Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Few of My Faves and A Hot Docs Talk - Bring it on Hot Docs!

I know there's a lot of great stuff to choose from, but I would be remiss if I didn't draw your attention to some of my faves:

THE MOTHER - cinematic, artful, emotionally engaging, a really incredible piece - co-director Antoine Cattin's production company is called KINICO, named after the organisation created by Russian director Dziga Vertov in the 1920's (keep an eye out for my interview with Antoine in the Hot Docs Daily).

VIRTUAL JFK - not only is the concept of virtual history interesting, but also see this for the riveting footage of JFK masterfully commanding the media at press conferences. Research for the film came out of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University (the same group who researched THE FOG OF WAR). A book co-authored by David Welch from the University of Toronto will also be released.

I am moderating a Hot Docs Talk on Sunday, April 20, 1:00 PM, at Innis Town Hall called "The Long Haul" about docs that follow a story or character over a long period of time. SONG SUNG BLUE director Greg Kohs filmed Thunder and Lightening (the doc's subjects) for 9 years. What made him stick with it? Where did he think the story was going to go? I'll ask him.

More of my festival highlights to come...

See you at the festival!
Shannon Abel
Senior International Programmer

Monday, April 7, 2008


But who needs sleep!

I'm enjoying watching the "buzz" page, and its no surprise that films with provocative titles and/or pictures are garnering alot of interest.

But if you knew what I knew, you'd also take a chance on some titles that are lingering lower on the list, buzz wise.

Here's a few suggestions for today:

WAITING FOR HOCKNEY - from the obsessive artistic pursuit genre, unbelievable story and character.
DEAR ZACHARY - this will be one of the most talked about films at Fest.
CITIZEN HAVEL - a remarkable portrait of an amazing radical leader turned politician.
CLUB NATIVE - one of my fave Canadian docs this year.
FOOTBALL UNDERCOVER - winner of an award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Happy Hot Doccing,