hot docs 2016
hot docs 2016
Image: VKPR

Looking for something to do this month? Why not celebrate international film at North America’s largest documentary festival? This year, Hot Docs will host a bevvy of beautiful, captivating and provocative films and Vv Magazine’s Lisa Lagace rounds up her top film picks. 

Starting April 28th, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival returns to bring more of the best new documentaries to Toronto. For 11 days straight, attendees will have the opportunity to watch over 200 acclaimed films. 

To help narrow down the long list and decide which films are worth your limited time and hard earned cash, I’ve rounded up the documentaries I’m most excited to spend some time in a dark theatre watching. 

Contemporary Color

hot docs contemporary colour
Image: Hot Docs

Having attended the David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame,) created event myself last year during Luminato – and being brought to tears – this documentary on the art and sport of colour guard, as teams are paired with musicians ranging from St. Vincent to Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock and Nelly Furtado, tops my must see list.

The Legacy of Frida Kahlo


When the legendary artist’s wardrobe and personal items are suddenly discovered 58 years after her death, award-winning Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi takes a trip to Mexico to inventory her possessions – all of which are still in mint condition, allowing for intimate insight into her incredible life.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World


We can always rely on renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog to bring compelling documentaries into the world. With Lo and Behold, he explores the modern revolution that is the internet, and what it has done to our collective humanity.

O.J. Simpson: Made in America


If you’ve been as captivated over the past few months with FX’s The People VS OJ Simpson as I have, you’ll want to make room for this five part documentary series in your Hot Docs schedule this year.

A Dog’s Life

hot docs 2016
Image: Hot Docs

Living in Toronto, it’s not uncommon to see a homeless person with a dog and wonder how they are able to provide for their pet. This documentary aims to shed light on the lifeline of unconditional love these animals provide to their owners, who have been otherwise rejected from society.

Under the Gun


America’s terrifying fascination with guns is documented in this tale of mass shootings and the politics that lead to their ongoing gun violence epidemic.

The Pearl

the pearl hot docs 2016
Image: Hot Docs

Another timely documentary after the world has been captivated by the late-in-life transition of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn, The Pearl explores the stories of four transgender women living in a hyper-masculine logging town, as they come out of the closet in their middle and senior years.

Beware the Slenderman

beware of slenderman hot docs
Image: Hot Docs

The creepy tale of Slenderman may be one that was made up by kids on the internet, but it lead to some devastating consequences for a couple of teenagers who were devoted to the made up modern-day bogeyman.

Audrie & Daisy

audrey and daisy hot docs
Image: Hot Docs

With sexual assault and abuse of young women being on the mind of everyone since the trial of Jian Ghomeshi, this documentary looking at the assault and subsequent online bullying of two American teenage girls is sure to be an important viewing at this year’s festival.



Lawyer-turned-filmmaker Dawn Porter takes on the always contemptuous issue of a woman’s right to abortion in the United States with Trapped. As state legislatures continue to impose laws restricting abortion clinics and their doctors, the film sheds light on what this means for women seeking out their legal right to a safe abortion.

RELATED LINK: What to Do in Toronto this Month: April 2016 

What films do you suggest seeing at this year’s Hot Docs festival? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.