At a press conference this morning in Toronto, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival released their entire 2011 schedule, including Morgan Spurlock’s “Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” which will open the festival on April 28th. In total, the fest will be screening more than 200 films from 43 countries on 16 screens across Toronto. Hot Docs Director of Programming Sean Farnel said that they received over 2,146 film submissions this year. Of the festival’s titles, there are 33 world premieres, 46 international premieres, 37 North American premieres and 41 Canadian premieres.
It’s a year that Hot Docs Executive Director Chris McDonald called “something of a game-changer for Hot Docs,” as the fest will feature a third more films this year.
“We are expanding the number of film presentations by one third, we are screening in new neighbourhoods across the city, and we will be providing more direct financial support to filmmakers,” McDonald said in a statement. “The doc-making marketplace has changed dramatically, and so has our role within it. We are not just screening great work, we are helping to finance and distribute films in a meaningful way.”
The films announced titles include the special presentations announced last week, many familiar titles from the international film circuit, and several new ones. World premieres include American titles Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawleys’ “Battle for Brooklyn,” Steve Lickteig’s “Open Secret,” Jennifer McShane’s “Mothers of Bedford,” Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s “Somewhere Between,” Marc H. Simon’s “Unraveled,” as well as UK filmmaker Anthony Baxter’s “You’ve Been Trumped.”
The Canadian Spectrum program is full of world premieres, including Rohan Fernando’s “The Chocolate Farmer,” Trish Dolman’s “Eco Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson,” Thomas Selim Wallner’s “The Guantanamo Trap,” Matt Gallagher’s “Grinders,” Jaret Belliveau’s “Highway Gospel,” Mia Donovan’s “Inside Lara Roxx” Joel Heath’s “People of a Feather,” Shannon Walsh’s “St-Henri, the 26th of August” and Matvei Zhivov, Roger Singh, Andrew Moniz and Rock Baijnauth’s “The Pirate Tapes.”
International premieres include Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s “Abendland” (Austria), James Newton’s “Boy Cheerleaders” (UK), Tristan Patterson’s SXSW einner “Dragonslayer” (USA), Bulmaro Osornio’s “Fly” (Mexico), Lotte Stoops’ “Grande Hotel” (Belgium), Danfung Dennis’ “Hell and Back Again” (UK/USA), Peter D. Richardson’s “How to Die in Oregon” (USA), Thomas Ostbye’s “Imagining Emanuel” (Norway), Steve James’ “The Interrupters” (USA) and Limor Pinhasov’s “Melissa-Mom and Me” (Israel).
In addition to screenings, international buyers and industry professionals will attend the Festival to participate in a full slate of conference and market events. These events include the Hot Docs Forum (formerly the Toronto Documentary Forum), May 4 and 5, which will feature 27 project presentations showcasing the many faces of the documentary form for a table of both broadcast and non-broadcast funding sources. Hot Docs 2011 will also feature conference sessions, filmmaker discussions, professional development programs, and a vast number of other market and networking opportunities. The festival will welcome a record nine official delegations from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Nordic region, South Africa, the UK and USA. These delegations will be featured participants during this year’s International Co-Production Day, an intensive, day-long series of presentations, targeted one-on-one meetings and social events aimed at sparking international co-productions.
Hot Docs also announced that it will present IDFA’s Ally Derks with the 2011 Doc Mogul Award, recognizing an individual who, over the course of her or his career, has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both at home and abroad. Derks will be presented the Doc Mogul Award at a luncheon in her honour, to be held on Tuesday, May 3.
Hot Docs is the largest documentary film festival and market in North America. After the Toronto International Film Festival, it is the largest of the wide variety of film festivals in Toronto. Hot Docs 2011 takes place from April 28 to May 8. For a complete list of titles and more information, click here.