Festival Coverage

TIFF 2023: ‘Summer Qamp’

By: Jolie Featherstone Jen Markowitz’s documentary Summer Qamp follows several teens as they attend Camp fYrefly – a camp in rural Alberta where queer, non-binary, and trans teens get to be themselves, surrounded by peers and counsellors who can relate to their experience.  From the moment the campers arrive, the camp implements a framework of care.  Whether it’s coming out as trans or climbing a rock wall, the campers are supported.


Kokomo City

The discussion about which older movies wouldn’t be made today because of current sociocultural identities and relations is occasionally debated, but chats about which contemporary movies couldn’t be made “back then” are not discussed enough.  I’m grateful for D. Smith’s Kokomo City, a revealing documentary that belongs in the latter exchange, because of its progressive existence.  It challenges transgressive opinions and uses the medium to address, and bring awareness to, important issues of personal representation…


Once Upon a Time in Uganda

By: Trevor Chartrand Many B-Movie enthusiasts are likely familiar with the squib-bursting insanity of Who Killed Captain Alex?, the Ugandan action movie with a violent – and loud – viral trailer on YouTube.  Shot in an impoverished slum, the film is creative with its budget, which reportedly was less than $200.  The movie is absurdly violent.  It’s goofy, it’s strange, and it looks and sounds terrible.  But, Captain Alex is also a film with a…


Making Time

Liz Unna’s documentary Making Time bounces between subjects who all share a career in watchmaking, and have an overall obsession with time itself.  Being a horologist has put life into perspective for these meticulous people, and has issued a number of self-reflections and epiphanies.  This collective fascination is the frequency Unna invests all of her storytelling confidence in.  Unfortunately, Making Time lacks personal touches as well as a coherency between the doc’s interviewees.


Fashion Reimagined

By: Jolie Featherstone Becky Hutner’s urgent Fashion Reimagined is an important report, rendered through masterful storytelling.  Formally hired to edit docs (Revolution, Being Canadian), it’s near impossible to believe that Fashion Reimagined is Hutner’s feature-length documentary directorial debut.



I was having trouble figuring out how to review Insanity because it’s such a personal project.  It’s less of a conventional documentary and more of an outlet for filmmaker Wendy Hill-Tout (Marlene) and her family to decompress and reflect on James Bruce Hill-Tout, Wendy’s missing and homeless Schizophrenic brother.


Little Richard: I Am Everything

Lisa Cortés’ Little Richard: I Am Everything is a perfect documentary for people with an interest in the legendary musician.  It’s a thorough breakdown that guides unfamiliar movie goers (like myself) through Little Richard’s life and career, and it sports plenty of exciting concert footage and entertaining interviews that would make any loyal fan giddy.