Spanish Documentaries at Hot Docs Festival

Spanish Documentaries at Hot Docs Festival

Four Spanish documentaries have been selected to be part of the Hot Docs Festival 2017 in Toronto.

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary film festival, conference and market, held annually in Toronto.

Other Side of the Wall

  • On Monday, May 1 at 6:45 pm. At Scotiabank Theatre.
  • On Tuesday, May 2 at 3:45 pm. At TIFF.
  • On Sunday, May 7 at 1 pm. At Aga Khan.
  • Directed by Pau Ortiz, 2017, 68 minutes. View trailer.

When their mother is sentenced to 10 years in a Mexican prison on questionable charges, teenagers Rocío and Ale are left with no choice but to play the role of both mother and father to their two younger siblings. As Honduran immigrants living in Mexico, they lack work papers, making opportunities for employment scarce. While the oldest, Ale, tries his best to make rational decisions for the good of the family, the pressure mounts. Finances are tight, his girlfriend is expecting and his sister Rocío is testing her teenage boundaries, wanting less responsibility and more freedom. Fearing she may get herself into trouble, Ale clamps down and tensions between them escalate. As apprehensions about the future intensify, Ale must make the difficult decision between keeping the family together in Mexico or breaking them apart to cross the US border for work.


  • On Friday, April 28 at 6:30 pm. At Scotiabank.
  • On Saturday, April 29 at 10:15 am. At Scotiabank.
  • On Sunday, May 7 at 6 pm. At Scotiabank.
  • Directed by Chico Pereira, 2017, 86 minutes. View trailer.

Inseparable wanderers, Manolo and Gorrión share a dream: to travel to America and follow the Trail of Tears, the route of the Cherokee nation’s forced displacement westward in the 1800s. The only things standing in their way? Logistics. Finances. Age. One has a bum knee, the other has a fear of water. One is a septuagenarian, the other is an Andalusian donkey. The odds seem stacked against them ever getting to America from southern Spain, but odd is exactly what this pair is. Leading a forgotten way of life, sitting by fires and sleeping under stars, Manolo, Gorrión and Zafrana the German Shepherd explore the Spanish countryside on foot, at an entirely different pace from those around them. Gentle, tender and triumphant, Donkeyote shows that even in a landscape dotted with wind turbines and crisscrossed by train tracks, there’s an open road if you’re willing to take a slower route.

La Chana

  • On Monday, May 1 at 9:15 pm. At Hart House.
  • On Wednesday, May 3 at 11 am. At TIFF.
  • On Thursday, May 4 at 9:30 am. At TIFF.
  • Directed by Lucija Stojevic, 2016, 86 minutes. View trailer.

Antonia Santiago Amador, better known as La Chana, was a flamenco legend that mysteriously disappeared from the spotlight at the height of her career. Through archival footage of La Chana’s many jaw-dropping television performances, Lucija Stojevic’s IDFA Audience Award–winning debut is an invigorating portrait that unravels the story behind a feisty and energetic presence. Highly spirited, the Catalan pioneer reflects on a storied career and what could have been. La Chana endured years of emotional abuse at the hands of her domineering ex-husband—whom she refers to only as “the father of my daughter.” He turned down opportunities on her behalf from Hollywood and legendary actor Peter Sellers, effectively forcing La Chana into early retirement. Now in her late 60s, more determined and empowered than ever, La Chana embarks on one last show, returning to the only place “where she can feel free and where she is the master.”

School Life

  • On Monday, May 1 at 6:15 pm. At TIFF.
  • On Wednesday, May 3 at 12:15 pm. At Scotiabank.
  • On Sunday, May 7 at 3:45 pm. At TIFF.
  • Directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane, 2016, 99 minutes. View trailer.

Most of John and Amanda Leyden’s lives have been closely tied to Headfort, the only boarding schooling in Ireland for children aged 7 to 12. It’s where the couple met, where they fell in love and where they now teach the young pupils who pass in and out of the school’s doors every year. For the students, these two transcend the roles of educators. Within the walls of the school, they are caregivers and coaches, music managers and theatre directors. No matter if you’re an introverted recluse or an easily distracted troublemaker, in the eyes of John and Amanda, you belong. As their time at Headfort draws to a close, the cameras allow us to become flies on the wall for a year, showcasing not only the singularly special bond between teacher and student but the importance of inspiring a new generation.

  • Film
  • Toronto
  • Thu, April 27 —
    Sun, May 07, 2017

2 years ago


Venue map

Various venues, Toronto


More information

Hot Docs Film Festival