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Chad Walker and Dave LaMattina

The Best of Hot Docs
Director: Chad Walker and Dave LaMattina

Intimate interviews and never-before-seen home videos conjure up a beautiful, accomplished and surprisingly moving portrait of Caroll Spinney, who has performed as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street for over 40 years.

“3.5/4 stars: thoroughly entertaining…a joy to watch.” Globe and Mail

“The triumphant tearjerker of this year’s Hot Docs film festival…speaks to the heart of a viewer and brings out the softie in everyone” POV Magazine

“One of the most emotionally effective performing arts docs that’s ever been made." Dork Shelf

John Walker

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: John Walker

Nunavut means "Our Land". But does that include us? After decades of what might generously be described as benign neglect, Canada seems more invested in the north than ever (no prizes for guessing why). Documentarian John Walker (A Drummer’s Dream) traces the long, often fractious relationship between the Inuit and the rest of the country, marvels at the beauty and hardship of this place, and reflects on his own experiences, revisiting the arctic for the first time since the 60s.

Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom

The Best of Hot Docs
Director: Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom

Renowned for outing psychics and faith-healers as frauds, James "The Amazing" Randi makes no bones about being a "liar, cheat and charlatan." But such honesty doesn’t necessarily mean he has nothing to hide. This fascinating film investigates the famed debunker’s own deceptions.

"Directors Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom apply the same relentless scrutiny to their subject that Randi brings to bear on the phonies he exposes."NOW Toronto

"(The filmmakers) turn a standard bio-doc about an extraordinary man into a rumination on the blurred line between trickery and truth."Toronto Star

Ti West

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Ti West

Writer-director Ti West (House of the Devil) assembles an indie-film all-star cast including fellow filmmakers Joe Swanberg, Kentucker Audley and Amy Seimetz for this chilling suspense story about cults and a crisis of conscience.

A newsteam trails a man as he travels to an undisclosed location to find his missing sister. Upon entering "Eden Parish" and meeting the community’s leader, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems.

"Frightening in any genre language."—Guy Lodge, Variety

Anne Wheeler

Women in Film Festival
Director: Anne Wheeler

Ryan White

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Ryan White

A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The stirring new documentary The Case Against 8, showcasing the lawyers and plaintiffs who challenged California’s 2008 gay marriage ban, is the best kind of popular history, a film that trembles with tears and hope, and I dare you to get through it without bawling some yourself."—Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

“Cotner and White’s handling of a hugely divisive topic is masterful ... Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, The Case Against 8 is essential viewing.”—National Post

"The film fascinates in part because the legal team behind the couples—and the American Foundation for Equal Rights that supported them—included Republican stalwart Ted Olson and Democrat David Boies, who had squared off in the famous Bush vs. Gore case, the 2000 battle over whether there should be a recount in Florida. Here they’re warm and toasty together and passionately committed to a progressive cause.”—Now magazine

Charles Wilkinson

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Charles Wilkinson

Last September Neil Young spoke for many when he likened Fort McMurray to Hiroshima, "a wasteland". Local inhabitants were outraged, and at least one radio station banned Young from its playlist. Vancouver filmmaker Charles Wilkinson (Peace Out) treads a middle-ground with Oil Sands Karaoke, a portrait of the tar sands capital which includes both sobering vistas of massive environmental upheaval and an affectionate, non-judgmental look at the folks who live and work there, mostly when they’re letting their hair down at Bailey’s karaoke bar.

"Surprisingly sensitive… poignant, and beautifully shot." Marsha Lederman, Globe & Mail

Adam Wong

Hong Kong Spirit Films
Director: Adam Wong

Described as nothing less than "miraculous", this low budget HK dance film became a box office sensation last summer and newcomer Cherry Ngan became an overnight star.

"A cracking spectacle that showcases some of Hong Kong’s best street dancers" The Hollywood Reporter

"The choreography shows flashes of genuine inventiveness that will impress even those unfamiliar with the street dance scene." Twitch

"After all these years, we have finally found the new hope for Hong Kong cinema." Shu Kei

Nicholas Wrathall

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Nicholas Wrathall

Eternally opinionated, brilliantly funny and terminally political, Gore Vidal—novelist, essayist, polemicist, politician, pundit, screenwriter—was the true protean man. If nothing else, this acute, trenchant documentary reminds us just how much we’re missing in a cultural landscape from which the public intellectual has been banished without a trace.

"Immensely enjoyable… invigorating."Ernest Hardy, Village Voice

"Nicholas Wrathall’s treasure-trove documentary does a terrific job of summing up the late political writer’s life and work."Time Out New York