hot docs 2019

10 movies getting the biggest advance buzz at Hot Docs 2019

Hot Docs is the largest documentary film festival in North America and features a diverse selection of films from across the world. Navigating the festival’s line-up can be difficult, so I've made it easy.

Here are some movies to get excited about.

A Woman's Work: The NFL Cheerleader Problem

NFL cheerleaders are forced to undergo strict diets, tireless fitness regimes and long hours of rehearsal — all for less than minimum wage. But one group of female cheerleaders hopes to change that with a lawsuit against the NFL for unfair treatment and gender pay discrimination.

American Factory

When an Ohio General Motors plant is forced to close its doors, many locals find themselves out of work. But the factory is reopened when a Chinese billionaire takes it over. It’s back to work, but with a catch – the Americans are forced to team up with Chinese immigrants.


This triple Sundance prizewinner focuses on Macedonian beekeeper Hatidze Muratova. Muratova sells her honey in order to take care of her sick mother, but her supply is threatened when new neighbours move in.


Women are the fastest growing prison population in Canada. Conviction attempts to better understand this statistic, while exposing the flaws of the broken criminal justice system by sharing the stories of a number of incarcerated women.

Killing Patient Zero

In the 1980’s, flight attendant Gaëtan Dugas was known as “Patient Zero” after falsely being accused of spreading AIDS in North America. Based on the book Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic, director Laurie Lind uncovers the true man who was lost beneath the homophobia and misinformation.

Knock Down the House

Four marginalized women across America, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are tired watching their communities suffer. Instead of silently standing by, these women take action by running for congress.

The Magic Life of V

The trauma of Finnish woman Veera's past haunts her after experiencing a childhood of abuse. Escaping her regular life, Veera transforms into V— her brave persona who only exists in the mythical world of live action role-playing.

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

Opening this year's festival, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up is about the 2016 murder of Saskatchewan Cree youth Colten Boushie and the controversial acquittal of his killer by an all white jury.

One Child Nation

Winning Sundance's US Grand Jury prize, One Child Nation is about China’s infamous “one child policy” and examines the controversial social experiment as a whole.

When We Walk

While working in India, award-winning filmmaker Jason DaSilva was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Now going through a divorce, DaSilva confronts his past, present and future as his ex-wife and son move across the country, while he struggles to leave New York due to his disability.

Lead photo by


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Film

The history of the Mr. Dressup TV show and its connection to Toronto

Toronto is getting its first in-person movie festival of the summer and it's totally free

Toronto is getting another drive-in movie festival by the waterfront this summer

You can watch free movies under the stars in Toronto this summer

Toronto kids TV host who joined social media is sparking major nostalgia for the 2000s

The trailer for SEE Season 2 starring Jason Momoa that was shot in Toronto just dropped

Drive-in theatres are opening this weekend in Ontario

Another Kim's Convenience star has spoken out about their bad experience on the show