• Still from Living with Giants

Every year Toronto hosts North America’s largest documentary film festival, where 200 documentaries from Canada and around the world are watched by over 200,000 people.

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival runs from April 28 to May 8, and with all the options it’s tough to choose what to watch. So, we’ve put together a list of five documentaries that focus on Canada, geography, and the implications that location can have on a person’s life.

The angry Inuk
Seal hunting has been a staple for the Inuit peoples of Northern Canada for countless generations. However, when animal rights activists opposed the practice of seal hunting, international legislation came into effect. This doc follows the story of an Inuit community trying to educate the world on their lifestyle, and the consequences of when that is not understood.

When two worlds collide
The indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon rely on the abundance of the jungle to survive. But when Peru’s president promotes mining, oil and fuel partnerships with international companies, the two different standpoints come to a head.

Living with Giants
In a small, northern Quebec community, an Inuit teenager named Paulusie carries many roles: hunter, son, boyfriend… but when alcohol is snuck into his dry community, Paulusie makes a devastating mistake that shakes up everything he and his family knows. This story is about seclusion, spirituality, actions and their consequences as seen through the eyes of teenagers in love.

Koneline
Described as a “cinematic poem” this doc showcases the beautiful land of the Tahltan First Nations people in northwest British Columbia. Koneline means “our land beautiful” and this film displays this beauty through tantalizing visuals, in conjunction with documenting the needs of people in the mining and hunting industries.

Diving into the unknown
A group of Finnish divers suffer a devastating loss of two friends during a deep cave dive in Norway. When officials are unable to retrieve the submerged bodies, the caves are closed off. But the divers feel a debt to their friends, and go on a secret mission to bring their friends back home.