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Pata Pata

So many of you have been asking me what I saw at Hot Docs 2011, and what was my favourite film. Well, I saw 32 films: 29 feature documentaries and 3 shorts. This year's festival had a bumper crop of good to extraordinary films, so choosing my favourite wasn't easy. I should let you know that my criteria for "favourite" is highly personal. What I select may not be the best documentary made. My favourites are films that resonate with me, that had an impact at the time of the screening and that stayed with me long after the festival was over. Well, I've made my Top Ten List (in green) and want you to leave comments with your own favourites, so please share your thoughts. My number one favourite film is Mama Africa, the documentary about the life and career of singer, political/human rights activist Miriam Makeba (pictured left) directed by one of my favourite directors, Mika Kaurismäki.

1. A Simple Rhythm
2. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
3. Becoming Chaz
4. Becoming Santa5. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey
6. Bobby Fischer against the World
7. Boy Cheerleaders8. Buck9. Carol Channing: Larger Than Life
10. Fightville
11. In Heaven, Underground. The Jewish Cemetery in Berlin-Weissensee
12. Koundi and the National Thursday
13. Limelight
14. Lovable
15. Love Arranged
16. Mama Africa17. Matchmaking Mayor
18. Mighty Jerome
19. People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am
20. POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
21. Senna22. Shibuya – Tokyo (short)
23. Somewhere Between Winner Sundance Channel People's Choice Award(see my interview with director Linda Goldstein Knowlton)
24. St-Henri, The 26th of August25. Superheroes
26. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-197527. The Chocolate Farmer
28. The Lumberfros29. The Power of Love (Celine Dion Fans in Kenya) (short)
30. Two’s a Crowd (short)
31. We Were Here32. Wiebo’s War

Photo credit: courtesy of


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