Playing Hard


TIFF Lightbox 2 Wed, May 2, 2018 9:15 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 13 Thu, May 3, 2018 2:45 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 3 Fri, May 4, 2018 8:15 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2018
Accessibility:Partial Subtitles
Program Category:Special Presentations
Film Subjects:Canada
Television & Popular Culture
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Jean-Simon Chartier
Producer(s):Jean-Simon Chartier
Editor(s):Martin Bourgault
Cinematography:Philippe St-Gelais
Maxime Pouliot
Composer:Erik West Millette
Olaf Gundel
Sound:Martin Pinsonnault
Thomas Brodeur
Production Manager(s):Isabelle Grégoire


Video games have overtaken Hollywood as the biggest entertainment industry in the world. With thousands of jobs and millions of dollars at stake, developing a new game is risky. For Honor is the passion project of Jason Vandenberghe, a gentle giant whose adventure game full of Vikings, samurais and knights captures his philosophy about what it means to be virtuous. Bullied as a child, he escaped to games as a way to feel empowered. Now that his idea is finally being developed by Ubisoft, one of the world's biggest gaming studios, his dream is about to come true. But as Vandenberghe finds himself increasingly disheartened by the development process, losing creative control over the idea he spent his life shaping, we see the industry is as cutthroat as the games it produces. Like a sequel to Indie Game: The Movie, Playing Hard captures the true lives behind an increasingly virtual world. Alexander Rogalski

Additional Information

Toronto Star - "A driven artist realizing his dream."

CBC - "This new documentary delves deep into Montreal's Ubisoft — the largest videogame studio in the world."

CBC - "Playing Hard: Video game designer Jason VandenBerghe takes us inside the making of For Honor."

In The Seats - 4 Stars, "A fun, absorbing and insightful documentary."

Scene Creek - 4 Stars, "Storytelling is in top form in Jean-Simon Chartier’s latest documentary offering, Playing Hard."

NOW - 3 Stars

Digital Journal - Hot Docs special presentations creates real world connections."