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Hot Docs showcase kicks off tonight

The three-day festival features eight award-winning films and guest speakers
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The Hot Docs showcase in Sault Ste. Marie kicks off tonight at the Sault Community Theatre Centre’s ‘Black Box’ performance space. The three-day Canadian International Documentary Festival features eight award-winning films. Tickets are available now at the Community Box Office in the Station Mall or online from the Hot Docs feature page.

Local filmmaker Dan Nystedt will launch the showcase with an opening address tonight at 6:30 p.m. just prior to the screening of Bee Nation. On Saturday, Nystedt will facilitate a Q&A session with director Stacey Tenenbaum following the screening of Shiners.

This weekend’s Hot Docs schedule goes as follows:

Friday, Nov. 3

Bee Nation
 
Screening time - 6:40 p.m.

Bee Nation tells the story of First Nations kids competing at the highest level in the provincial and national spelling bees. Eschewing stereotypes and cliches about life on the reserve, the kids and their families at Bee Nation are presented as they are: ordinary people doing the best they can in the face of overwhelming social and economic disenfranchisement.

Tackling thorny issues of language, culture, and assimilation with tenderness and nuance, the film is equal parts inspirational journey and call to arms to Canadians to face up to our ongoing legacy of colonialism.

In The Name of All Canadians

Screening time - 9 p.m.

Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms gets six fresh perspectives with In the Name of All Canadians, a compilation of short documentaries commissioned by Hot Docs. From Indigenous rights to the controversial ‘notwithstanding clause,’ participating filmmakers take the Charter’s key tenets off the page and into the lived experiences of the country we call home.

Saturday, Nov. 4

Unrest

Screening time - 2 p.m.

When Harvard Ph.D. student Jennifer Brea is struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden, she sets out on a virtual journey to document her story as she fights a disease that medicine forgot.

The Integral Man

Screening time - 4 p.m.

Jim Stewart is the most published mathematician since Euclid, a concert level violinist, calculus professor, philanthropist, and gay rights activist. He is a true polymath, a modern day renaissance man. He had a bold vision and the conviction to follow through. It took almost ten years to realize his dream, Integral House, which was completed in 2009.

Designed around a stunning internal concert hall, it was hailed as a masterpiece by some of the greatest architecture and design critics in the world. Integral House, like Jim, was unlike anything else.

Now confronting his inability to play violin as arthritis cripples his hands, Jim boldly faces his declining health, jumping head long into the role of impresario. But it would not be so simple. As unexpected events unfold, Jim is left to make some of the most difficult decisions of his life.

Shiners

Screening time - 6:30 p.m.

Meet the men and women who make their living cleaning our shoes. From New York to Tokyo and beyond, Shiners travels the world to give you an insider’s view of this overlooked profession. People around the world have turned to shoe shining to provide for themselves and their families. These are their stories. Enter their universe. You’ll never look at a shoe shiner the same way again!

There will be a Q&A following the screening led by Dan Nystedt with director Stacey Tenenbaum.

New Chefs on the Block

Screening time - 9 p.m.

Two chefs in DC struggle to open and maintain their first restaurants. Against all odds, one becomes Bon Appetit Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in America. The other is forced to redefine success. Starring Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly… Pizza. Featuring legendary chefs and restaurateurs Danny Meyer, Michel Richard, Mike Isabella and Washington Post food writer Tim Carman.

Sunday, Nov. 5

Let There Be Light

Screening time - 2 p.m.

Let There Be Light follows the story of dedicated scientists working to build a small sun on Earth, which would unleash perpetual, cheap, clean energy for mankind. After decades of failed attempts, a massive push is now underway to crack the holy grail of energy.

Manic

Screening time - 4 p.m.

Manic chronicles filmmaker Kalina Bertin’s journey to understand the devastating impacts of mental illness on her family. Convinced that her father holds a key piece of the puzzle, she sets out to find the truth about a man known alternately as a cult leader, a scam artist, a prophet, and a dad of 15 children across five separate families.