Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Hot Docs starts April 26

Xtra uncovers this year's hottest gay picks

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival begins April 26.
“Certainly, I think that we are looking for both diversity in subject matter and a diversity in the way that stories are told,” says Lynne Crocker, Hot Docs’ international programmer.
The hottest gay tickets include United in Anger: A History of ACT UP; Call Me Kuchu; She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column; and Wildness. Also screening is Italy: Love It or Leave It. Xtra interviewed its directors in 2008 about their popular documentary Suddenly Last Winter.
Below is our video preview of Hot Docs. For more information on the festival, click here.  
Hot Docs gay highlights:
United in Anger: The Story of ACT UP
Jim Hubbard’s extensive documentary covers the crucial accomplishments of the radical AIDS direct action activists of ACT UP: the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Covering the group from its early meetings to its gut-wrenching actions against those responsible for mishandling the response to the AIDS crisis, including the FDA, politicians, media outlets, the financial sector, drug companies and even the Catholic Church. Full of inspiring interviews, heartbreaking public funerals, protests and rousing speeches by the likes of Larry Kramer and Vito Russo, this film is an essential documentation of our history that induces tears, jeers and goosebumps.
The Great Liberty
After director Klas Ehnemark’s estranged father Jan is brutally tortured and murdered by his young male lover, Ehnemark is asked to testify at the trial. This documentary is an extremely personal, poetic and mysterious meditation on loss, family ties, homophobia and the struggle some experience in their pursuit of personal sexual freedom.
In Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park neighbourhood there is a gay Latino bar called the Silver Platter. Open since 1963, it has been a staple in the community and an essential place to come together and to party. Back in 2008, performer Wu Tsang started the Wildness party there in an effort to bring in a younger crowd and keep the club alive, with mixed but fabulous results. Directed by Tsang himself, this flick documents the past and present life of a venue created to celebrate generational and cultural difference in LA’s queer community.
The Man That Got Away
This documentary is director Trevor Anderson’s delightful homage to his Great-Uncle Jimmy, who moved to New York to dance on Broadway and ended up partying too hard and bonding with Judy Garland in the nuthouse. This surreal documentary, inventively staged in a parking garage, is told using original cheeky musical numbers.
Call Me Kuchu
This award-winning doc about gay Ugandan activist David Kato focuses on Kato’s fight against his country’s homophobic laws.
The Mystery of Mazo de la Roche
Mazo de la Roche was a successful writer whose novel Jalna brought her fame in 1927. This film reimagines the writer’s life and uncovers some of the history behind this secretive literary figure.