May 09

Hot Docs Film Festival 2022 Toronto-April 28th-May 8th, 2022

In person film festivals are back! And Hot Docs is in person for the first time in 2 years.  Although the online viewing has been a good replacement, the in-person experience is what it’s all about.

This year’s Hot Docs Film Festival (#hotdocs22) was held in 4 venues. The Rogers Hot Docs Cinema at Bloor & Bathurst. Bader Theatre across from the ROM. TIFF Lightbox on King Street. And added this year, Varsity Cinema at Manulife Centre – Bay & Bloor. The venues were perfect – great locations with easy access on TTC, comfortable cinemas, big screens and lots of popcorn! After each film screening there was a discussion about the film often with the director, actors, and filmmakers. These live talks are what make the film screenings so exciting. Audience members are welcome to ask questions and there’s sometimes the chance to speak to them after. And the volunteers help it all happen! 

This year BK On The Scene had the chance to view the following films…

On Opening Night  – Thursday, April 28 – Rewind and Play at Lightbox. Directed by Alain Gomis. French and German production. Biography of Jazz genius Thelonious Monk in Paris in 1969. Unaired footage is used while sharing the taping of Jazz Portrait, a French TV show. Very close-up shots of Monk allow viewers to feel how he feels. Amazing.  In English and French

Friday, April 29 – OKAY! The ASD Band Film directed by Mark Bone at Hot Docs Cinema with the band members in the audience. The film follows the ASD Band members’ musical journey as the band is created. ASD means Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Clips from their concert at The Opera House in Toronto are included. What an honour to have The ASD Band and their families in attendance! This dynamic 4 piece musical group gave a 2 song concert following the film screening. Follow The ASD Band for future concerts! 

Saturday, April 30 – Make People Better at Lightbox – A Chinese scientist develops the first designer babies, keeping it all a scientific secret. Then he disappears..even though many others are involved in this scientific creation.

It’s the ultimate GMO, designer genes to make designer babies, engineered by the mad scientist JK whose story of scientific intrigue, mysterious disappearance and then criminal scapegoat in China, as told by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Cody Sheehy, the creative vision of high impact social campaigns at Rhumbline Media. Is this scientific breakthrough an ethical breach leading out of the garden of Eden, opening a Pandora’s Box for commercial or governmental purposes as the ultimate progression of IVF pioneered by Dr. Steptoe, Nobel winning Obstetrician, with the ability to pre-empt diseases, or potential genetic engineering dystopia?


Sunday, May 1 -Film –  Category: Woman at Bader Theatre  with Olympic field hockey athlete and Director Phyllis Ellis. This sports documentary shows the racism four female athletes endure when they fight against the governing International sports insisting on medically altering their bodies. The film shares the fight against these human rights violations. An honour to have Toronto Mayor John Tory in attendance in addition to Phyllis Ellis and crew

Monday, May 2 – Film – ALIS – directed by Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf –  in Spanish 

Young women in a group home in Bogota, Colombia create a fictional classmate, Alis. They share their own personal tragic life stories through describing this fictitious person. A thought provoking film. Part of the Made in Chile section. Colombia, Romania, Chile production

As always the Hot Docs Film Festival Experience included so many fascinating, thought-provoking documentaries. Films on so many different topics, learning about people’s lives in different countries, hearing live discussions led by Hot Docs partners with filmmakers and actors. Great venues to view the films. Excellent volunteers. Thanks Hot Docs for another great film festival experience!  #hotdocs22