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30 Years of Hot Docs: First Fest

There were 21 documentaries at the very first Hot Docs Festival in 1994. Thousands of films later, Hot Docs has grown into the largest documentary festival in North America! Celebrate our 30th anniversary with a selection of the films that started it all.

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Series runs October 27 - April 27

a woman looking up

Bowl of Bone: Tale of Syuwe

Director Jan-Marie Martell embarks on a spiritual journey and crosses paths with visionary herbalist and shaman, Annie Zetco York in the wilds of British Columbia. Part biography, part dream, the film experiments with genre in a cerebral 15-year saga of spiritual discovery.

Eagle Spirit Award, American Indian Film Fesitval 1992
  • D: Jan-Marie Martell
  • Canada
  • 1992
  • 114
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a man looking to the left

In the Gutter and Other Good Places

Winner of multiple awards at Hot Docs Festival 1994, including Best Independent Production, this unflinching and humanizing portrait of homelessness follows Colin, Jean, and Ron, three men with disparate backgrounds making a living "dumpster-diving" and bottle collecting on the streets of Calgary. 

  • D: Christine Richey
  • Canada
  • 1993
  • 53 min
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a man with glasses reading a book

Manufacturing Consent

Philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky presents his theory of manufactured consent, breaking down how mass media controlled by corporations undermines democracy, prioritizing personal agenda over public information. Accessible and surprisingly funny, this multi-award-winning documentary is well worth a re-watch in the age of "fake news."

  • D: Mark Achbar & Mark Wintonick
  • Canada
  • 1993
  • 167 min
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animated person pressed against a window

Minoru: Memory of Exile

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Minoru and all Japanese Canadians were labelled the enemy. Blending hand-drawn animation and archival materials, Minoru and his son, director Michael Fukushima, narrate their family’s internment, deportation and eventual return to Canada. This heartbreaking meditation on birthright and belonging won Best Short Documentary at the first Hot Docs Festival.

  • D: Michael Fukushima
  • Canada
  • 1992
  • 19 min
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