A group of four people standing in a circle, while a fifth person stands to the side and looks off to the right

The Pickup Game

Hot Docs Film Festival

Generating over a billion dollars a year, the pickup industry is shocking, secretive and—to put it politely—scummy. Built upon myths and manipulation, expensive workshops and training videos push an agenda that women are biologically attracted to alpha males. If men can learn techniques to overcome their shyness and become socially dominant, they’ll be 21st-century Casanovas. At least, that’s what the brochure says. Ross Jeffries’s 1992 self-published book How to Get the Women You Desire into Bed inspired a generation of macho men to push their techniques with aggressive online marketing. With insider access to the movement’s founders and current leaders, this riveting exposé dismantles the “date and mate” methods hustled by modern snake-oil salesmen. From chat rooms to conference halls, these self-help-styled seminars are poised to take advantage of anyone desperate enough to fall for their dangerous promises.

More information and tickets

April 30, 8:45 PM (closed captions)
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 350 King Street West

May 1, 10:15 AM (closed captions)
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 350 King Street West

May 4, 3:15 PM (open captions)
Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West