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Hot Docs 2012 Mid Fest Recap

RADIOMAN

Craig Castaldo aka “Radioman” is no stranger on the streets of Manhattan. You may have even seen him on the big and small screen in one of his 100+ cameo appearances. Dubbed for his trademark radio he is a fixture on New York film sets and is on first name bases with the likes of Scorsese, Johnny Depp, Cher, Robin Williams and George Clooney.

But Radioman isn’t satisfied with just being in the background–he’s set to make a name for himself and have his own starring role in a movie.

This larger than life figure is made more human as the film spins his own personal struggle of being on the streets and the fight to overcome addiction. Now sober and loud mouthed as ever Radioman will prove that “In New York there’s the Stature of liberty, the Empire State Building and Radioman”

This film has another two screenings. You night owls can catch it Wednesday May 2nd AT Bloor Hot Docs Cinema and once more on Cindo-de-Mayo, Saturday, May 5th at the Cumberland.

SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS

The film is an account of the final days of LCD Soundsystem and documents three pivotal moments for James Murphy the groups creator and lead singer; the the lead-up to the final show at Madison Square Gardens, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.

The film begins with Murphy in an interview talking about his decision to leave, why now and what will you do? It continues to use his answers to build a story; cutting between clips from the legendary performance and his reaction in the moments after.

The concert footage makes you feel like you’re part of the crowd. For fans of the musicians this film will be both a farewell and and a high as they re-live (or live for the first time) the final moments.

This film has another two screenings. Catch it Thursday May 3 & Saturday May 5 both at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

WILDNESS

Wu Tsang stumbled upon LA’s Silver Platter one night. To outside eyes it was just another night spot but to the club’s patrons it was a place to feel safe, to be accepted or just escape from the unforgiving L.A. streets.

Co-presented with Inside Out, Wildness takes a look at the transgendered community that make this hot spot their home. Their struggles with identity, violence on the streets for being who they are and even the threat of deportation if they are discovered.

Wu and other young members of the community set out to change the venue by starting a club night, not knowing they were beginning a movement in the LA scene–one that had some tumultuous consequences. A very real story of a community that didn’t have a voice and how they’re finally heard–told through the eyes of the Silver Platter herself!

This film has another two screenings. Catch it Thursday, May 3rd at the ROM and it’s finale screening Sunday, May 6th at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

CALL ME KUCHU

The film follows a group of Ugandans fighting for their human rights in a country where homosexuality is a crime.

Veteran activist David Kato and his team fight to repeal Uganda’s homophobic laws and liberate his fellow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women, or “kuchus.” But their task becomes more difficult as a new “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” proposes death for HIV-positive gay men, and prison for anyone who fails to turn in a known homosexual.

Through the lens we get a look into the personal struggles of the individuals involved, and the totally peaceful and vibrant community that Uganda considers a “threat”

The moving piece becomes part of history when David Kato is murdered half way through filming. Continuing to chronicle the actions taken by Kato’s supporters after hid death and the tremor it sent through the world shedding light on a human right’s issue. A powerful testament of a how a few became many through the vision of one man to free the people being oppressed by a overly religious and prejudice government.

This film has two more screenings. Thursday May 3rd at TIFF bell Lightbox and Saturday May 5th at Bader.

Genevieve Walker

Toronto cinephile and lady about town.