Slimy Hot Docs

Almost a year since our world premiere at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, The Creeping Garden had found its way back in Canada, this time at the prestigious Hot Docs Festival in Toronto.

It was my (Tim’s) turn to take the trip after Jasper represented our slimy offering in Cleveland recently, but I would certainly not be alone as the newest member of the extended creeping garden family, publicist Ryan Levey and also film-maker Tom Swindell were constant companions for a comfortably hectic few days – Tom particularly stalker like, papping away with his terrific Sony A7S camera, providing all the accompanying photos.

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Ryan on the slime trail

Waking up to the line ‘a trippy philosophical exploration of our place in the world and the really weird things just beneath us‘ in Toronto’s NOW magazine review and later an equally positive piece in the Toronto Film Scene were the perfect portent of the ensuing ride, and after a strange opening party in the Royal Ontario Museum downing vodka beneath purple lit dinosaurs, the publicity schedule kicked in with a particularly surreal radio interview at Sirius FM with Ward and Al hosting the discussion, which can be heard in its curious fullness here

Following this began a string of online, tv and press interviews including the You Tube platformed Katie Chats which invoked me to chat slime for hours on end and occasionally feel a wave of total disbelief that our little film made on an absurd shoestring and on such an odd topic had made such a lengthy journey around the world, and here I was explaining lying in the mud filming slugs to people in Canada for the second time in a year.

Hot Docs was one of those great festivals where everyone is extremely approachable, all the organisers and festival team have real time to stop and converse with you, and for us, we had a perfect champion of the film in the form of Eli Horwatt.. As well as giving us some of the best pull quotes ever from his festival write up of the film (‘a nature documentary made on another planet” being a personal favourite) Eli was enthusiastically introducing both the screenings at the huge Scotiabank multiplex, before the film headed a week later to the splendid Bell Lightbox.

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The Scotiabank multiplex
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Ryan and Tim enter the labyrinth of the Scotiabank
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Eli Horwatt and me full of festival positivity
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Post screening Q&A at the Scotiabank Theatre 3

The audience feedback to the film was overwhelmingly positive, and so special thanks to them and all at Hot Docs for receiving us with such enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. And to cap it all off at the end of such a great ride, a review in Variety magazine describing the film as ‘an improbably delightful documentary’. 

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Tom stalking all angles of the stage during the Q&A session
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slime chat
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Post Q&A discussions with some of the audience