Hot Docs Fest Adds Films About Gun Culture, Climate Change

Under the Gun still 1 - H 2016
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Special Presentations sidebar is likely to generate heat with Dawn Porter's 'Trapped' and Stephanie Soechtig's 'Under the Gun,' executive produced by Katie Couric.

A slew of documentaries on gun culture, abortion and climate change were unveiled Tuesday by the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival for its Special Presentations sidebar.

These include international premieres for Dawn Porter's Trapped, the Sundance jury award winner about legal challenges to U.S. abortion clinics, and Stephanie Soechtig's Under the Gun, about rising U.S. gun violence.

North America's largest documentary festival also is giving world bows to Jared P. Scott's climate change impact film The Age of Consequences, and Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Brendan Byrne's portrait of an imprisoned hunger striker in Northern Ireland.

Also headed to Hot Docs is Life, Animated, another Sundance award winner by Roger Ross Williams; Bill Ross' and Turner Ross' Contemporary Color, about musicians David Byrne, Nelly Furtado and St. Vincent; and Noah Baumbach's and Jake Paltrow's De Palma, about Hollywood director Brian de Palma.

The Toronto fest also booked Gleason, Clay Tweel's film about former NFL defensive back Steve Gleason; Ferne Pearlstein's The Last Laugh, where Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Carl Reiner and others debate how and whether to joke about the Holocaust; and Darby Wheeler's Hip-Hop Evolution.

Rounding out the Special Presentations sidebar is Sonita, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami's film about an Afghan rapper and activist; The Legacy of Frida Kahlo, Japanese director Tadasuke Kotani's film about the famous Mexican artist; and Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas' Sour Grapes, which recalls an unassuming young man flooding the American wine market with fake vintages as part of an elaborate con.

Hot Docs will unveil its full film lineup, including the opening night title, on March 22. The 2016 edition is set to run from April 28 to May 8.