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Missing the variety of documentaries featured at TIFF? Think the only other time to see award-winning documentaries is at Hot Docs? Here is another opportunity to get your fix for in-depth and analytical films throughout the year.

Last September, the Toronto International Film Festival opened its very own theatre in downtown Toronto, the Bell Lightbox. They’ve recently had a successful run with the Tim Burton exhibition, the first Museum of Modern Art  display to come to the city in over 20 years. Now they’re hoping other exhibitions and international films will keep the crowds coming back.

You can catch some films celebrated at this year’s Human Rights Watch, like The First Grader directed by Justin Chadwick from the United Kingdom. This feature-length engaging piece tells the story of eighty-four-year-old Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge, who showed up at the doorstep of a local school when the Kenyan government announced an offer for free primary education.

Checking out work by international journalists is becoming easier as well. TIFF is advertising the documentary Enemies of the People by Thet Sambath and Rob Lemkin. The Cambodian journalist tells his own tragic story and the oppressive history of his country in this illuminating and chilling feature. His family was killed by the Khmer Rouge regime, one of many families who suffered horrible violence at their hands. Winner of the Sundance’s World Cinema Special Jury Price for Documentaries, this film will linger in your mind long after you see it.

These are just two examples of international films that will provoke you to think, smile, shed a tear, and explore issues more deeply. Check and see if your own city has a monthly film festival!

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About the author

Miriam Spies was the Associate Editor for the Summer 2011 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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