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Caesar Must Die

Program Running Time 76 min.

Films in Program

(Cesare deve morire)
(Italy, 2012, 76 mins, DCP)

Filmed in a documentary style in Rome’s high security Rebibbia prison, the movie chronicles a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar performed by the inmates just a few miles from where the Roman emperor was assassinated. The actors are real life murderers, mafiosi and drug dealers, and their performances slip subtly between Shakespeare’s text and their own contemporary argot, blurring the lines (literally) between past and present, art and life… But complicating things even further, the Tavianis scripted everything, off-stage as well as on, so what we take for "reality" is every bit as artificial as the play itself - and just as true.

Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” usually runs about two-and-a-half hours uncut. Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s tale of a prison-based production of the classic runs 74 minutes. Yet the film gets on screen not only the play’s bloody, double-dealing, hungry essence, but the redemptive potential of art […] Such is literature’s power that the cast is more at ease portraying ancient Romans than speaking as versions of themselves. Muses the man playing Julius Caesar, “To think I found this so boring in school.” Farrah Smith Nehme, New York Post

"At once ancient and dangerously new." Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Levon Helm: Ain't In It For My Health

Program Running Time 83 min.

Films in Program

Crulic - The Path to Beyond

Program Running Time 73 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Anca Damian
(2011, 73 mins, Digital Betacam)

When Claudiu Crulic, a young Romanian in Poland, was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, he became a pawn in a Kafkaesque miscarriage of justice and went on a hunger strike to protest his treatment in jail. Anca Damian’s documentary is by turns chilling and heartbreaking, and also ironic, with black humour forcing through.

Crulic himself “narrates” the film posthumously, his words voiced by Vlad Ivanov, star of such Romanian New Wave titles as Police, Adjective and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days—but what makes this extraordinary documentary even more compelling is its strong visual style: Damian uses handdrawn, cutout, and collage animation techniques to create a strikingly memorable film

"Technically a documentary, this brilliant medley of animation and cutouts, with slivers of live action tossed in, is creative interpretation at its most sublime. Crulic has a distinctly Eastern European dry humor, manifest in the drawings and in the rapid, highly detailed voiceovers (mostly in Romanian, with a few observational points made in English)…. Telling a tragic true story with almost lighthearted animation techniques is a brilliant choice that pays off." Howard Feinstein, Filmmaker

"Lean, astute… the variety of animation techniques - hand-drawn, cutout, stop-motion, and collage - indelibly convey the bureaucratic horrors the young man faced." Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

"Visually stunning… Magnificent." Anja Savic, Vancouver Weekly

Blood Pressure

Program Running Time 94 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Sean Garrity
(Canada, 2012, 94 mins, DCP)

Opening Night supported by First Weekend Club. Come early to enjoy a reception, Siobhan Devine's Vancouver-made short film OMG (starring Gabrille Rose and Matreya Fedor, and a post screening Q&A with director Sean Garrity.

At 41, Nicole is at a point in her life when she is asking is this all there is - or whether she still has more to offer? One day she gets a letter from an anonymous observer who seems to know her daily habits intimately. More than that - he seems to intuit a potential Nicole herself has buried deep inside. He has a plan for her, if she is interested… And so begins a dance that is by turns adventurous, romantic, erotic, reckless and potentially disastrous.

“The plot will creep under your skin and raise your pulse.”

Chris Knight, The National Post

"Tightly crafted… very gripping with a fabulous performance by Michelle Giroux." Brian D Johnson, City TV

“Garrity fashions something tense, steely, and affecting out of a premise that might’ve yielded an erotic fantasy if the events here weren’t so rooted.” Jason Anderson, The Grid

Pieta

Program Running Time 104 min.

Films in Program

Anita

(2013, 84 mins)
Director:
CAST Anita Hill

Showtimes

TICKET PACKS
* VIFC Guest + Volunteer Passes are not valid for Best Of Hot Docs Series

In 1991, Anita Hill’s powerful testimony at the confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas brought sexual harassment into America’s national spotlight. Twenty years later, Ms. Hill revisits those hearings and for the first time on film speaks about the gruelling nine-hour experience of confronting an all-white male jury who demonstrated little sensitivity towards sexual harassment. A sometimes painful and shocking look back, she reflects on how that testimony shaped her life and consequently a nation. This is a must-see film, particularly for young women, for the understanding it offers on how these historic hearings treated sexual harassment and how dismissively it was viewed by the public. (Heather Haynes)

About the Director

Freida Mock is an Academy Award–winning filmmaker, director, writer, and producer of feature-length and short documentary films. Her films include Maya Lin: A Strong Vision, about the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which won an Academy Award in 1995; Sing! (2001); and Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember (1990). Mock’s films typically have strong social, historical, and political themes—her films that previously screened at the Sundance Film Festival: Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner (2006) and Return with Honor (1999) about fighter pilots surviving as POWs—are good examples

"Enthralling and revealing… Intelligent and comprehensive." Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter

Finding the Funk

(2013, 78 mins)
Director:
CAST James Brown, George Clinton, Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, Sheila E, Mike D, Ahmir Questlove Thompson

Showtimes

TICKET PACKS
* VIFC Guest + Volunteer Passes are not valid for Best Of Hot Docs Series

Funk is disciplined, funk is freaky—it’s huge Afros and colours … and always fun!”

Filmmaker-historian Nelson George conducts a passionate archeology of funk music—the crucial bridge between ’60s soul and ’80s hip hop—replete with loving testimonials about Dayton, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, in their funk heydays, where in the basements of now-mythical music makers like Sly Stone and P-Funk, the funk explosion was catalyzed. With The Roots member Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson as our guide, and warm regaling from notable musicians such as Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Sheila E. and Mike D of the Beastie Boys, we’re transported to the hippie-ish ’70s when a mad fever of savvy creativity saw the transmutation of jazz, soul and R&B into infectiously danceable funk. Unspooling the movement’s psychedelic-influenced ethos with flair, George carves out a nostalgic portrait of funk music as an enduring artistic assertion of the black experience in the USA. (Justin Mah)

"Not to spoil the ending, but director Nelson George absolutely does find the funk. 3 stars." Brad Wheeler, Globe & Mail

"A lesson every music fan should have." William Brownridge, Toronto Film Scene

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

(2013, 73 mins)
Directors:

Showtimes

TICKET PACKS
* VIFC Guest + Volunteer Passes are not valid for Best Of Hot Docs Series

How does a poor, single, African-American mother from segregated 1950s America wind up as one of the world’s most notorious jewel thieves?

Just ask her. A glamorous 81-year-old, Doris Payne is as unapologetic today about the nearly $2 million in jewels she’s stolen over a 60-year career as she was the day she stole her first carat. With Payne now on trial for the theft of a department store diamond ring, filmmakers Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond probe beneath her consummate smile to uncover the secrets of her trade and what drove her to a life of crime.

Stylish recreations, an extensive archive and candid interviews reveal how Payne managed to jet-set her way into any Cartier or Tiffany’s from Monte Carlo to Japan and walk out with small fortunes. This sensational portrait exposes a rebel who defies society’s prejudices and pinches her own version of the American Dream while she steals your heart. (Myrocia Watamaniuk)

"Unsurprisingly, Payne’s life story is currently set to be made into a film starring Halle Berry, who has her work cut out for her if she’s going to inhabit the devilishly charming Miss Doris Payne, international criminal." Scott A Gray, exclaim

"4 stars, Must See!" Now magazine

“Is The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne Essential Hot Docs Viewing? Absolutely. You won’t find a more charming, befuddling subject of a film at this year’s fest.” Kristal Cooper, Toronto Film Scene

Blood Pressure

(2012, 94 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Michelle Giroux, Judah Katz, Tatiana Maslany, Jonas Chernick, Jake Epstein

Showtimes

Opening Night supported by First Weekend Club. Come early to enjoy a reception, Siobhan Devine's Vancouver-made short film OMG (starring Gabrille Rose and Matreya Fedor, and a post screening Q&A with director Sean Garrity.

Nicole (Michelle Giroux) is a pharmacist with a husband and two teenage kids. At 41 she is at a point in her life when she is asking is this all there is - or whether she still has more to offer?

One day she gets a letter from an anonymous observer who seems to know her daily habits intimately. More than that - he seems to intuit a potential Nicole herself has buried deep inside. He has a plan for her, if she is interested. The letter contains a green card that she should place in her window if she wishes to pursue the mysterious relationship. Hesitantly, she does so. And so begins a dance that is by turns adventurous, romantic, erotic, reckless and potentially disastrous.

This spine-tingling thriller from My Awkward Sexual Adventure director Sean Garrity has a craft and assurance more often associated with classy French drama than low budget English Canadian productions. Michelle Giroux gives one of the year’s outstanding performances as a middle-aged woman discovering untold layers within herself.

“The plot will creep under your skin and raise your pulse.”

Chris Knight, The National Post

"Tightly crafted… very gripping with a fabulous performance by Michelle Giroux." Brian D Johnson, City TV

“Garrity fashions something tense, steely, and affecting out of a premise that might’ve yielded an erotic fantasy if the events here weren’t so rooted.” Jason Anderson, The Grid

Terms and Conditions May Apply

(2013, 79 mins)
Director:
CAST Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt

Showtimes

TICKET PACKS
* VIFC Guest + Volunteer Passes are not valid for Best Of Hot Docs Series

Director Cullen Hoback will host a Q+A following the screening.

No one really reads the terms and conditions connected to every website they visit, phone call they make or app they download. After watching this provocative exploration of what actually lies between the lines of those tiny-font agreements, however, you may just hurl your computer out the window and take to a cave. With fascinating examples, comical gags and terrifying facts, filmmaker Cullen Hoback investigates what governments and corporations are doing with your “personal” information. Regardless of privacy settings, data is being collected and behaviour is being monitored—as you read this, in fact—leaving the future of civil liberties uncertain. But are we really living in such a dystopian conspiratorial world? From whistle blowers and investigative journalists to zombie fan clubs and Egyptian dissidents, this disquieting exposé demonstrates how every one of us has incrementally opted into a real-time surveillance state, click by click. (Myrocia Watamaniuk)

"This documentary should be mandatory viewing for everyone who uses the internet." John Ford, Slug Magazine

"If you believe the privacy promises of online giants like Google and Facebook, then Cullen Hoback’s doc will remove the scales from your eyes and your hand away from your mouse." Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

"Witty yet chilling." Brian D Johnston, Macleans

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