The Hot Docs festival opens by remembering the murdered Spanish journalists

Toronto (Canada), Apr 29 (EFE) .- Hot Docs, the largest documentary film festival in North America and one of the most important in the world, began this Thursday in Toronto marked by the murder of Spanish journalists David Beriain and Roberto Friar in Burkina Faso, where they filmed a documentary about poaching in that country.

The festival organization told Efe that "Hot Docs is deeply saddened by the death this week of the two Spanish journalists and filmmakers David Beriain and Roberto Fraile in Burkina Faso."

"Documentary filmmakers are often in dangerous situations to expose the truth, which is at the heart of the stories they pursue, and this is a sad reminder of the risk many in our community face. Our deepest condolences to families and loved ones. darlings of these brave men, "added Hot Docs.

For the second year in a row, Hot Docs will be held virtually due to the pandemic. The 219 films scheduled for this year's edition, from 66 countries, will be able to be viewed online from anywhere in Canada.

Despite not being able to have screenings in theaters, the presence of 219 films is good news for Hot Docs: last year, the festival was reduced from 238 films to only 135 due to the onset of the pandemic.

On the other hand, the organization highlighted that this year half of the films that will be screened from April 29 to May 9 have been directed by women.

The 219 documentaries are divided into 12 programs, including "Made in Colombia", presented with the institutions ProColombia and ProimimagesColombia and which will screen four films: "On the other side", by Iván Guarnizo; "Between fire and water", by Viviana Gómez Echeverry and Anton Wenzel; "The Zero Option", by Marcel Beltrán, and "Rebel Love", by Alejandro Bernal.


Another Hot Docs 2021 special program is "The Changing Face of Europe", which includes the world premiere of "Welcome to Spain" by Spanish director Juan Antonio Moreno Amador.

In the film, Moreno Amador places his camera in front of a diverse group of refugees who are housed in an old brothel in Seville to extract with humor and optimism a series of stories from the newcomers.

Hot Docs officially kicks off tonight with the world premiere of Ann Shin's Canadian feature film "A.rtificial I.mmortality," which explores the latest technological advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and biotechnology to question the possibility of living forever through life. through artificial intelligence.

Of the 12 shows this year, two are competitive: International Spectrum and Canadian Spectrum.

In International Spectrum 10 films compete, of which four are from Latin America and one from Spanish.

The Spanish director Miguel Ángel Blanca competes with the world premiere of "Magaluf Ghost Town", a portrait of the Majorcan tourist town that has become the image of the excesses of international balance tourism.

Also on International Spectrum are the Chilean film "Gaucho Americano", by Nicolás Molina; "Songs that flood the river", by the Colombian Germán Arango Rendón; "The silence of the mole", by the Guatemalan Anaïs Taracena, and the Brazilian "Limiar", by Coraci Ruiz.

Another world premiere is the film by the Spanish Alba Sotorra Clua "The Return: Life After ISIS", a provocative film in which the Catalan director is interested in Western women who joined the Islamic State in Syria, including British Shamima Begum and the American Hoda Muthana.

"The Return: Life After ISIS" is included in the Special Presentations program.

One of the novelties this year is the inclusion of the Systems Down program, "which captures the spirit of the times in its call for systemic change, with people challenging the 'status quo' and looking for new ways forward."

Systems Down will screen another Colombian documentary, "Bajo fuego", by directors Sjoerd van Grootheest and Irene Vélez-Torres, which shows the perspective of a group of coca growers from southwestern Colombia who have to survive amid the violence of armed groups despite the peace accords.

Julio Cesar Rivas


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