Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Hot Docs 2023

My thoughts from Hot Docs 2023….slightly sleep deprived….take that into account…

I am very pleased that I decided to go and watch the documentary Allihopa: The Dalkurd story on my last day here at Hot Docs 2023. Not just because it is set in my beautiful home county of Dalarna in Sweden. But also because it is a documentary which made me inspired, happy, inspired and entertained me. It is a great story about the biggest game in the world, football, this time with a Kurdish background which keeps to story in a bigger perspective. See the trailer<


The reason I mention this is based on my feelings on the pitch films at Hot Docs Forum. Most of them with overwhelming tough subjects like suicide, mental health, domestic violence, sexuality and conflict. All needed, and important subjects, for sure. But I wish for more pitches/documentaries which also are funny, uplifting and makes the viewer understand that humans are more good than bad, if complicated.
For some unknown reason I thought Canada would be different to Europe. But no. We certainly live in a world which by the day get more divided, on the face more scary and aggressive and understandbly this peeters down into everything. Documentary Forums too.
Another note was that the Forum descision makers are way less aggressive, brutal and questioning as I remember from pitch forums before the pandemic. Until I realized that most pitches picked fitted into what the desicion makers were looking for. No challenging pitches. Most projects already had involvment from many desicionmakers. I think having much new and fresh desicion makers each year would be helpful. The answers or comments many gave felt like a repetition. Non-dramatic for sure. But correct and safe.
That said I am happy we came. We learned a lot and got some really good feedback and contacts for our Defender X project. Tomoko from JBC was wonderful!
The project leader Jeff Willner lives here in Toronto, one of my best friends, who i love and seeing him and my other great freinds over here is highlights in life. Sofie is always a joy travelling with.
It was great see Gregor Streiber, such a nice guy who I last met on a pitch in Tromsö. Maybe we will do something together. Gregor has ideas.
I really like Toronto. Its great diversity is wonderful. And this is where I met Hannah, who i am returning to now. More of that story in the coming days.

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