Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, announced the program for its 2023 Festival, taking place April 27 to May 7 in Toronto. This year’s Festival marks it’s 30th anniversary of showcasing the best in Canadian and international documentary, and features 214 documentaries from 72 countries. See the full program here. 


Ancestral Threads


British Columbia films screening in-person and online:

Directed by Banchi Hanuse
Logan Red Crow prepares to make history by joining the men’s competition on the world’s largest stage at the Calgary Stampede. As we follow her, we see her grow as an athlete and a person, alongside her family. Together, they draw strength from one another as they chart a new path into the future while honouring their past. 

Directed by Sean Stiller
Ancestral Threads follows Joleen Mitton on her mission to use fashion as medicine for Vancouver’s Indigenous community. A former fashion model, Joleen is now a community leader and founder of Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week. 

Directed by Kat Jayme and Asia Youngman
The violent mob that erupted on June 15, 2011, after the Vancouver Canucks Game 7 Stanley Cup loss caught the world’s attention—partially because it appeared un-Canadian, mostly because it became known as the “first smartphone riot.” Following up with individuals whose brief actions were immortalized online and the repercussions they suffered, both legal and social, highlights the perils of a toxic social-media mob mentality that has only grown and that persists to this day. 

Directed by Terra Long
Only the world’s hottest and most arid climates support date palms, like the region around the San Andreas Fault. Shot on 16mm film, this experimental documentary visits various towns and people that rest along the fault line. Those featured tell layered stories of a place that is always shifting and changing. 

Directed by Jean-Philippe Marquis
There are trees that have stood for thousands of years in Canada’s Pacific Northwest. These old-growth forests have a priceless value economically, culturally, and environmentally, yet their existence is in peril. Travel deep into the woods and listen to those who have invested their lives in so many unique ways with these trees, from loggers to carvers, tree planters to conservationists.  

Directed by Steve Adams and Sean Horler
The hysteria that fueled the satanic panic of the 1980s and 90s was spurred on by the lurid memoir, Michelle Remembers. Authored by psychiatrist Larry Pazder, it recounted the trauma his patient Michelle Smith disclosed to him using ethically questionable recovered-memory therapy. Co-directors Steve J. Adams and Sean Horlor uncover the roots of how conspiracy theories and disinformation feed fear and distrust. 

Directed by Francois-Xavier de Ruydts
For adventurous thrill-seekers, caving is hard to beat. Combining climbing, diving, wayfinding and overcoming claustrophobia, it’s a unique skill set not for the faint of heart. Accessing the depths of the earth through muddy crawls, tight squeezes, and seemingly endless pits, following two intrepid explorers, there’s nowhere to go but down.