With THE CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE, European Film Promotion (EFP) is bringing ten outstanding European documentaries to the 30th edition of Hot Docs - Canadian International Documentary Festival (27 April – 7 May 2023).

The CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE - supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the participating EFP member organisations - features 10  exceptional new European documentaries selected by the Hot Docs programming team. The nine feature films and one mid-length film explore themes centred around identity, belonging and struggle.

In addition to festival screenings and access to a comprehensive industry programme on-site, the directors and producers of the films will be part of on-site and online events arranged by EFP, including networking sessions and dedicated one on one meetings with key distributors, buyers, and festival programmers from North America.

“Hot Docs’ 30th-anniversary will mark the sixth year of THE CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE and the Festival’s partnership with European Film Promotion,” said Shane Smith, Hot Docs artistic director. “Europe has such a rich history of, and strong connection to (no comma) the art of documentary filmmaking, and we are delighted to be able to yet again showcase the powerful work coming out of the continent that sheds light on crucial issues facing Europeans today.”

“We congratulate Hot Docs celebrating its 30th anniversary and are thrilled to take part in this important festival over the past six years with our programme THE CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE! Sharing the multifaceted stories by European filmmakers with North American audiences, and connecting documentary filmmakers with the industry, is a great endeavor for us. We sincerely thank Hot Docs for this opportunity and are looking forward to more festival editions to come”, said EFP’s Managing Director Sonja Heinen.

This year’s selection includes the World Premieres of Soňa G. Lutherová’s A Happy Man (Slovakia, Czech Republic), in which the move of a young family from the Czech Republic to Sweden is made more complex as one member begins the process of transitioning to affirm their gender identity; and Roberta (Lithuania) by Elena Kairytė, an intimate portrait of a young Lithuanian woman grappling with flux while fumbling for purpose and personal values in these times of uncertainty.

North American Premieres in this year’s programme include After Work (Sweden) by Erik Gandini, which poses whether – as human jobs are increasingly assumed by automation and AI –  universal guaranteed income and unlimited leisure will replace employment; Niki Padidar’s first feature film All You See (The Netherlands), a daring commentary on the state of belonging that questions when and if a “newcomer” ever stops being new; The Hearing (Switzerland) by Lisa Gerig, in which four rejected asylum seekers re-enact their experiences of participating in Swiss asylum hearings; The Homes We Carry (Germany) by Brenda Akele Jorde tells the story of a mother returning to Africa with her daughter after being torn apart by immigration red tape and complicated inter-governmental histories; the Estonian mid-length film Sundial by Liis Nimik in which close observation of seasons of farming, homesteading and childrearing in rural Estonia reveal life’s daily rhythms as a harmonic chorus of nature and community; Tax Me if You Can (France) by Yannick Kergoat, an irresistible look at how tax havens, legal loopholes and pay-offs work for the world's richest one per cent and who is left holding the empty bag; and Vicky (Ireland) by Sasha King in which a questionable terminal diagnosis reveals mistakes and cover-ups, igniting one of the largest health-care scandals in Ireland’s history.

Rounding out the programme is the Canadian Premiere of The Visitors (Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia) by Czech Director Veronika Lišková, in which an anthropologist in the world’s northernmost town in Norway discovers unexpected tensions among the locals while studying the impact of globalization on isolated communities and must either take action or simply watch a fascinating human experiment play out.

THE CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE in collaboration with Hot Docs  - Canadian International Documentary Festival is made possible thanks to the support of Creative Europe – the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and  the participating national film promotion institutes EFP’s member organisations: Czech Film Center, Estonian Film Institute, German Films, Lithuanian Film Centre, Screen Ireland / Fís Éireann, SEE NL (The Netherlands), Slovak Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, SWISS FILM and Unifrance. Media partners are Variety, POV Magazine, Business Doc Europe and Cineuropa.

about hot docs

Hot Docs North America's largest documentary festival, conference and market, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing and celebrating the art of documentary and to creating production opportunities for documentary filmmakers. Hot Docs will present its 30th annual edition from April 27 to May 7, 2023, in cinemas across Toronto, with a selection of films available online to audiences throughout Canada. Hot Docs will also mount a dynamic series of knowledge sessions, networking opportunities and market programs for documentary practitioners and industry delegates, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and The Doc Shop. Year-round, Hot Docs supports the Canadian and international industry with professional development programs and a multi-million-dollar film fund portfolio, and fosters education through documentaries with its popular free program Docs For Schools. Hot Docs owns and programs the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood and the world's first and largest documentary cinema, and operates Hot Docs at Home streaming platform.

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Helen Peetzen
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