The Best of Hot Docs Sudbury, taking place Nov. 10-13, gives residents of the Nickel City the chance to check out a dozen of the most popular documentaries on the festival circuit this year.
Presented by Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-op, the festival, which has been running yearly since 2013, is a satellite event of Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival in Toronto.
“These are the top winners, the audience favourites of the dedicated documentary festival circuit,” said Beth Mairs, managing director of Sudbury Indie Cinema.
“There was a theme at Hot Docs this year of having a very high quality of artistry to the work, and we've got some of those films here.”
She said these are films you probably won't see elsewhere.
They're not on Netflix, and while they're the kind of thing that might have been screened at Sudbury's major film festival — Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival — they didn't make it onto the lineup.
Mairs said the Best of Hot Docs Sudbury has been increasing in popularity. The attendance at the entire 2013 edition of the festival was matched in just one screening last year.
The festival includes a few Canadian stories.
“Migrant Dreams,” being screened Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Sudbury Secondary School, is a film by Min Sook Lee about the temporary foreign workers who do farm labour in Ontario.
A woman who went undercover for the documentary, Evelyn Encalada, will be attending the screening to speak about the film.
“Koneline: Our Land Beautiful,” by filmmaker Nettie Wild, is being screened at Sudbury Secondary School Friday, Nov. 11 starting at 7 p.m.
According to the film's description, it's a “sensual, cinematic celebration of northwestern British Columbia, and all the dreamers who move across it. Some hunt on the land. Some mine it. They all love it.”
Mairs calls the film “masterful.”
“I think it's the best film I have seen that demonstrates the dilemma in modern Canada right now,” she said.
“Everyone should see this film. I think people in Sudbury will really relate to it because we understand the north and pressures in terms of resource extraction.”
A film in the lineup that stands out for its quirk factor is “Tickled,” about a competitive sport called “endurance tickling.” The film by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve screens Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the School of Architecture.
And, in exciting news for Mairs, she's screening her own film “Roll-Her Dervish,” about local roller derby enthusiasts. That screening takes place Saturday, Nov. 12 at 5:15 p.m. at the Main Branch Library.
“To me, it's most important to present the film to the women whose story it is, which is why we'll be screening it here,” she said. “I'm looking forward to people seeing it and having some reaction.”
The screenings take place in several venues throughout the downtown — at the Downtown Movie Lounge in the Rainbow Centre Mall, Sudbury Secondary School, the Main Branch Library and Open Studio.
All-access festival passes cost $55 if purchased before Oct. 31, and $70 afterwards. You can also purchase a five-pack of tickets for $40 or $10 for single tickets. Some screenings are free, however.
Visit Sudbury Indie Cinema's website for a full schedule, more information on the films and to purchase tickets.