Thursday, April 26, 2012
full programming, the 19th annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival opens with the Canadian premiere of Alison Klayman's Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. This is a fascinating portrait of the famed artist who has become a leading Chinese dissident.
This year, Hot Docs screens 189 films from 51 countries, a slight drop from last year's 199+ titles. This is the first year led by new Director of Programming Charlotte Cook. It will also be the first year in which the newly renovated Bloor Cinema hosts the festival under Hot Docs' ownership.
Hot Docs introduces a new initiative this year, Hot Docs Live. The Canadian premieres of China Heavyweight and Indie Game: The Movie and the following discussions with filmmakers and guest will be simulcast live across Canada via Cineplex Entertainment’s Front Row Centre Events.
For filmmakers, Hot Docs also mounts a full roster of professional development and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum and The Doc Shop. Speakers include renowned producer Ted Hope and Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim. Seven official delegations will be hosted: China, France, Germany, Israel, the Nordic Region, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
HOT DOCS 2012 TO OPEN WITH CANADIAN PREMIERE OF AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY
FIRST-TIME FILMMAKER’S PROFILE OF RENOWNED CHINESE ARTIST AND ACTIVIST
Hot Docs is excited to announce that the Canadian premiere of Alison Klayman’s AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY (USA, China; 91 min) will open the 2012 Festival on Thursday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. The film will have an encore opening night screening immediately following at 9:30 p.m. Director Alison Klayman will be in attendance at both screenings at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West, to introduce the film and participate in post-screening audience discussions.
“AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is a perfect story of art as a means for change,” says Charlotte Cook, Hot Docs director of programming. “It is an incredibly appropriate opening night selection as it encompasses so many ideas we wanted to highlight throughout this year’s program: from one person standing up for something they believe in, to the power of technology to drive change, to the strength of creativity as a whole. The fact that Ai Weiwei’s wonderfully inspiring nature is so brilliantly captured by a first-time filmmaker just encapsulates so beautifully the importance of supporting people who create art.”
Blurring the boundaries between activism and art, Ai Weiwei has gained international acclaim and a devout following. Artistic consultant for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics and named the most powerful contemporary artist by ArtReview magazine, he gained worldwide attention after his arrest and two-month detention by Chinese authorities last year. With unprecedented access, AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY follows China’s most renowned artist and activist; his art, politics and humour revealing a man of unrelenting spirit and defiance, who inspires millions across the world.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is director Alison Klayman’s debut feature documentary and it was awarded a Special Jury Prize Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. A 2011 Sundance Documentary Fellow, Klayman has been named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is produced by Alison Klayman and Adam Schlesinger, and executive produced by Karl Katz, Andrew Cohen and Julie Goldman.
Tickets for Hot Docs’ opening night activities, which include a pre-screening reception, the Canadian premiere of AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY, and entrance to Hot Docs’ opening night party, are available for purchase at www.hotdocs.ca. In addition to its opening night screenings, the film will also screen on Saturday, April 28, at 4:15 pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Co-presented with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
HOT DOCS 2012 TO SHOWCASE 189 FILMS FROM A RECORD 51 COUNTRIES
19TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL TAKES OVER TORONTO APRIL 26 TO MAY 6
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, returns for its 19th annual edition from April 26 to May 6, 2012. Showcasing the best in Canadian and international documentary, Hot Docs will welcome filmmakers, industry delegates and audiences to Toronto for the 11-day event. This year’s Festival will screen 189 amazing docs from 51 countries.
“This has been a record year of growth and opportunity for Hot Docs,” says executive director Chris McDonald. “We welcomed our new director of programming, introduced a major fund for African doc-makers, launched a crowd-funding site, and opened one of the only documentary cinemas in the world. And, as always, we assembled what we feel is the strongest program of contemporary documentary cinema imaginable. We have had significant support throughout the year, and we look forward to sharing the fruits of our labour with our audiences and industry colleagues”.
The 2012 Festival will feature 189 official selections and retrospective titles in 11 programs. In addition to screenings, international buyers and industry professionals will attend the Festival to participate in a full slate of conference and market events, including the Hot Docs Forum and a number of other business and networking opportunities.
Hot Docs 2012 will screen documentaries in the following programs:
Award-winning films, celebrated filmmakers, high-profile subjects and special events.
Sponsored by TVO
A competitive program of compelling Canadian stories and perspectives.
FOCUS ON JOHN KASTNER
Presented by the National Film Board of Canada
Showcasing the work of the multiple Emmy Award-winning Toronto filmmaker.
A curated competition of diverse works from around the world.
Sponsored by documentary
A popular global selection of the year’s finest docs.
MADE IN SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE
A selection of films that champion the renewed strength and artistry the Southeastern European documentary filmmakers.
A dedicated celebration of the arts, culture, music and creativity.
Looking at the sparks that ignite the flames, this theme program presents stories of activism, defiance and heroism in the face of cultural, political and ideological adversity.
A new strand highlighting future cult classics and diverse, creative approaches to filmmaking. Each film will have a late-night screening at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, and promises to keep you enthralled and surprised.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RETROSPECTIVE HONOURING MICHEL BRAULT
Presented by the National Film Board of Canada
A retrospective celebrating filmmaker Michel Brault’s distinguished career.
DOCUMENTARY PLAYS ITSELF
A retrospective program exploring the craft of filmmaking illuminates films from this year’s program that look inward on the process of their own art form.
Many of Hot Docs’ official selections are world, international or North American premieres and the majority of filmmakers will be in attendance to participate in post-screening discussions, as well as other Festival events.
Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca) is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. From April 26 to May 6, Hot Docs’ 19th edition will present an outstanding selection of 189 documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, May 2 and 3, and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.
The Hot Docs documentary Box Office, newly located at 783 Bathurst Street, is open for advance ticket and pass sales. Tickets can be purchased in person, online at www.hotdocs.ca, or by phone at 416-637-5150. Single tickets to screenings are $14.50 each. Late night screenings (after 11 p.m.) are $5 each or $10 for an All-You-Can-Eat Late Night Pass (one ticket to each of the nine screenings). A Festival 10-Pack is $115, a Festival 20-Pack is $205, and a Bloor Cinema All Access Pass is $115. Courtesy of Scotiabank, Hot Docs offers free tickets for all screenings before 6 p.m. to seniors (60+) and students with valid photo I.D. at the venue box offices on the day of the screening (subject to availability).