Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hot Docs 2013: Wrap-up

Wrap-up from from the 2013 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, Canada.

I don't have too much in the way of commentary. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, this was another highly successful year for the festival. Screenings were often full-to-packed, and by my luck or the festival's curation, I think I saw a bit more good stuff this year than last. Having the bulk of the screenings at the Lightbox and Paramount generally makes for an enjoyable experience, making the ROM and Innis feel even shoddier by comparison. (Line-up gossip has hinted that the latter is now slated for a make-over, so here's hoping for some more comfortable seats!)

I saw fifty titles at this year's Hot Docs, putting everything in the pot. That includes features, mid-lengths and shorts; new films and old. (For bragging/comparative purposes, that works out to thirty-nine screenings.) Before the memories fade, here's a quick + rough ranking of everything I saw, with the first-listed getting the almost entirely uncoveted "Prix de Joe". As usual, my rankings don't overlap too much with the juried or populist award winners. (And note, of course, that I did write-ups for all of these, which you can find if you dig through the Hot Docs tag.)


Let the Fire Burn
Valentine Road
This Ain't No Mouse Music!

Very Good

Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge
The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins
Always for Pleasure
NCR: Not Criminally Responsible
Marc & Ann
The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists
Big Men


God Loves Uganda
15 Reasons to Live
A Well Spent Life
Gap-Toothed Women
Here One Day
Dry Wood
Hill of Pleasures
William and the Windmill
The Auctioneer
The Women and the Passenger
Remote Area Medical
Picture of Light
Blood Relative
The Last Station
Bà nôi
12 O'Clock Boys
Searching for Bill
Live Cinema
Dear Valued Guests
Dizzy Gillespie
Cloudy Mountains


The Unbelievers
I Will Be Murdered
Eastern Avenue
The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne
Rent a Family Inc.
The Defector: Escape from North Korea
Terms And Conditions May Apply
Packing Up the Wagon


The Devil's Lair
Finding the Funk

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