Animation highlights are in the Hot Docs screening are: Finding Macpherson, Seth’s Dominion and the HIGHRISE live event.  

(Full press release follows animated film descriptions.)

Finding Macpherson (Le mystère Macpherson) (77 min.)
·         Born of a friendship between Quebec singer-songwriter Félix Leclerc and Jamaican immigrant Frank Randolph Macpherson, the song “MacPherson” launched Martine Chartrand on a 10-year period of research to create her award-winning 2012 NFB paint-on-glass animated short MacPherson. Director Serge Giguère was with her from the start and chronicled her exceptional creative journey in Finding Macpherson.
·         Finding Macpherson is written and directed by Serge Giguère, and produced by Nicole Hubert and Sylvie Van Brabant (Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc), and Colette Loumède (NFB).

Seth’s Dominion (42 min)
·         Canadian cartoonist Seth, best known for comic books such as Palookaville, is one of the world’s great storytellers in the form. Luc Chamberland sheds light on his wry, articulate subject, mixing insightful biography with vivid animation in an artful fusion of filmmaking techniques that perfectly captures Seth’s manifold creative universe.
·         Written and directed by Luc Chamberland, and produced for the NFB by Marcy Page and Gerry Flahive.

HIGHRISE: Universe Within, Live
·         Launching the final iteration of the acclaimed HIGHRISE digital documentary project, Universe Within, Live takes audiences on a fascinating journey from Brooklyn to Mumbai to Guangzhou through the original portraits of highrise residents and their digital lives from around the globe. Mixing live and recorded images, documentaries and music, this performance is navigated by a live host in conversation with the audience. 

·         Directed by Katerina Cizek, performed by Misha Glouberman, and produced for the NFB by Gerry Flahive and David Oppenheim.


Mysteries and disappearances stranger than anything in a detective novel. Visionary one-of-a-kind figures in Canadian arts and politics. Feature documentaries and short works, and a live preview of the final installment in a legendary six-year digital project.

It’s all part of a rich National Film Board of Canada (NFB) presence at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, where NFB works will be showcased this year from April 23 to May 3, 2015.

This year’s selection includes the world premiere of Sasha Snow’s feature documentary Hadwin’s Judgement, a spellbinding account of environmentalism, obsession and myth produced by True West Films and Passion Planet in association with the NFB, screening in the World Showcase program.

The festival is also hosting five Ontario premieres. Screening in the Canadian Spectrum program are Sophie Deraspe’s esperamos/NFB co-produced feature documentary The Amina Profile, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and Serge Giguère’s Productions du Rapide-Blanc/NFB co-production Finding Macpherson, a captivating 10-year look at an artist at work, which was named Best Feature-Length Documentary at Quebec’s Jutra Awards on March 15. Justin Simms and William D. MacGillivray’s Danny, a portrait of legendary Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams, is one of just five titles chosen for Hot Docs’ Big Ideas program, while Mike Maryniuk’s eclectic multi-media film Home Cooked Music and Martin Bureau’s impressionistic Hell Runs on Gasoline! are featured in the Short Documentary program.

Winner of the Grand Prize for Best Animated Feature-length Film at the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, Luc Chamberland’s animated documentary Seth’s Dominion, about Canadian cartoonist Seth, is featured in the Next program, which explores creativity, pop culture and the arts.

As Hot Docs inaugurates its DocX program for innovative interactive documentaries, the festival will host a sneak preview of HIGHRISE: Universe Within with the one-night-only participatory live performance Universe Within, Live. Launching online later this year, HIGHRISE: Universe Within delves into the hidden digital lives of high-rise residents around the world and is the final iteration in the NFB’s many media, multi-year digital documentary project HIGHRISE, directed by Katerina Cizek, which has to date garnered a number of prestigious international honours: two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a World Press Photo Prize, two Canadian Screen Awards, and the first-ever IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling.