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 the main theatre for an amazing movie experience.


Ticket Prices : General $8

Passports to all 8 shows: Student $31, General $56

All ticket subject to appropriate fees and taxes  

November 13th

6 pm : Wine & Snack Bar Opens

7 pm : Showcase kick off with Director Matt Gallagher 

Matt Gallagher, award winning director, shooter, producer has over 20 years of experience in documentary film making, one-offs, and series. He has had the idea for the film for almost a decade and the resulting film is shocking, intriguing, and a revelation. Don’t miss your chance to ask questions and engage this fantastic film maker in person after the film.


7 PM – 9 PM

Winner—DGC Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary

Widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church has traumatized thousands. Many have only recently come forward to speak publicly, while others have been silenced through settlements. One of the perpetrators, Father Hod Marshall, pled guilty to 17 assault charges; a colleague, Father David Katulski, called him a “very good pedophile.” One of his victims, seeking closure for this traumatic part of his childhood, filed suit against the Basilian Fathers of Toronto for its role in enabling Marshall’s depravity. As the case moves through the courts—led by “the priest hunter,” lawyer Rob Talach—the silence the Catholic Church fought so vigorously to maintain is broken. Director Matt Gallagher opens a channel for those brave survivors who are willing to provide testimony, culminating in a powerful damnation of an institution that must be exposed and held to account. 

Content notice: Film contains sexual violence trigger material.

Canadian Spectrum program sponsored by TVO.

Alexander Rogalski

Run time 85 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the station mall box office

Ask Dr. Ruth

9:30pm – 11pm

After 40 years of being quizzed on everything from the location of the elusive clitoris to the “normal” frequency of masturbation, is there anything legendary sex therapist Dr. Ruth hasn’t been asked? To open up about herself, apparently. Warm, funny and thoroughly surprising, this revealing profile of the now 90-year-old turns up one of the most trailblazing women in modern history. The trauma of her youth as a Holocaust orphan fuelled both a fierce survival instinct and a deep curiosity about human nature. How else could a Israeli-trained sharpshooter and three-times-married mother become a bestselling author and one of Johnny Carson’s favourite guests? Unflappable and undaunted, the heavily accented voice behind the landmark 1980s radio show Sexually Speaking became one of the fiercest advocates for sexual health, abortion and LGBTQ rights of the century. Ask Dr. Ruth offers up a life story as edifying and candid as the icon herself. 

Myrocia Watamaniuk

Runtime 100 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the Community Theatre box office

November 19th

6pm : Wine Bar and Reception

7 Pm Gordon Lightfoot Tribute

Bringing the amazing sights and sounds of Gordon Lightfoot, Mike Fornes and his Tribute band will kick off the film right! Giving you a bit of a taste of his up coming concert. 

If You Could Read My Mind

7:30 pm – 9 pm

From the song he refuses to perform to his admiration for Drake, a songwriting legend reflects on his lyrics and longevity with candour and humour. At 80 years young (and currently recording another album), Gordon Lightfoot continues to entertain and enlighten. Personal archive materials and studio sessions paint an intimate picture of an artist in his element, candidly revisiting his idealistic years in Yorkville’s coffeehouses, up through stadium tours and the hedonistic ’70s. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Barbra Streisand are only a handful of the stars whose recordings of “Early Morning Rain” and other hits helped Lightfoot’s artistry leap across borders, but no matter how far his music travelled, he continued to write passionately about the country he called home. As fellow music icon Burton Cummings sums it up, “Gordon’s stuff screamed Canada.” With his instantly recognizable voice and masterful guitar playing, Gordon Lightfoot remains influential and timeless. 

Alexander Rogalski

Runtime 90 Minutes


9 pm – 11 pm

Surrounded by the beautiful mountains, lakes and water systems of the Peruvian Highlands lives Máxima Acuña, a subsistence farmer who grows potatoes and raises guinea pigs. She, along with neighbouring families, have grown up understanding that land and water are integral to life and must be protected at all costs. But as a multi-billion-dollar mining project is launched by the American Newmont Mining Corporation and lays claim to the land, Máxima finds her world turned upside down: she’s embroiled in conflict, forced eviction, violence and criminal prosecution. Undeterred by the intimidation, Máxima knows what’s at stake. This landmark film portrays one woman’s courageous journey to stand against the destruction of resources that hold far more value than gold. Her strength earned her the world’s most prestigious environmental award, the Goldman Environmental Prize. 

Heather Haynesi

Runtime 88 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the station mall box office

November 20th

6 pm : Wine Bar and Reception

Toxic Beauty

7 pm – 9 pm

For many of us, it’s part of a daily routine: every day, we powder, lather and douse our bodies with numerous personal care products. But how often do we stop to question the safety of the products we use? The multi-billion-dollar companies behind our makeup and shampoo insist there’s nothing to be concerned about, yet an historic class-action lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson and their baby powder argues the company knew about carcinogens in its product and took no action. A hard-hitting exposé of the under regulated cosmetics industry, this Hot Docs Festival hit asks us to consider the true cost of beauty.

Run time 90 Minutes

#Female Pleasure

9 pm – 11 pm

Five women from five countries call bullsh*t on the lack of autonomy over their bodies. Refusing to live within the constraints of religiously or culturally enforced rules, they launch highly personal protests that cost them dearly. Manga artist and performer Rokudenashiko makes vulva art and is arrested in Japan. Facing expulsion from her Hasidic community in Brooklyn, Deborah Feldman takes her baby and runs. Leyla Hussein dares British men to simulate the female circumcision she endured with clay and scissors. In India, Vithika Yadav defies daily street harassment by championing female sexual pleasure online. Doris Wagner was raped in her German convent and now fights sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Through testimony and activism, these women demonstrate that it’s neither religious nor cultural patriarchies that shame the female body and prohibit gender equality, but misogyny itself. Outrageous and courageous, #Female Pleasure is an inventive feminist primer for the millennial age. 

Myrocia Watamaniuk 

This film is rated for graphic nudity and sexual conversations. Viewer discresion is advised.

Runtime 97 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the Community Theatre Box Office

November 21st

Shirley Horn is the first chancellor of Algoma University, actively involved in the governance of the Missanabie Cree First Nation, a founding member of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, and a well known Cree artist with her work being exhibited across the province. She is also well known for advocating for work relating to the legacy left behind by the residential school system in Canada and the impact it had on the First Nation. She will  be speaking with Michael Burtch following the film There Are No Fakes along with paintings generously on loan from Algoma University .

Michael Burtch is the retired Director-Curator of the Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie, and is a Research Associate with the Nordik Institute at Algoma University. He is a sculptor and a sound artist with an extensive exhibition history. As an art historian Burtch has published numerous articles and was engaged in a major research project which resulted in a documentary film, “Painted Land, In Search of the Group of Seven”. In 2017 the film won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Editorial Research. Burtch also received the 2003 Community Recognition Award from Sault Ste. Marie’s Cultural Advisory Board and in 2017 the city’s highest honour, the Medal of Merit.


We Will Stand Up

7 pm – 9 pm

Winner—Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award

The most difficult stories to tell are the ones we most need to hear. Colten Boushie, a young Cree man from Saskatchewan, was killed by a bullet to the head on Gerald Stanley’s farm in 2016. Eighteen months later, after the RCMP investigation and trial, Stanley was found not guilty of second-degree murder. The jury’s verdict drew national attention and a public outcry advocating for reforms to the Canadian legal system. With strength and authenticity, filmmaker Tasha Hubbard bears witness to a tragic story that traces back through centuries of injustice and colonial violence endured by First Nations peoples. Reflecting on her own family connections to Indigenous and settler histories, Hubbard faithfully follows the Boushie family’s pursuit of justice all the way to the United Nations. Drawing together the present and past, Hubbard crafts an urgent and powerful film that demands not only our attention, but our action.

 Alexander Rogalski


Run time 98 Minutes

There are no Fakes

9 pm – 11 pm

Norval Morrisseau (Copper Thunderbird) is arguably the most influential Indigenous artist in Canada, commonly referred to as the founder of the Woodlands style. After spending $20,000 at a reputable Toronto gallery to purchase Spirit Energy of Mother Earth, Kevin Hearn (of the Barenaked Ladies) was surprised to discover the authenticity of his Morrisseau canvas being called into question. His decision to sue the art dealer spurs an investigation into the painting’s provenance, and so begins the unravelling of an art fraud ring with fighting factions, all claiming to be the true protectors of the Anishinaabe painter’s legacy—and all of whom happen to be white. Dealers, investors, experts and artists vigorously defend their interests in a search for truth where culture and commerce collide. Questions of authenticity, appropriation and exploitation underlay a devastating story about a visionary artist caught between worlds. As the legal case proceeds, shocking new revelations emerge, detailing damages that spread far beyond the canvas. 

Alexander Rogalski

Content notice: Film contains sexual violence trigger material.

Runtime 114 Minutes

*Tickets also available at the Community Theatre Box Office
*Tickets also available at the Community Theatre Box Office

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