Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival 2014

Source: Bloor Annex

Hot Docs is North America’s largest yearly documentary festival that runs from April 24 to May 4. This year Hot Docs celebrated it’s 21st run with 452 public screenings of 197 official selections from 43 countries.   It had record breaking audience of about 192, 000.

Several awards were presented at the end of the festival, one of which included the Audience Award. Voted on by audience ballot and announced on May 5 2014, the winner was The Backward Class. Directed by Madeleine Grant, this feature length documentary focuses on a group of Dalit students in Bangalore, India, who defy their “untouchable” caste by undergoing 13 years of preparation to write the Indian School Certificate exams.

Attending filmmakers with official selections were also given the opportunity to vote for their favourite film. This year’s festival Filmmaker-Filmmaker Award winner was an official selection of The Netherlands and Belgium, Ne Me Quitte Pas. Written and directed by Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden, this heartwarming and provocative film examines loss, alcoholism, and recovery through the co-dependent nature of friendship.

Hot Docs Festival never disappoints. It connects the world through our mutual fascination of documentaries that explore cultures, political structures, and private struggles, provoking discussions between filmgoers and filmmakers.

Read on to discover what our writers thought of the documentaries they saw at Hot Docs.

Kristine Sahagun