Monday, May 6, 2013
MUSCLE SHOALS NAMED AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER AND
THE MACHINE WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING DISAPPEAR AND THESE BIRDS WALK TIE FOR FILMMAKERS AWARD
Toronto, May 6, 2013 – Hot Docs has wrapped its 20th anniversary edition with record-breaking audience numbers reaching an estimated 180,000. The 11-day event featured 418 public screenings—
157 of which went rush—of 204 films on 16 screens across Toronto, an internationally renowned conference and market for documentary professionals, and Docs for Schools, a phenomenally popular education program for youth. New this year, Hot Docs presented the Scotiabank Big Ideas series, featuring live onstage discussions with documentary subjects Anita Hill, Roméo Dallaire, Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, and celebrated its 20th anniversary with a free outdoor screening to thank its loyal audiences. The Festival welcomed 180 guest filmmakers and 55 guest subjects from across Canada and around the world to present their films and take part in special post-screening Q&A sessions with audiences. Official film selections were chosen from a total of 2386 films submitted to the Festival.
“'Toronto has become a world capital for cinema lovers, and feeding their appetite for 20 years has been great fun,” says Chris McDonald, Hot Docs executive director. “We are very proud of our smart and savvy audience, as well as those razor sharp filmmakers who join us each year.”
After the final screening yesterday, audience votes were tallied for the Audience Award, presented by Netflix. The winner is MUSCLE SHOALS (D: Greg “Freddy” Camalier, USA), the story of a tiny backwater Alabama town’s impact on popular music. Second in the audience poll is BLOOD BROTHER (D: Steve Hoover, USA), in which the director follows his friend’s sudden move to India to care for HIV-positive orphans; and third in the audience poll is A WHOLE LOTT MORE (D: Victor Buhler, UK), which looks at the impact of the auto crisis on a company whose 1200 employees have developmental disabilities. The cash prize for the Audience Award, which will be shared by the top three films in the audience poll, was crowd-funded from audiences through Hot Docs’ Doc Ignite platform. Currently in excess of $6300, the public can further contribute to this cash prize until Friday, May 10.
The top ten audience favourites as determined by audience vote are:
1. MUSCLE SHOALS (D: Greg “Freddy” Camalier, USA)
2. BLOOD BROTHER (D: Steve Hoover, USA)
3. A WHOLE LOTT MORE (D: Victor Buhler, UK)
4. THE PUNK SINGER (D: Sini Anderson, USA)
5. LAST WOMAN STANDING (D: Lorraine Price, Juliet Lammers; Canada)
6. SPRING & ARNAUD (D: Katherine Knight, Marcia Connolly; Canada)
7. THIS AIN'T NO MOUSE MUSIC! (D: Chris Simon, Maureen Gosling, USA)
8. MENSTRUAL MAN (D: Amit Virmani, Singapore, India)
9. THE CRASH REEL (D: Lucy Walker, USA)
10. THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE (D: Liz Marshall, Canada)
Also during this year’s Hot Docs Festival, attending filmmakers with official selections in the Festival were invited to vote for their favourite film. This year two films tied for the Filmmakers Award: THE MACHINE WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING DISAPPEAR (D: Tinatin Gurchiani; Georgia, Germany), which looks at the lives Georgian youth through a casting call, and THESE BIRDS WALK (D: Bassam Tariq, Omar Mullick; USA), which looks at a children’s shelter in Karachi.
A full week of industry programming was attended by 2514 delegates from around the world. Hot Docs mounted a roster of three workshops, 12 conference sessions, 18 networking events and parties, three Kickstart panels for emerging filmmakers, 12 micro meetings, 14 new Close Up With… sessions with broadcasters, two new Rent-an-Expert sessions, the Doc Summit, International Co-Production Day panels, and the Hot Docs Awards Presentation. Hot Docs also hosted eight official delegations from China, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, the Nordic Region, Poland, South Africa and the USA.
The Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs’ key international co-financing market event, Hot Docs Deal Maker, Hot Docs’ new one-on-one curated pitch event, and Distribution Rendezvous, Hot Docs’ tailored meeting service for completed films seeking distribution, saw brisk pitching, networking and deal-making. In total, 20 projects representing 12 countries were presented to a panel of over 180 key commissioning editors and funders at the Hot Docs Forum. A total of 55 projects were pitched at approximately 400 meetings during Hot Docs Deal Maker, and Distribution Rendezvous facilitated approximately 530 meetings.
Doc for Schools, Hot Docs’ education program that runs during the Festival and offers free in-theatre and in-school screenings of select Festival films, reached a record number of students in 2013. Close to 78,000 students participated in the program, including schools in Toronto and throughout Ontario.
Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca), North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, presented its 20th annual edition from April 25 – May 5, 2013. An outstanding selection of 204 documentaries from Canada and around the world were presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs also mounted a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker 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.