialist experiment through the memories of two women raised in the alternative community.
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Kung Fu Elliot - still image
Kung Fu Elliot - still image
Hot Docs
Ai Weiwei and son Ai Lao.
Ai Weiwei and son Ai Lao.
International Film Circuit / Andreas Johnson
A still from the documentary film Indie Game: The Movie
A still from the documentary film Indie Game: The Movie
Courtesy Hot Docs
Hot Docs
Scene from  Bugarach
Scene from 'Bugarach'
Courtesy Hot Docs
Jackie Siegel  the star of the Queen of Versailles film
Jackie Siegel, the star of the Queen of Versailles film
Courtesy Hot Docs
Hot Docs
Hot Docs
Scene from  Out of Mind  Out of Sight
Scene from 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight'
Courtesy Hot Docs
A pic of the prison from The Guantanamo Trap  a documentary film about the famed Cuban detention cen...
A pic of the prison from The Guantanamo Trap, a documentary film about the famed Cuban detention centre.
Courtesy Hot Docs
Hot Docs
Diane Beaver  a major subject in the film The Guantanamo Trap
Diane Beaver, a major subject in the film The Guantanamo Trap
Hot Docs
Scene from  Mussa
Scene from 'Mussa'
Courtesy Hot Docs
Hot Docs
Hot Docs
Hot Docs
 Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case  profiles the Chinese artist from 2010 to 2012.
'Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case' profiles the Chinese artist from 2010 to 2012.
International Film Circuit / Andreas Johnson
Hot Docs