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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Hot Docs 16 opens tonight in Toronto



The sixteenth edition of HotDocs, the terrific Toronto documentary event, opens with Jennifer Baichwal‘s Act of God. [Baichwal, after the jump.] “Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival,” to use its full name, programs over 170 films from 39 countries. Sidebars include Spotlight on the NFB at 70 and Made In South Korea programs; retrospectives of work by Torontonian filmmaker Ron Mann and 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient Alanis Obomsawin. Here’s the Hot Docs Daily. For the third year, I’ll be observing and reporting from the fest, starting on Tuesday and running through the end. Monday, I’ll have a preview of some movies I’ve seen and others I’m anticipating. Expect photographs and video. [View from the Roof Lounge at the Park Hyatt, a popular sunset destination for certain repasts: gin martinis are popular.]


Jennifer Baichwal, MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES
Centre

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch