Author: William Brownridge

Hot Docs 2016 Review: How to Build a Time Machine

Rob Niosi and Ron Mallett almost couldn’t be any different. Niosi has worked as an animator his whole life, while Mallett has studied to become a theoretical physicist. What both men have in common is an obsession with time travel. As a child, Niosi watched The Time Machine and has been working on a replica of the machine from the film for over 9 years. Mallett was left without a father at a young age and has dreamt of time travel ever since, working through the years to become a theoretical physicist while studying the reality of time travel on the...

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Hot Docs 2016 Review: Unlocking the Cage

Animal rights lawyer Steven Wise has spent decades fighting for the rights of clients who can’t speak for themselves. In the legal battle focused on in Unlocking the Cage, Wise is attempting to convince the courts that chimpanzees should be protected from abuse in the same way that humans are. Using scientific evidence, Wise attempts to prove that chimpanzees are as intelligent as young children, thereby granting them the same rights afforded humans so that they can stop people from keeping chimpanzees as pets or as displays in roadside zoos. Change is always slow to come, and nobody may...

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Hot Docs 2016 Review: No Man is an Island

In the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is the small island of Lampedusa. It’s a stopping point for refugees coming from Africa before they continue on to bigger cities. Some choose to stay on the island, like 16-year-old Adam, from Ghana, or 21-year-old Omar, who fled from Tunisia. Adam was taken in by a family that also employs him, pushing him to integrate into the Italian culture although an undertone of racism exists. Omar finds himself incredibly lonely and wants to move on to a bigger city, but his adoptive family constantly tells him he won’t be able to make it. Right from...

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Hot Docs 2016 Review: Diving into the Unknown

A team of Finnish divers are struck by tragedy when two of their members are trapped in a deep underwater cave and die. Efforts to recover the bodies by various international authorities fail, and the cave is closed. Determined to bring their friend’s bodies back to their families, the divers return to the cave illegally in an attempt to do what everybody else couldn’t. Although they’ve already come close to death, their commitment to their friends surpasses their fears. Diving into the Unknown is one of the most tense and terrifying films you may find at Hot Docs 2016....

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Hot Docs 2016 Review: Cheer Up

As coach of Finland’s worst cheerleading team, Miia is searching for something that can inspire her team to victory. After heading to Texas to study some of the best North American cheer teams, Miia returns with a new plan of action, but it’s not the work ethic of the team that is holding them back. With their personal lives in a state of flux, many of the team members have more important things to worry about than their position in the cheerleading finals, and even Miia isn’t immune from the stresses of her personal life. If you’re looking for an...

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Hot Docs 2016 Review: Putuparri and the Rainmakers

For thousands of years, Tom “Putuparri” Lawford’s people lived life in the desert of Western Australia. Once the Europeans came, the lands were quickly taken from the Indigenous people and they were forced from the place they called home. As a child, Lawford was taken out into the sacred lands where he witnessed his relatives seemingly discover water deep beneath the ground, which also seemed to cause the rains to arrive. Inspired by these sights and the plight of his people, Lawford does his best to carry on the traditions of his people and be sure the stories and land...

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Review: Ratchet & Clank

Based on the hit Playstation video game series, Ratchet & Clank tells the origin story of Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor), the last remaining lombax in the galaxy, and his unlikely tiny, robot friend Clank (David Kaye). Ratchet works in a garage on a planet in the Solana Galaxy, dreaming of joining the elite forces of the Galactic Rangers, led by Captain Qwark (Jim Ward). He may get his chance when Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) plots to destroy the galaxy with a new weapon. Ratchet meets Clank when the robot is deemed a defect and escapes Chairman Drek’s factory. Together,...

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