A complex portrait of a city and its inhabitants, The Hottest August gives us a window into the collective consciousness of the present. The film’s point of departure is one city over one month: New York City, including its outer boroughs, during August 2017. It’s a month heavy with the tension of a new President, growing anxiety over everything from rising rents to marching white nationalists, and unrelenting news of either wildfires or hurricanes on every coast. The film pivots on the question of futurity: what does the future look like from where we are standing? And what if we are not all standing in the same place? The Hottest August offers a mirror onto a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy ordinary lives.
Brett Story a filmmaker and writer based in Toronto. Her films have screened internationally at festivals such as CPH-DOX, the Viennale, SXSW, True/False, and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Her 2016 feature documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Documentary Festival and was a nominee for Best Feature Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. Brett is the author of the book, Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power across Neoliberal America, and co-editor of the book, Digital Life in the Global City. Brett has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Sundance Documentary Institute and was named one of Variety's 10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch in 2019. She is an assistant professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University, and her most recent award-winning feature documentary, The Hottest August, continues to screen around the world.