The Vancouver International Film Festival and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival are pleased to announce the return of the Best of Hot Docs, a selection of documentary screenings taking place from June 20-26 at Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street. The Best of Hot Docs will celebrate the Vancouver premieres of nine outstanding films from this year’s Hot Docs lineup.
Screening times and descriptions for the Best of Hot Docs selections appear below. In some cases, filmmakers or subjects may be in attendance for post-screening discussions.
With an incredible archive of home videos, the story of Caroll Spinney reveals how a big heart and unstoppable talent created two of the world’s most beloved Sesame Street Muppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
112 WEDDINGS (D: Doug Block | USA | 92 min): Friday, June 20 at 8:45 PM
Is there real love after marriage? Years after shooting their wedding videos, filmmaker Doug Block tracks down several of his customers to find out if they lived happily ever after. His before and after footage provides insight on what keeps couples together.
DIVIDE IN CONCORD (D: Kris Kaczor | USA | 92 min): Saturday, June 21 at 4:00 PM
A fiery octogenarian spends her golden years cold-calling constituents and attending city council meetings in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. Can one little old lady make history by banning single-serve plastic water bottles?
AN HONEST LIAR (D: Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom | USA | 91 min) : Saturday, June 21 at 6:30 PM, repeats Thursday, June 26 at 8:45 PM
Famed magician James “The Amazing” Randi, enraged at seeing self-proclaimed psychics and faith healers using his cherished illusions dishonestly, commits his life to exposing lying profiteers, but ultimately has to confront a secret of his own.
This inspiring and emotional portrait of Internet visionary and activist Aaron Swartz explores how one of the most promising minds of a generation found himself staring down a government prosecuting him under the very laws he was fighting against.
Challenging conventional thinking, first-person stories from slum dwellers on four continents and brilliant analysis by such critics as Robert Neuwirth make the case that slums—home to a billion people worldwide—are the solution and not the problem.
WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER (D: Joe Berlinger | USA | 107 min ): Sunday, June 22 at 8:45 PM
Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger strips away the myths surrounding infamous Boston gangster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger, exposing the truth behind his criminal empire and revealing shocking new allegations of government corruption and complicity.
HAPPINESS (D: Thomas Balmès | Finland, France | 80 min): Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 PM
In 1999, TV and the Internet come to Bhutan in an attempt to improve the country’s “gross national happiness.” We see the imminent arrival of these new technologies into the last remaining unconnected village through the eyes of an eight-year-old monk.
THE STARFISH THROWERS (D: Jesse Roesler | USA | 82 min): Wednesday, June 25 at 8:45 PM
When a five-star chef, a retired teacher and a sixth-grade girl make a simple gesture to feed the poor, they unexpectedly ignite a movement in the fight against hunger, and prove that individuals can make an enormous difference.
A 5-Pack ticket package is only $52 ($50 for Vancity Theatre Members). Single tickets are $12 each. Tickets and ticket packages can be purchased at the Vancity Theatre box office (1181 Seymour Street) or online at www.viff.org
Here’s the trailer for I Am Big Bird…we had a chance to screen it in Toronto and it’s definitely a must see!