The Hungry Heart provides an intimate look at the often hidden world of prescription drug addiction through the world of Vermont Pediatrician Fred Holmes who works with patients struggling with this disease.
Dr. Holmes prescribes Suboxone (buprenorphine), a tool used to help addicts stop their cravings for opiates. Through the film we see that the Suboxone program that Fred runs has its pros and cons — for some taking Suboxone is a crucial stepping stone to long term recovery, for others it is a crutch, for others Suboxone is abused and diverted onto the street. Through the film we see Dr. Holmes struggling with these challenges and trying to make sense and keep the faith in the midst of many contradictions.
Most importantly however, as the film progresses we begin to see the simple but profound connection that Dr. Holmes creates with each patient. The film shines a light on the healing power of conversation and the need for connection that many of these young addicts yearn for but do not have in their lives.
In addition, the film interviews a number of older addicts who talk about their recovery process juxtaposed against Fred’s patients. The road to recovery is paved with both success stories and strewn with relapses, downfalls and tragic losses. However, through the movie we see the many faces and diverse populations of addiction, and their continued search for a life of recovery.
Hugh Oliver is an 83-year-old up-and-comer in the Toronto music scene bent on making it to the big time! He writes prolifically and plays regular gigs at the Tranzac Club, The Horseshoe and elsewhere around town. He’s a YouTube sensation who has just released his first full-length CD.
The film centers around Hugh’s golden day of recording with some of Toronto’s top musicians (Christine Bougie, Chris Coole, Michael "Rosie" Rosenthal, Emilie Mover, Nichol Robertson, and Polaris prize winner Patrick Watson). Hugh’s music producer and friend Marco DiFelice decided to film the recording sessions and the idea for a documentary was born. In addition to the studio footage, Marco interviews Hugh about his life, his art and his aspirations, and adds quirky animations to illustrate some of Hugh’s songs and poems. Through his stories and lyrics, and with an incredible amount of candor and charm, Hugh teaches us that any age is a good age to dream, to play, to write, to learn. Tackling everything from death and aging to love, war, pop culture and the human condition, Hugh’s songs and poems are at once delightfully irreverent and excruciatingly honest. A tale of friendship and artistic endeavour, The Ballad of Hugh is a heart-warming, inspirational doc that sheds a hopeful lyrical light on the intricacies of aging.
NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE, the words every patient dreams to hear, interweaves the harrowing experiences and remarkable courage of women, devoted families, and dedicated doctors. As music and medicine join forces in the fight for life, the surgeons are transformed into rising rock stars, and their patients and loved ones jump on the bandwagon, infusing the struggle for survival with heart, hope and Rock 'n' Roll.
In Syria, everyday, YouTubers film then die; others kill then film. In Paris, driven by my inexhaustible love for Syria, I find that I can only film the sky and edit the footage posted on YouTube. From within the tension between my estrangement in France and the revolution, an encounter happened. A young Kurdish woman from Homs began to chat with me, asking: “If your camera were here, in Homs, what would you be filming?” Silvered Water is the story of that encounter.
Shot by a reported “1,001 Syrians” according to the filmmakers, SILVERED WATER, SYRIA SELF-PORTRAIT impressionistically documents the destruction and atrocities of the civil war through a combination of eye-witness accounts shot on mobile phones and posted to the internet, and footage shot by Bedirxan during the siege of Homs. Bedirxan, an elementary school teacher in Homs, had contacted Mohammed online to ask him what he would film, if he was there. Mohammed, working in forced exile in Paris, is tormented by feelings of cowardice as he witnesses the horrors from afar, and the self-reflexive film also chronicles how he is haunted in his dreams by a Syrian boy once shot to death for snatching his camera on the street.