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Hot Docs 2013 opens with Canadian strip club tale The Manor

Toronto Star
Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Hot Docs 2013 opens with Canadian strip club tale The ManorA documentary by a Guelph strip club manager-turned filmmaker about his family’s life in the peeler business and the truth behind the tassels will open the 20th edition of Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, on April 25.

Shawney Cohen’s The Manor kicks off the festival, which will screen 205 documentaries from 43 countries in 11 screening programs from April 25 to May 5 at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema and other venues.

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival announced its full film lineup at a media conference Tuesday morning.

Hot Docs has also announced a new program that will showcase filmmakers and their subjects in conversation onstage after screenings. Among those featured in the Scotiabank Big Ideas series is law professor Anita Hill, appearing with Anita director Freida Mock; evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, both outspoken authors and subjects of The Unbelievers; and retired Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire, who appears in Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children.

Among the other films announced for the Hot Docs roster are Malcolm Ingram’s Continental, about the storied New York City gay bathhouse; Lucy Walker’s thrilling Sundance hit The Crash Reel, about snowboarder Kevin Pearce; Penny Lane’s presidential exploration Our Nixon; and Raoul Peck’s Fatal Assistance, about the ways in which billions of dollars donated to Haiti were lost or stolen due to corruption and mismanagement.

Homegrown movies competing in the Canadian Spectrum program include Michelle Latimer’s Alias, a look at the lives and music of five street rappers in Toronto, and Charles Wilkinson’s Oil Sands Karaoke, about how amateur songbirds working in boomtown Fort McMurray, Alta., blow off steam and ease loneliness.

There are films about dirt-bike gangs (Lotfy Nathan’s 12 O’Clock Boys), female Shaolin Kung Fu warriors in training (Inigo Westmeier’s Dragon Girls), Lapland reindeer herders (Jessica Oreck’s Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys) and an 81-year-old jewel thief who has no interest in repenting (Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina’s The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne).

These films join 28 Special Presentation titles already announced March 6.

Hot Docs will also present a pair of retrospective programs: Focus on Peter Mettler, and the Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective, honouring filmmaker Les Blank.

More than 2,000 industry delegates will be shopping for films looking for buyers at Hot Docs, along with attending industry events, conferences, forums and of course, parties.

For a list of films and to purchase tickets and passes, go to hotdocs.ca.
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