Work from female directors accounts for close to 48% of selection.

The world premiere of Bee Nation will open the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, set to run in Toronto from April 27-May 7.

Lana Šlezić’s film about students in Saskatchewan who compete in the first province-wide First Nations Spelling Bee is among 230 films from 58 countries that will screen across 13 programmes.

Highlights are expected to include appearances by City Of Ghosts (pictured) director Matthew Heineman and a special guest; film subject and student activist Joshua Wong and director Joe Piscatella from Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower; director Kate Brooks, director of the Centre For Conservation Biology, Dr Sam Wasser and executive director of the Satao Project Gretchen Peters from The Last Animals; and director Jeff Orlowski and founding partner of The Ocean Agency Richard Vevers from Chasing Coral.

Top brass at the upcoming 24th edition received 2,906 film submissions and said work by female directors accounted for close to 48% of the selection.

“As our world shifts in startling new ways, Hot Docs is committed to showcasing those films that tackle topics of global importance: from environmental issues and human rights, to international conflict,” Hot Docs director of programming Shane Smith said.

“We also seek out masterful documentary storytelling in all its forms, from unheralded stories of unique individuals to quirky subjects that really are stranger than fiction.”

Click here for the full line-up.