Jeff Orlowski‘s Chasing Coral and Ross McDonnell & Tim Golden’s Elián have been selected to screen in the Special Presentations category at the forthcoming Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
This year’s Special Presentations features a collection of 10 feature length documentary films slated to enjoy their international and Canadian premieres.
Also highlighted are award winners from the recent international festival circuit, including Netflix-acquired Chasing Coral (pictured), which claimed the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary at Sundance; Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana‘s Sundance-winning Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World; and Yance Ford‘s Strong Island, which picked up the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award at Sundance.
The complete Special Presentations program and the full selection of films to screen at Hot Docs 2017 will be announced on March 21, including the 2017 opening night film.
The 24th annual festival, which serves as North America’s largest documentary film festival, runs April 27 to May 7 in Toronto, Canada.
Special Presentation titles appear below, with descriptions provided by Hot Docs:
BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY
D: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg | USA | 2017 | 101 min | International Premiere
In the 90s, Bill Nye’s infectious enthusiasm for science inspired a generation of kids, but with his field increasingly under attack, the bow-tied science guy now finds himself leading an urgent crusade against creationists and climate change deniers.
D: Jeff Orlowski | USA | 2016 | 93 min | International Premiere
From the director of Chasing Ice comes this breathtaking cinematic journey below the world’s oceans to its coral reefs. Spectacular time-lapse footage reveals the devastating impact of climate change, which threatens to eradicate this marvelous ecosystem—within our lifespan.
D: Peter Bratt | USA | 2017 | 98 min | International Premiere
Often overshadowed by her United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta was a powerhouse activist who defied 1950s gender conventions as she unflinchingly fought to protect women and people of color in her push for social change.
D: Ross McDonnell, Tim Golden | Ireland, USA | 2017 | 105 min | Canadian Premiere
When five-year-old Elián Gonzalez was plucked from the ocean near Miami in 1999, it sparked a flashpoint for simmering US-Cuban tensions. Decades later, with relations warming, the media firestorm and ensuing international custody saga is revisited.
JOSHUA: TEENAGER VS. SUPERPOWER
D: Joe Piscatella | USA, Hong Kong | 2016 | 78 min | Canadian
China’s government meets its fiery match in young Joshua Wong. Rallying thousands of fellow students to skip school and occupy the streets in support of Hong Kong’s autonomy, he becomes one of his country’s most notorious—and unlikely—dissidents.
IN LOCO PARENTIS
D: Neasa Ni Chianain, David Rane | Ireland, Spain | 2016 | 99 min | Canadian Premiere
A heartfelt look at the lives of two soon-to-be-retired educators—and married couple of almost 50 years—whose passion and idiosyncratic teaching styles inspire and challenge the young students of Ireland’s last primary-age boarding school.
NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS
D: Brian Knappenberger | USA | 2017 | 93 min | International Premiere
The trial between wrestler Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, but ended up as a case study in how big money can silence media through legal means. An examination of the perils and duties of the free press in an age of inequality.
RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD
D: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana | Canada | 2016 | 103 min | Canadian Premiere
The sound of rock ‘n’ roll was forever changed by Link Wray’s distorted guitar. Decades later, his legacy—and that of other Native Americans who shaped popular music—is given overdue recognition in this Sundance award winner. The film also features Executive Producer and guitarist Stevie Salas, who has put together a group of music royalty to discuss the influence of Indigenous music on rock and roll.
D: Yance Ford | USA, Denmark | 2017 | 107 min | Canadian Premiere
Twenty years after an unarmed African-American was shot during an altercation with a young white mechanic, his brother revisits the circumstances that left his sibling dead and the killer uncharged in this powerful investigation of love, loss and justice.
THE WORKERS CUP
D: Adam Sobel | United Kingdom | 2017 | 92 min | Canadian Premiere
On the backs of 1.6 million migrant workers, Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But far from the roaring crowds and media spectacle, 24 construction companies compete for glory and the thrill of hoisting the Workers Cup.