Skip to main content

The NFB at Hot Docs 2013 April 25 to May 4, 2013

From a media release:

Festival lineup includes five world premieres
from National Film Board of Canada

Hot Docs Film Festival
April 25 to May 4, 2013

Toronto –
Six National Film Board of Canada productions or co-productions will be featured at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto from April 25 to May 5, 2013, including five world premieres.

Premiering in the Canadian Spectrum section are NCR: Not Criminally Responsible (J.S. Kastner Productions/NFB/CBC/documentary), directed by John Kastner; Chi, directed by Anne Wheeler; Buying Sex, co-directed by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason; The Auctioneer, directed by Hans Olson; as well as Sam Decoste’s short film Mary & Myself, screening with Chi. Making its Ontario premiere is Alphée of the Stars (Esperamos Films/NFB), directed by Hugo Latulippe.

The NFB is also partnering on the festival’s free 20th-anniversary outdoor screening, Docs at Dusk, reflecting the NFB’s longstanding goal of bringing acclaimed documentary cinema into Canadian communities. Docs at Dusk will take place on the evening of May 2 on the fields of the University of Toronto’s Victoria College, across from the Isabel Bader Theatre. The event will begin at 8 p.m. with live music and refreshments; the film will begin at 9 p.m.

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible
While gripped by psychosis, a young man stabs a stranger six times. Declared “NCR”―not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder―the man is confined to a mental health institution. His victim survives, haunted by nightmares but relieved that her attacker has been locked away. Twelve years later, she’s terrified to learn that he’s out, living under supervision, and has applied for a discharge that would mean he’d no longer be required to take drugs to control his illness. With unprecedented access to the patient, victim and mental institution, NCR: Not Criminally Responsible offers a timely and provocative examination of violence and mental illness, and the rights of both victims and patients.

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible is produced, directed and written by John Kastner, the winner of four Emmy Awards, including one for the 2010 NFB co-production Life with Murder. NCR’s producers are Deborah Parks, with Silva Basmajian as producer and executive producer for the NFB. The film is produced by J.S. Kastner Productions and the NFB, in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and documentary Channel.

Anyone who knew Babz Chula—a talented, larger-than-life actress from Canada’s West Coast—could tell you that her life force, or chi, was incredibly strong. Babz convinces director Anne Wheeler to join her on a journey to Kerala, where Babz will undergo treatment by a renowned Ayurvedic healer in an effort to manage her six-year battle with cancer. The bare-bones Indian clinic at first disappoints, but Babz is uplifted as her condition seemingly improves. When she returns home to learn that her cancer has advanced, the irrepressible Babz invites Anne and her camera to continue bearing witness to her journey into the unknown.

Chi is written and directed by Anne Wheeler. The producer of the film is Yves J. Ma, with Tracey Friesen as executive producer.

Buying Sex
Timely and wise, this important documentary about the state of prostitution laws in Canada is a revelation. Buying Sex captures the complexity of the issue by listening to the frequently conflicting voices of sex workers, formerly prostituted women, policy-makers, lawyers and even the male buyers who make their claim for why prostitution is good for society. Examining the realities in Sweden and New Zealand, and respecting the differences of ideology as Canada works its way toward an uneasy consensus, the film challenges us to think for ourselves and gives a gripping and invaluable account of just what is at stake for us all.

Directed by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason, and written by Teresa MacInnes, Buying Sex is produced by Annette Clarke. Ravida Din is the executive producer.

The Auctioneer
Dale Menzak is an auctioneer specializing in the sale of family farms. A man of few words when not auctioneering, he also works part-time as an undertaker. From his portable auctioneer’s booth, Dale helps to liquidate antiquated farm equipment, after which he dons a sombre necktie and returns to his job at the funeral home. Set against a backdrop of gorgeous Prairie vistas, The Auctioneer observes Dale from a respectful distance as he facilitates the difficult process of letting go.

The Auctioneer is directed by Hans Olson and written by Clark Banack. The film is produced by Bonnie Thompson, with David Christensen as executive producer.

Mary & Myself (screening before Chi)
Mary & Myself is a story within a story, a meta-narrative about two Chinese Canadian women making their theatrical debut playing “comfort women” in The Vagina Monologues. Fusing activism and performance, this short animated documentary honours the thousands of girls and women from Korea, China, Japan and the Philippines who were forced into sexual slavery during the 1930s and ’40s.

Mary & Myself is written, directed and animated by Sam Decoste. The producer is Annette Clarke, with Ravida Din and Kent Martin as executive producer.

Alphée of the Stars
Alphée has a rare genetic disorder that hampers her development, yet she continues to defy medical expectations. After her parents reject the idea of placing her in a specialized classroom, they move the family to Europe for a year. Here, her father—filmmaker Hugo Latulippe—focuses on his fairy-like daughter’s learning, in hopes of eventually integrating her into a regular classroom. A moving declaration of love from a father to his daughter, Alphée of the Stars is also the story of a gamble—of a family stealing away for a year in order to try and change the course of events.

Alphée of the Stars is produced by Éric De Gheldere and Hugo Latulippe (Esperamos Films) and Colette Loumède (NFB).

About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB’s award-winning content can be seen at and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. Canada’s public producer and distributor since 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival: Live + Digital Experiences Sept 29–Oct 18 2020

From a media release:Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival
Captivating Live + Digital Experiences on Newly Enhanced Digital PlatformToronto’s premier international dance festival launches curated collection of original content and proprietary programs on new custom-built websiteTORONTO, ON — Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020
Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson Schoo…