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Live Q&A at the cinema
Photo by Gabriel Li
Throughout the school year, Docs For Schools offers special screenings at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. These events feature special guests, such as filmmakers or subject matter experts, and cover a variety of topics.Questions? CONTACT Elspeth Arbow

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Please check back later for upcoming events.

Past Events

Screening on June 11, 2024: Billy and Molly: An Otter Love Story

D: Charlie Hamilton James | UK | 2023 | 77 min | English

When a wild otter in desperate need of help washes up on his jetty in the remote Shetland Islands, Billy, his wife Susan, and their devoted sheepdog Jade accept a unique new member into their family. Billy is at a crossroads when he meets the otter he later names Molly: “Sometimes when you get everything you want, you convince yourself it’s everything you need. You convince yourself you’re happy...” She fills a need in him that he didn’t realize he had. So, while Billy is there for Molly, bringing her back from the brink by providing food and shelter, Molly is also there for Billy, waking something deep inside him that had gone dormant. Billy & Molly: An Otter Love Story is a breathtakingly beautiful documentary, brimming with wonder, curiosity and joy, that shows how love can reawaken us to the power of acceptance (of ourselves and others) and the perfection of nature and life itself. The screening followed by a live Q&A with special guests.

Screening on March 6, 2024: COPA 71

D: Rachel Ramsay, James Erskine | UK | 2023 | 91 min | English, French, Spanish, Italian with English subtitles

Our annual International Women’s Day screening! The extraordinary story of the 1971 Women’s Soccer World Cup, a tournament witnessed by record crowds that has been written out of sporting history—until now. Told by the pioneering women who participated in it and built from archival footage unseen for fifty years. Screening followed by a live Q&A with special guests.

Screening on February 13, 2024: INVISIBLE BEAUTY

D: Bethann Hardison, Frédéric Tcheng | USA | 2023 | 115 min | English

She was a face on the magazines and now she represents the top Black models in the industry. Meet Bethann Hardison, the person behind the face and icon, telling her story the way she sees it. Sharing the director’s chair with Frédéric Tcheng, Hardison takes us backstage into her life and the impact she’s had in the ever-so-trendy fashion industry. In this document of her 50-year career, we witness how one model-turned-agent has the influence and drive to produce the thriving careers of Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell, and Iman, among many others. An activist in her own right, Hardison proves that Black faces and culture are more than just a moment, and advocates for racial justice in an ultra-competitive world. Samah Ali. Screening followed by a live Q&A with special guests.

Screening on January 24, 2024: JANE GOODALL: REASONS FOR HOPE
D: David Lickley | Canada | 2023 | 45 min | English, French

Jane Goodall: Reasons for Hope is an uplifting journey around the globe to highlight good news stories that will inspire people to make a difference in the world around them. Featured stories such as the Northern Bald Ibis’ migration over the Alps, the re-introduction of the American Bison by the Blackfeet Nation, the worldwide recognized Sudbury Regreening Story and inspiring youth-led initiatives involved in Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots align with historic footage of Jane’s beginnings as a chimpanzee researcher. Jane revolutionized how we view the world around us. Join her on this adventure of inspiration and hope. Screening followed by a live Q&A with special guests from the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada.

Screening on November 21, 2023: SOMEONE LIVES HERE

D: Zack Russell | Canada | 2023 | 75 min | English

Throughout the COVID pandemic, Toronto has seen a catastrophic increase in homelessness. Sick of seeing his city unable to care for its unhoused people, Khaleel Seivwright quit his job as a full-time carpenter and dedicated himself to building insulated shelters - called “tiny shelters.” Innovatively using body temperature for heating, Khaleel’s efforts garnered international media attention, leading Toronto to propose a possible partnership - only to reverse its decision a week later. Capturing the ups and downs of Khaleel’s brilliant intervention, Someone Lives Here also features the voices of those experiencing homelessness, including the articulate and philosophical Taka. The film poignantly captures the City of Toronto’s costly $1.9 million clearance of Toronto’s park encampments, asking all the right questions: What makes Toronto unable and unwilling to address this humanitarian crisis? Why are people like Khaleel being prevented from trying to find solutions? Who do we prioritize in this city? A sobering and maddening watch. Aisha Jamal.

Screening on October 25, 2023: SPACE EXPLORERS: MOONRISE ON THE ISS

D: Ashley Duong, Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael | Canada | 2023 | 52 min | English
Presented in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency

Drawing from over 250 hours of exclusive footage and video diaries filmed on the International Space Station, Space Explorers: Moonrise on the ISS is a documentary inspired by Felix & Paul Studios’ Emmy award-winning virtual reality series, Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, the largest production ever filmed in space. The documentary follows seven astronauts as they live on the International Space Station (ISS), an outpost of humanity in space. Astronauts conduct science experiments, use themselves as guinea pigs for medical research, and test life-support systems—effectively making the ISS a proving ground for travel to the Moon and beyond. Anne McClain dreams of becoming the first woman on the Moon and reflects on the historical women of spaceflight that have made her opportunities possible, while Christina Koch and Jessica Meir set new milestones. The documentary also features Victor Glover, a candidate for the first person of colour on the Moon, as well as Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques.  As the astronauts learn from one another and prepare for the future of spaceflight, they share how living among the stars has shifted their perspectives about life on Earth. Post-screening, on-stage conversation and Q&A with Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen, who will fly to the Moon on the Artemis II mission.

Screening on October 5, 2023: DRAW ME EGYPT - DOAA EL-ADL, A STROKE OF FREEDOM
D: Nada Riyadh | Belgium | 2023 | 50 min | Arabic with English subtitles
Presented in partnership with Human Rights Watch

As the first woman to win the prestigious Journalistic Distinction in Caricature, Doaa el-Adl is a force for change in the male-dominated world of Egyptian political cartoonists. A rebellious critic of patriarchy, she faces daily critique, censorship, intimidation, and death threats for her art. Egyptian director Nada Riyadh brings el-Adl‘s most famous works to life in a creative and exciting mix of documentary, cartoon, and animation. A vibrant and courageous exposé of violence against women that pushes the boundaries of freedom of expression in an often restrictive society, el-Adl uses her talent to advocate for the rights of women, and to inspire and change society. Screening followed by a Zoom Q&A with filmmaker Nada Riyadh.

Screening on March 9, 2023: BANGLA SURF GIRLS
D: Elizabeth D. Costa | Bangladesh | 2021 | 86 min
Presented in partnership with Human Rights Watch

Official Selection, Hot Docs Festival 2021

Shobe, Aisha, and Suma, three teens from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, are poised to make history as Bangladesh’s first women surfers in an international competition. Driven to succeed and guided by their devoted coach, the girls find freedom in the waves as surfing becomes their only ticket out of poverty and the way for them to determine their own futures against the backdrop of stifling families and oppressive community judgment. After their coach makes the decision to leave the club, the financial support for their surfing dries up and the odds of achieving their dreams seem insurmountable. A powerful coming-of-age story and tale of resistance by Bangladeshi filmmaker Elizabeth D. Costa, Bangla Surf Girls will have you cheering for every wave and hurdle these young women overcome. Includes a Q&A featuring writer/producer Lalita Krishna and Regina Tames, Deputy Director, Women’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch.

Screening on February 28, 2023: BLACK ICE
D: Hubert Davis | Canada | 2022 | 97 min
At its core, Canada has been defined by the sport of hockey - our national pride, and our greatest love, but also a vivid illustration of our most severe shortcomings, and deepest inequality. BLACK ICE explores the intersection of sport and society, and attempts to uncover and breakdown the systemic issues that lie at the core of the game. Told through the eyes of past, present, and future generations of Black hockey players we explore the origins of their dreams on the ice, and their attempts to love a game that has not always loved them back.

Screening on January 31 and February 14, 2023: GOOD NIGHT OPPY
D: Ryan White | USA | 2022 | 105 min
In 2003, NASA launched twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, towards Mars with the goal of analyzing the rocks and soil for evidence of water. The rovers were designed to last 90 days on the dusty planet’s surface. Well, let’s just say the mission lasted a little longer than expected… This uplifting doc shows Mars as you’ve never seen it before and gives a glimpse into the teamwork and problem solving behind the mission that shaped a generation. Includes a live Q&A with the Canadian Space Agency's Tim Haltigin.

D: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, Kirk Thomas | Canada | 2021 | 86 min | Screening with closed captions

Official Selection, Hot Docs Festival 2022
Streetball is as much about attitude and self-expression as it is about dropping buckets. During an NBA-sponsored outdoor tournament in 2001, an exceptional group of racially diverse teens from Vancouver's suburbs caught a lot of attention with their individual skills and undeniable swagger. Their approach to the game set them at odds with coaches and rigid team structures. For those who didn't witness their abilities in person, VHS mixtapes circulated, bringing them global attention in the early aughts. Two decades later, the two white teens who shot and distributed those original cassettes get the crew back together and take a hard look at the issues of race, trauma and rejection that set the group against the status quo. Archival footage of their jaw-dropping moves is as impressive as ever, but it's the contemporary look back at the power dynamics, prejudice and outsider perspective that really provide unflinching honesty and openness, giving the Notic crew the props they deserve. Includes a Q&A with filmmaker Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux and other special guests.

Screening on October 27, 2022: THE WORKERS CUP
D: Adam Sobel | UK | 2017 | 92 min 
Presented in partnership with Human Rights Watch

With unprecedented access to FIFA's 2022 World Cup stadium construction sites and labour camps in Qatar, The Workers Cup follows one group of men from among the 1.6 million migrant workers preparing for the world’s largest sporting event. In the shadows of the controversial building sites, the men enthusiastically train to compete in a football tournament of their own: The Workers Cup. Exposing long work hours for scant salaries, limited freedom of movement, and harsh living conditions in isolated labour camps, this documentary explores universal themes of ambition, aspiration, sport, and masculinity, as the protagonists wrangle hope, meaning, and opportunity out of their extremely precarious circumstances. Includes a Q&A featuring Sportsnet journalist Donnovan Bennett and Michael Page, Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch.

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