Hot Docs 2020 movies to premiere on CBC Gem

The postponed documentary festival will screen seven films on the streaming platform between April 16 and May 28

A selection of movies that would have screened during the 2020 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival will debut on streaming platform CBC Gem.

The new series, Hot Docs At Home On CBC, will premiere a new doc each Thursday. The series kicks off April 16 with Barry Avrich’s Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art, which looks at “the dark side of New York’s art scene, and the bizarre characters behind the largest art fraud in American history,” according to the film description.

Hot Docs was among the film festivals postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has yet to announce new dates, but has shifted its industry events to an online platform – and television. The docs will also broadcast on CBC television and the documentary Channel.

The other Hot Docs films that will debut on CBC this spring are:

  • Elizabeth St. Philip’s 9/11 Kids (April 23), about the 16 elementary school children who were with former U.S. president George W. Bush when he was informed about the September 11th attacks.
  • Tamara Mariam Dawit’s Finding Sally (April 30), a personal investigation into the filmmaker’s aunt, an Ethiopian aristocrat-turned-communist-rebel who disappeared during the Ethiopian Revolution.
  • Liz Marshall’s Meat The Future (May 7), an exploration of the future of meat and cell-based meat, which is grown from animals’ cells without animals needing to be slaughtered.
  • Jean-Simon Chartier’s They Call Me Dr. Miami (May 14), a biopic about celebrity plastic surgeon and reality TV star Dr. Michael Salzhauer.
  • Richard Poplak and Diana Neille’s Influence (May 21), an investigation into the life and impact of the notorious PR spin doctor and Margaret Thatcher advisor Timothy Bell.
  • Nathalie Bibeau’s The Walrus And The Whistleblower (May 28), about a whistleblower who was sued for $1.5 million for plotting to steal a walrus, and the broader movement to end marine mammal captivity.

The films will premiere on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 pm and air on the documentary Channel at 9 pm.

The documentary Channel will also offer additional Hot Docs programming between April 16 and May 10, including features from past Hot Docs festivals. The channel will also screen short docs from the 2020 festival, including Hollie’s Dress, directed by Annie Sakkab, and Nancy’s Workshop, directed by Aïcha Diop.


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