#MUFFApproved: Hot Docs

#MUFFApproved: Hot Docs

Hot Docs Film Festival 2015

Since I started working at film festivals in 2010, Hot Docs—currently on RIGHT FUCKING NOW until May 3rd—has consistently been one of my favourites. Mainly because documentaries are awesome and we should celebrate them more often but also because it's in my hometown (yay, Toronto!), has some of the best patrons around, and the atmosphere is especially electric. 

I love the feeling I get when I'm at a film festival—everyone is so stoked to be there that there's a buzz of excitement in the air and every screening you attend is more of an experience than just "watching a movie." And the experiences I've had at Hot Docs, from laughing along with Jeanie Finlay's The Great Hip Hop Hoax, to being deeply moved and challenged by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's After Tiller, are bar none.

This year is no exception but we must really pause and take note of the following #MUFFApproved fact: over 40% of the 210 films screening at this year's Hot Docs Film Festival are directed or co-directed by women. Yup:  40 freakin' percent. That's not to say that Hot Docs is the only festival making amazing strides in the representing women category (this year Cannes announced that for the first time since 1987 it was opening with a woman-directed film, Sundance has its Women's Initiative, and the Bentonville Film Festival launches in just a couple of weeks), but Hot Docs is certainly among some of the louder voices. And that's thanks to the amazing programming team and Director of Programming Charlotte Cook. We are not worthy. 

Even more awesome: the Festival's Opening Night film is not only directed by two amazing women but features an equally amazing woman as well: Tig, directed by Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York and about, well, Tig Notaro, if the title didn't give it away. That is some girl fucking power right there. 

Directors Ashley York and Kristina Goolsby, with subjects Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allyne speaking at their third screening. 

Directors Ashley York and Kristina Goolsby, with subjects Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allyne speaking at their third screening. 

I wish I could see ALL of these amazing docs this year but one, I haven't figured out how to clone myself yet and two, I'm also working my "regular" job during the day at at one of the festival venues as a manager at night. So, amazing readers, I expect you all to go see at least one (or ten) fantastic women-directed docs at this year's 2015 Hot Docs Film Festivals. Wondering what they are? Well, funny you should ask...

After the Hot Docs films were announced, I set about making a list of all of the women-directed and co-directed documentaries. Now, there isn't a filter for such a thing on the website (ahem, would be great for next year, ahem) so I had to literally look at every documentary—that's 210, if you forgot—and check if there is a woman listed as director. Needless to say it took hours. I had also wanted to put together a list of the women editors, cinematographers, and composers but, listen, my eyes literally (literally!) started to bleed so I had to stop. I know the films and names have been updated since I made this list so there are probably a few films missing (sorry, sorry, sorry), but for the most part, below you will find an almost complete list of all of the amazing women-directed documentaries. It's a beautiful, interesting, diverse list of films because, hey, women have beautiful, interesting, and diverse stories to tell.

If you're around at the Bloor during the festival, come say hi!

Happy doc-watching,



All the Time in the World, dir. Suzanne Crocker
The Amina Profile, dir. Sophie Deraspe 
Around the World in 50 Concerts, dir. Heddy Honigmann
The Barkley Marathons, dir. Annika Iltis, Timothy Kane
Beyond the Fear, dir. Maria Kravchenko, Herz Frank
Blood Sisters, dir. Malin Andersson 
The Bolivian Case, dir. Violeta Ayala
Censored Voices, dir. Mor Loushy
Chuck Norris vs Communism, dir. Iliac Calugareanu
The Closer We Get, dir. Karen Guthrie
The Cult of JT Leroy, dir. Marjorie Sturm 
Democrats, dir. Camilla Nielsson 
Deprogrammed, dir. Mia Donovan 
(Dis)Honesty - The Truth About Lies, dir. Yael Melamede 
Double Happiness, dir. Ella Raidel
Drawing the Tiger, dir. Amy Benson, Ramyata Limbu, Scott Squire
Dreamcatcher, dir Kim Longinotto 
Drone, dir. Tone Hessen Schei 
End of the World, dir. Monica Pawluczuk 
Exotica, Erotica, Etc., dir. Evangelina Kranioti 
Foodies, dir. Charlotte Landelius, Henrik Stockare, Thomas Jackson
Frame by Frame, dir. Mo Scarpelli, Alexandria Bombach
From This Day Forward, Sharon Shattuck 
Gayby Baby, dir. Maya Newell
Indian Point, dir. Ivy Meeropol 
Journey with Prabhat, dir. Jessica Sadana, Samarth Dixit 
Leaving Africa, dir. Iiris Härmä
Love Between the Covers, dir. Laurie Kahn 
Lowdown Tracks, dir. Shelley Saywell
Mavis!, dir. Jessica Edwards
The Messenger, dir. Su Rynard
Milk, dir. Noemi Weis 
Mom and Me, dir. Lena Macdonald 
Mussa, dir. Anat Goren
New From Home, dir. Chantal Ackerman
Nicola Costantino: The Artefacta, dir. Natalie Cristiani 
No Place to Hide: The Rehtaeh Parsons Story, dir. Rama Rau 
Over the Rainbow, dir. Tara Fallaux
Orion: The Man Who Would Be King, dir. Jeanie Finlay 
Pervert Park, dir. Frida Barkers, Lasse Barkfors
Portraits of a Search, dir. Alicia Calderón 
Possessed by Djinn, dir. Dalia Al Kury 
The Queen of Silence, dir. Agnieszka Zwiefka
Radical Grace, dir. Rebecca Parrish 
Sailing a Sinking Sea, dir. Olivia Wyatt
The Shore Break, dir. Ryley Grunenwald
Shoulder the Lion, dir. Eeriness Rebisz, Patryk Rebisz
Speed Sisters, dir. Amber Fares 
Southern Rites, dir. Gillian Laub
Stay Awhile, dir. Jessica Edwards
The Strongest Man, dir. Louise Hémon
The Superstars of Koti, dir. Farha Alam, Anuj Adlakha
(T)ERROR, dir. Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe
Thank You for Playing, dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall, David Osit
They Will Have to Kill Us First, dir. Johanna Schwartz
Thought Crimes, dir. Erin Lee Car
Tig, dir. Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York
Uncertain, dir. Anna Sandilands, Ewan McNicol
What Happened, Miss Simone?, dir. Liz Garbus 
The Wolfpack, dir. Crystal Moselle
A Woman Like Me, dir. Alex Sichel, Elizabeth Giamatti 
3 Still Standing, dir. Donna LoCicerno, Wally Smith, Simon Rose

Focus on Carole Laganiere
East End Forever
East End Kids
The Fiancee of Life
The Moon and the Violin
Some Farewells 

Araya, dir. Margot Benacerraf
News from Home, dir. Chantal Akerman 

short films
Bernice, dir. Kristina Sorge
The Conversation, dir. Anastasia Novikova 
Giovanni and the Water Ballet, dir. Astrid Bussink
The Gnomist, dir. Sharon Liese
How to Cross (From Jiliz to Jiliz), dir. Sona Kocharyan, Marine Kocharyan 
Imraan, C/o Carrom Club, dir. Udita Bhargava
Mend and Make Do, dir. Bexi Bush
My Enemy, My Brother, dir. Ann Shin
New, dir. Eefje Blankevoort 
Of the Unknown, Eva Weber 
Panchagavya, dir. Hana Kitasei, Shriya Pilgaonkar 
Positive, dir. Polina Kim
The Place, dir. Julia Poplawska 
Small Voices, dir. Britta Chakraborty
Territory, dir. Eleanor Mortimer 
Treasure Island, dir. Melissa Langer, Elizabeth Lo 
The Typist, dir. Kristine Stolakis 
The 100 Years Show, dir. Alison Klayman 

women’s stories
Daughter of the Lake, dir. Ernesto Cabellos Damián
On Her Own, dir. Morgan Schmidt-Feng
The Pawn, dir. Jean-Cosme Delaloye
T-Rex, dir. Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper


#MUFFApproved: Speed Sisters

#MUFFApproved: Orphan Black

#MUFFApproved: Orphan Black