Don't Be Nice


Isabel Bader Theatre Fri, Apr 27, 2018 9:15 PM
Hart House Theatre Sat, Apr 28, 2018 12:30 PM
CC, ASL for intro/Q&A
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Fri, May 4, 2018 3:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Sat, May 5, 2018 10:00 AM
Film Info
Country Listing:USA
Premiere Status:North American Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2018
Program Category:Artscapes
Film Subjects:America
LGBT Cultures & Issues
Race & Racism
By Program - Sort:Closed Captions & Full Subtitles
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Max Powers
Producer(s):Nikhil Melnechuk
Cora Atkinson
Executive Producer(s):Judd Ehrlich
Melina Brown
Bob Holman
Ram Devineni
Chuck Smith
Willard Morgan
Story Producer(s):David Lieberman
Editor(s):David Lieberman
Nathan Punwar
Cinematography:Peter Eliot Buntaine
Composer:Khari Mateen
Sound:Jeff Seele


[more info]

The upstart Bowery Slam Poetry Team, made up of five African-American, Afro-Hispanic and queer poets in their 20s, prepares for the national championships. Mentored by a demanding coach who encourages them to push past their personal boundaries and write from a place of vulnerability, pain and honesty, the poets break down, break through and compose their best work ever. Timely and difficult, their spoken word slays—but will these soul-searching pieces about police violence and the whitewashing of Black culture be able to compete against choreographed crowd-pleasers for the title? Will opting to make a statement instead of a show spell their defeat? An emotional and inspiring film that gives insightful commentary on race, gender, identity and sexual politics in America today, Don't Be Nice is both an absorbing competition doc and a vital writer's workshop that proves once and for all that winning hearts and minds is the ultimate prize. Angie Driscoll

Co-presented with Toronto's International Festival of Authors.

Additional Information

She Does the City - "10 Powerful, timely, weird & wonderful films you should check out at Hot Docs 2018"

POV - "The poetry is therapy and art: this film will take you to places you never expected."

The Gate - "15 Must See Documentaries from the Opening Weekend of Hot Docs' 25th Landmark Year."

NOW - 5 Stars, "Full of ideas, riffs on current events and so much tension you'll occasionally be holding your breath."