All images via Bloor Hot Docs, photo credit Joseph Michael
Toronto is a good city for film. We’ve got the Toronto Film Festival, with its newly established home at the Lightbox, a cinema and gallery space that curates unique film, art, and memorabilia programming year-round in addition to workshops and lectures. We’ve even got a handful of nabes still in operation: many of these single screen gems will be celebrating their centennial in the not-too-distant future. These cinemas, preserved in part, and frequented by, the foot traffic of their communities, offer a nostalgic throw-back to a bygone era before the multiplex, when cinema was considered art and a reason to go out, dolled up even.
Another incredible film festival operating out of Toronto is Hot Docs, a documentary film festival. Each spring, Hot Docs brings more than 150 documentaries from Canada and around the world to the screen during their annual juried festival showcasing some of the word’s best in the genre. And the best news? Hot Docs recently acquired the historic Bloor Cinema, a century old Toronto landmark and have spent the last 9 months painstakingly renovating it, returning the grand dame to her former glory, while also bringing in state of the art presentation technology (frequent patrons of the old Bloor Cinema, an institution in itself, will be pleased to know this includes a new sound system, woot, woot). The Bloor Cinema is now Hot Docs’ permanent home for its annual festival as well as a screening venue for year-round documentary programming, and will function as hub for, and host to, both special documentary events and smaller film festivals. They’ll even bring back some of the Bloor’s special programming. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is one of the world’s only documentary cinemas.
The theatre hosts an open house today and tomorrow with a free screening of Waste Land about renowned Brazilian artist Vik Muniz who uses garbage and food waste to create his socially conscious pieces. I’m going later this week to see Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey.
And then later in the month I hope to be back for a pretty awesome looking doc on the life of Charles and Ray Eames, AKA Mr. and Mrs. Mid Century modern, who together transformed American design. The doc is entitled Eames: The Architect and the Painter, which I’ll happily report on here. Here’s the trailer:
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema’s full monthly schedule can be found here. If you’re a lover of cinema and fan of documentaries, consider supporting them with a membership or discount card. At any rate, I wish them the absolute best of luck!