With theatres in Toronto still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still plenty of ways to catch newly released films from the comfort and safety of your own home.  Hot Docs at Home is one such platform that showcases not only interesting documentaries, but first run filmsspecial events and Curious Minds Speaker Series as well.

See below for three recommended films to watch that are currently streaming as VOD. 

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

In the shadows of the bright lights of Las Vegas, it’s last call for a beloved dive bar known as ‘The Roaring 20s.’ Or that’s the premise, at least. Its regulars, a cross section of American lives adrift in a failed society, must reckon with the past as they face an uncertain future—they’ll be singing while their ship goes down. Blurring the boundary between fiction and non-fiction, Sundance darlings Bill and Turner Ross return with this mesmerizing portrait of a tiny world fading away, but still warm and beating with the comfort of community. Turn up the jukebox, have a seat, and immerse yourself in the timeless nostalgia of having a pint with your friends.

Streaming until August 15, 2020

White Riot

London’s calling! It’s the 1970s, punk rock is exploding, and Britain is deeply divided over immigration and the rapid growth of far-right extremism. Calling for music to be a force against xenophobia, a motley crew of mavericks banded together with The Clash and other top rockers of the day to create one of the biggest civil rights movements in British history. Think Woodstock, meets the March on Washington. Amid ongoing protests against racial injustice, Rubika Shah’s spirited tribute to Rock Against Racism hits a resonant note, reminding us of a moment when music changed the world, and a generation challenged the status quo.

Streaming until August 8, 2020

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

Ella Fitzgerald was just 16 years old when she won a talent contest at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre in 1934. Within months she was a star. Using rare performance footage and images, this new biopic delves into the jazz singer’s austere beginnings and rise to fame to tell the story of her life and music. In the face of horrific racism and discrimination, Fitzgerald used her remarkable voice to topple the barriers of her time, becoming one of the leading voices in the civil rights movement. Featuring interviews with Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett and other titans of the genre, this illuminating documentary venerates the voice that defined—and defied—a century.

Streaming until July 24, 2020


Tickets are $9.99 and streaming is permitted for 48 hour after time of purchase. Click on film links above to buy tickets.


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.