Year 2021
Runtime 79 mins
Language English
Alberta Premiere
  • In-Cinema Only

CIFF’s Top Docs is a monthly feature-length documentary series running November 2021 - April 2022.

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THE AUTOMAT screens at Globe Cinema February 2

Featuring an original new song written and performed by Mel Brooks, THE AUTOMAT tells the 100-year story of the iconic restaurant chain Horn & Hardart, the inspiration for Starbucks. For over a century, generations of Americans ate and drank coffee together at communal tables.

Featuring stories from famous clientele like Mel Brooks, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as former employees and the Horns and Hadarts themselves, we watch a business climb to its peak success and then grapple with fast food in a forever changed America.

Rated G


In response to rising cases and to keep audiences safer, CIFF has decided to cap attendance at screenings to 50 people per cinema to allow for additional distancing.

This will policy will remain in effect for all screenings prior to February 9 and may be extended at CIFF’s discretion. Individuals who have already purchased or reserved tickets will not be affected. We do recommend that Top Docs and Global Perspective subscription holders who have not reserved seats for upcoming screenings do so immediately to avoid missing out on tickets. 


Single Ticket: $13.50, includes tax, plus fees

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Learn more about our Top Docs Series


United States
Telluride Film Festival 2021
Lisa Hurwitz
Lisa Hurwitz
Michael Levine
Michael Levine, Russell Greene
Hummie Mann
Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Howard Schultz, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Colin Powell