Black Box

Hotdocs Showcase Sault Ste. Marie


Documentary film explores stories based on the life, nature and the world around us in a way no other media does. It entertains, challenges, informs and astounds! Mark Twain once said: “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” The HotDocs Showcase explores the human side of the wonders of truth.

Join the Sault Community Theatre Centre as the HotDocs Showcase Sault Ste. Marie takes the screen in the Black Box, our studio theatre, for an amazing movie experience.


November 2nd

6 pm : Wine Bar Opens

6:30 pm : Showcase kick off with guest Speakers

Dan Nystedt has had trouble turning his camera off for almost 2 decades.  What began as a hobby has somehow managed to turn itself into a career. For the past 7 years Dan has been interviewing touring bands as they have passed through his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie.  The end result of over 200 interviews is slowly transforming into a music series titled, …in the middle, with… Dan has also worked on feature films in different positions ranging from Assistant Editor to Directing E.P.K.’s.

Bathtubs Over Broadway

7pm – 9pm

When Steve Young, writer for The Late Show with David Letterman, was looking for strange record albums to mock on a comedy segment, he turned up a few that sparked big audience laughs and a passion that would last over 20 years. Corporate musicals from the 1950s to the 1980s—with titles like Got to Investigate Silicones and Ford-i-fy Your Future—literally sang the praises of everything from petroleum to ball bearings, Broadway-style. Businesses like General Electric and McDonald’s commissioned these full-scale million-dollar productions strictly for their annual conventions, never intending them for public eyes or ears.

Hooked on their hilarity and surprisingly high quality, Young not only began collecting the recordings, but also tracked down their singing and songwriting talents: stars like Martin Short, Chita Rivera and Florence Henderson, as well as talents who never became household names. Meeting the unknown stars of an unsung chapter of musical history strikes a personal chord with Young, an artist reflecting on his own limelight-adjacent career.

Myrocia Watamaniuk 

Runtime 87 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the station mall box office

The Accountant of Aushwitz

9pm – 11pm

Oskar Gröning, known as the “Accountant of Auschwitz,” was charged with the murder of 300,000 Jews. When he took the stand in 2015, at the age of 94, his trial made headlines worldwide. The debate around his prosecution is at the centre of this historic yet contemporary look at justice.

As survivors travel to Germany to testify, the heinous acts of the Holocaust remain vivid and traumatic. For some, there is no grey area: Gröning was witness and therefore complicit, regardless of his duty to follow orders. Others look at a frail man in the last years of his life and see no reason to pursue charges. Bringing war criminals to justice, with no statute of limitations, asks fundamental moral questions with few simple answers. From Nuremberg to the new alt-right, The Accountant of Auschwitzconstructs a stark reminder that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Alexander Rogalski

Runtime 80 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the Community Theatre box office

November 3rd

1pm : Wine Bar and Reception

Afghan Cycles

1:45pm – 3:15pm

Susan B. Anthony once said that the bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. Creating a sense of mobility, movement but most importantly freedom, the bicycle has been a revolutionary vehicle for change throughout history. But in Afghanistan, the stakes are much higher for woman who cycle. While not technically illegal, riding a bicycle in Afghanistan is seen by many as a morality crime that could result in imprisonment or even the loss of life for women who dare to defy this belief.

This extraordinary film tells the tale of a cycling group in Bamiyan, spearheaded by one woman who teaches girls to ride as a means of independent transportation and freedom and with dreams to compete nationally. Breaking through their often chaotic and painful daily existence, they find peace and independence in the mountainous province of Bamiyan as they cycle towards a changed and more independent culture for the women of Afghanistan.

Heather Haynes

Runtime 90 Minutes

 Mountain Life

4pm – 5:20pm

At once alluring and intimidating, the Coast Mountains have served as a muse for artists and explorers for centuries. The stories of unique individuals who have devoted their lives to British Columbia’s rugged terrain elevate Grant Baldwin’s film to the next level, while his breathtaking cinematography and brilliant aerial imagery capture the wonder and scale of this magnificent landscape that soars from sea to sky.

A daughter and her 60-year-old mother’s arduous 2,300-kilometer trek to Alaska is the thread that binds these intimate portraits together. Moving from nail-biting to inspiring, the story of an avalanche disaster juxtaposed with the devoted residents of a remote monastery illuminates the humanity to be found amidst these geographic giants. As diverse as their backgrounds and motivations are, they are bound by a common passion. They can imagine no other place on Earth to call home. After being immersed in their lives, it’s difficult not to feel the same.

Alexander Rogalski

Runtime 77 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the station mall box office

6pm : Wine Bar and Reception

The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution

7pm – 9pm

In restaurant kitchens, tight quarters, high pressure and hot tempers combine to create toxic conditions that make it difficult for anyone to survive, let alone climb the ladder to head chef. For women, the situation is even worse. Running a successful restaurant is a daunting challenge, even more so when the odds are stacked against you. But as women take charge at more of the world’s top dining establishments, a cultural shift is dismantling the macho environment that made celebrities out of “bad boy” chefs.

From New York City’s star chefs Anita Lo and Amanda Cohen to the queen of French cuisine Anne-Sophie Pic, seven chefs share their struggles to overcome a system of inequality and harassment while delivering delicious dishes and redefining the dining experience. An appetite for change has taken hold and there’s no turning back.

Alexander Rogalski

Runtime 71 Minutes


9pm – 11pm

The internet is the largest public space we find ourselves in—and it has become a battleground. From award-winning director Cynthia Lowen comes an explosive documentary exposing the victims caught between the fight for freedom of speech and high-profile privacy invasion and harassment. Digital abuse, although carried out through the invisibility cloak of the internet, is still abuse and women have had their lives destroyed as a result.

Online death and rape threats, privacy violations, stalking, impersonation, non-consensual pornography and more have caused women to silently suffer through lost jobs, thwarted educations and countless hours devoted to containing attacks against a backdrop of mounting legal fees and psychological distress. Anita Sarkeesian (feminist media critic, blogger and public speaker), Tina Reine (activist and survivor), Carrie Goldberg (victims’ rights attorney) and Elisabeth Aultman (producer) courageously tell their stories of confronting and overcoming harassment as they work to transform policy to make the web a safer place.

Heather Haynes

Runtime 97 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the Community Theatre Box Office

November 4th

1pm : Wine Bar and Reception

Behind The Curve

2pm – 4pm

Centuries ago, many cultures believed the Earth was a flat disc. As scientific thought and technology evolved, the Earth was revealed to be a globe, a view that’s widely accepted today—but not by everyone. The flat Earth movement has seen a recent resurgence. These conspiracy theorists deny the scientific model of the globe and join together through conventions, forums and online platforms to discuss their belief system.

On the other end of the spectrum, the scientific community aims to counter this resurrected myth, resulting in an ever-growing public battle of conspiracies and anti-intellectualism. Giving a well-rounded look at all sides of the debate, Behind the Curve shows that no matter where you stand on this issue, the conversations and people around it are anything but flat.

Gabor Pertic

Runtime 96 Minutes

United Skates

4pm – 6pm

Roller rinks across America have provided the African American community with a safe space for family and tradition since before the civil rights movement. They’ve even been credited with the career breakthroughs of influential artists like Queen Latifah, N.W.A. and Dr. Dre. Every city’s rink scene has its own signature moves, Baltimore is home to Snapping, Detroit has Open House and in New York/New Jersey they skate in trains and trios.

Despite the continued closures of these cultural landmarks, the community adopts a “have wheels, will travel” attitude, twisting and turning their way to national skate parties. Strap on your wheels and get ready be moved by the love and spirit of a community working to preserve their culture.

Runtime 86 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the Community Theatre Box Office

Thank You for Supporting HotDoc's Showcase Sault Ste. Marie!