This year’s fest forum topics include transportation, climate change, and the global food industry. Each panel is filled with experts who will share their perspective and answer your questions to further explore the film themes.

WHEN: Saturday, October 19, 2019

WHERE: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

TICKETS: $15 General Admission — Free rush tickets for students (with ID)


Directed by Liz Canning

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In Motherload, a crowdsourced documentary about the cargo bike movement, director Liz Canning celebrates cycling’s myriad benefits, tracing its history as an early tool of feminist liberation and lauding its capacity to help us sustain—and reconnect with—the natural world. Canning reveals how cargo bikes allowed her and her children to lead a healthier, greener lifestyle, while fighting off the blues of an increasingly frantic digital consumer culture. Blending an examination of cycling’s roots within activism, interviews with bicycle innovators from around the globe, and empowering accounts from women who explain that cargo bikes have changed their lives, Motherload demonstrates that a seemingly mundane mode of travel can produce miraculous results.


Directed by Judith Helfand


In July of 1995, Chicago suffered a heat wave of catastrophic intensity, resulting in a staggering death toll. A total of 739 Chicagoans lost their lives, with elderly, impoverished, and African American denizens disproportionally represented among the victims. In Cooked, playfully provocative documentarian Judith Helfand draws on these tragic circumstances as the inspiration for a wider investigation into poverty, race, and why marginalized communities tend to bear the brunt of the extreme weather events, which are growing ever more frequent with the advance of climate change. Helfand also delves into the booming ‘disaster preparedness’ industry, where the price tags of preventative measures tend to exclude all but the privileged.


Directed by Enrico Parenti & Stefano Liberti


As the Amazon burns and the US-China trade war continues to escalate, Soyalism is a sobering probe of a global industry with surprising links to both crises. Following each link in the worldwide chain of pork production, from the United States to Brazil, Mozambique, and, ultimately, China, this classic investigative documentary surveys the international consequences of Beijing’s growing demand: enormous soybean monocultures in the Brazilian rainforest; lagoons of hog waste threatening water supplies in North Carolina; Mozambican farmers coerced and displaced. A market once driven by local producers has been transformed by industrial conglomerates controlling feed production, livestock rearing, slaughterhouses, and distribution. Without a concerted effort to combat rapacious agribusiness and unsustainable consumer habits, Soyalism reveals that pork’s calamitous social and ecological by-products are only likely to escalate.