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Hot Docs turns up The Heat

The Heat

Canadian non-fiction festival Hot Docs will kick off its 2018 edition with The Heat, a feature documentary venturing into the kitchens of top female chefs.

The film, from director Maya Gallus, is one of 246 docs playing over the Toronto event’s 11 days, with this year marking the first time that work by female filmmakers represents 50% of the line-up.

Seizing on the contemporary theme of female representation, Hot Docs will this year introduce a section called The Silence Breakers, featuring “stories of women speaking up and being heard.”

The programme includes Afghan Cycles, which tells the story of Afghan women breaking the country’s gender barriers by training on the Women’s National Cycling Team; Netizens, which profiles women who are fighting back against online harassment; and Slut or Nut, the Diary of a Rape Trial, in which a sexual assault survivor attempts to challenge rape culture in Canada.

Other films in the section include Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End Aids, a film that follows women fighting the HIV/Aids pandemic; Yours in Sisterhood, which looks at the progress of feminism through the hundreds of strangers who read and react to 40-year-old letters written to the editors of Ms Magazine; and Time For Ilhan, about a Muslim Somali-American seeking election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.

“As we celebrate 25 years of Hot Docs, it’s exciting to see that documentary storytelling is as outstanding and outspoken as ever, a vital cultural force in connecting us to our world and to each other,” said Shane Smith, director of programming for Hot Docs.

As previously reported, Hot Docs is this year nine producer delegations, including parties from Bermuda, Chile, Mexico, the Nordic region and Northern Ireland.

The festival is also honouring filmmakers Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream) and John Walker (Arctic Defenders, Quebec My Country Mon Pays) with retrospectives.

The 25th annual Hot Docs runs from April 26 to May 6 in downtown Toronto, Canada.

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