Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hot Docs announces opening and programming for renovated Bloor Cinema


Toronto, February 15, 2012 – Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Group are pleased to announce that the newly renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema will have its grand opening on Wednesday, March 14, amidst a celebratory week of special screenings and events for both the general public and invited guests.

“This partnership is a game-changer for Hot Docs and great news for Toronto's film lovers,” says Chris McDonald , executive director of Hot Docs. “Investors were anxious to purchase and develop the property but the Bordonaro family was determined to leave the Bloor in cinema-loving hands. Hot Docs and Blue Ice are anxious to meet this challenge. In an era where arts and culture are at risk of funding cuts and indifference from some quarters, this is one of Toronto's good news stories of the year. We are thrilled."

Torontohas amazing film audiences, many of whom make up Hot Docs’ enormous community of documentary fans,” says Blue Ice Group principal Neil Tabatznik. “We are happy that this partnership will rejuvenate the Bloor as a home for docs, whereToronto’s film-lovers will have the chance to experience incredible stories year-round.”

The grand opening on March 14 will offer invited guests a secret sneak peek at an exciting new film premiering at this year’s Hot Docs Festival, April 26 - May 6. It will be followed on Thursday, March 15, by special screenings of a classic documentary for invited Hot Docs friends, colleagues, and supporters.

Prior to the grand opening, the public are invited to experience the new cinema at twofreeopen-house screenings of Hot Docs 2010 hit WASTE LAND (D: Lucy Walker; UK, Brazil; 2010) on Monday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 13, at 7:00 p.m. A multiple award winner, WASTELANDfollows acclaimed visual artist Vik Muniz and his remarkable work with pickers at the world’s largest landfill site in Brazil.

The Cinema’s scheduled public programming commences on Friday, March 16, with screenings of BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY (D: Constance Marks, USA, 2011), the heart-warming story of Kevin Clash, the shy puppeteer behind everyone’s favourite Muppet; and the Toronto premiere of CORMAN’S WORLD: THE EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL (D: Alex Stapleton, USA, 2011), a star-studded tribute to Hollywood's most prolific writer-director-producer and his cult-film empire. Both films begin their limited theatrical engagements at the cinema.

The opening of the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema marks a new chapter in the much-loved, century-old film house located inToronto’s Annex neighbourhood. Toronto-based film company Blue Ice Group purchased the independent repertory cinema in June of 2011 when it was under threat of closure and redevelopment. Under renovation for the past seven months, architects Hariri Pontarini have enhanced the building’s accessibility and atmosphere while respecting its grandeur and architectural details. Finding inspiration in the venue’s past incarnations, the expanded lobby will feature a large, transparent wall enabling an open view from the street into the auditorium, and the refreshed facade will feature a marquee with a large, vertical sign rising along the front of the building. Additional improvements include new plush seating, expanded washroom facilities, a larger screen, and state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment.



Toronto, February 15, 2012 – The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is pleased to unveil the dynamic programming slate for its opening months of operation. The century-old cinema, newly renovated by Toronto-based film company Blue Ice Group, is operated and programmed by Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Programmed monthly, the schedule features limited engagements of recent critically acclaimed films from around the world, themed documentary programs, and weekly showcases of classic documentaries and fiction titles.

"For our first months’ programming we thought it was essential to highlight the incredible range of documentary genres and subjects that filmmakers are exploring,” saysRobin Smith, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema programmer. “There really is something for everyone, and we’re looking forward to opening the doors and welcoming audiences back, especially our neighbours in the Annex who have been such loyal supporters of the Cinema.”

After an opening week that will include free public open-house screenings of Lucy Walker’s WASTE LAND (March 12 and 13), and grand-opening screenings for invited audiences, the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema’s scheduled public programming commences on Friday, March 16.

Films with featured theatrical runs in March and April include: Alex Stapleton’s CORMAN’S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL (March 16 - 21), a star-studded tribute to Hollywood's most prolific writer-director-producer and his cult-film empire; Constance Marks and Philip Shane’s BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY (March 16 - 21), the heart-warming story of Kevin Clash, the shy puppeteer behind everyone’s favourite Muppet; Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey’s EAMES: THE ARCHITECT AND THE PAINTER (March 27 - 29), a definitive cinematic foray into the world of the iconic design team; Errol Morris’ TABLOID (March 27 - 29), a funny, strange, and disturbing portrayal of a woman whose deluded romantic obsessions catapult her over the edge into scandal sheet notoriety; Henry Corra’s THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MCKINLEY NOLAN (March 30 - April 5, select dates), the mysterious story of the disappearance of an army private on the battlefields of Vietnam; Thomas Wallner’s THE GUANTANAMO TRAP (March 30 - April 5, select dates), a provocative exploration of the impact of the gross injustices suffered by those at the controversial military prison; Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s FIGHTVILLE (April 6 - 12), a look at the struggles of two up-and-coming fighters in the gruelling world of mixed martial arts; Xun Yu’s THE VANISHING SPRING LIGHT (April 6 - 12, select dates), which reveals the effects of rapid modernization on a traditional Chinese family and its matriarch; David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s GIRL MODEL (April 13 - 18), which exposes the harsh side of international modelling through the stories of two young girls; Dmitry Vasyukov and Werner Herzog’s HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA (April 13 - 19), a picturesque documentary about the life of the indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga; Jeanie Finlay’s SOUND IT OUT (April 20 - 25, select dates), a funny and intimate portrait of the last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England; and Joel Heath’s PEOPLE OF A FEATHER (April 20 - 24), a visually stunning journey into the remote world of the Belcher Islands Inuit people.

For many above-mentioned films, directors and other special guests will be in attendance on select dates for post-screening audience discussions. Additionally, complementary programming for select titles has been scheduled, including Retrospect – Roger Corman , featuring three of the director’s cult fiction titles.

Every Saturday afternoon Essential Docs showcases some of the best documentaries of all time. March and April will feature: Ross McElwee’s SHERMAN 'S MARCH (1986); Werner Herzog’s GRIZZLY MAN (2005); Errol Morris ’ THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988); Leon Gast’s WHEN WE WERE KINGS (1996); Allan King’s A MARRIED COUPLE (1969); and Ron Mann’s COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL (1988).

On select Sunday afternoons starting in April Back to the Bloor showcases classic fiction films that helped define the Bloor Cinema in its popular rep years. April will feature: Terry Jones’ MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN (1979); Joel and Ethan Coen’s THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998); and Jim Henson’s LABYRINTH (1986).

Additional monthly themed programs include: Cinema Politica Presents , co-presented with the Montreal-based media arts network and dedicated to independent documentary film and video; Films on Film , which will feature documentaries on the art of filmmaking; Rock Docs (last Sunday and Monday of each month), which showcases new and classic music docs; and Sci-(Non)Fi (last Tuesday and Wednesday of each month), which allows non-fiction fans to explore the secrets of the universe.

In its first months of operation, the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema will also host the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (March 23 - 25), and, in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, will host a special benefit screening of Lorenz Knauer’s JANE’S JOURNEY . Renowned environmentalist, primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall will be in attendance for a reception and post-screening audience Q&A.

Full schedule, including appearances by directors and special guests, can be found The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is located at506 Bloor Street West.

Tickets for regular programming are now on sale atwww.bloorcinema.comor by calling416-637-3123. Tickets for regular screenings are $11 unless otherwise noted. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema memberships and discount cards are also available, which provide discounts on tickets and other benefits.


Hot Docs (, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 19th annual edition from April 26 – May 6, 2012. An outstanding selection of 150+ documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented 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 and The Doc Shop.

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema ( is an historic, century-old cinema located in Toronto’s vibrant Annex neighbourhood. Operated and programmed by Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the 727-seat venue is a year-round home for first-run Canadian and international documentaries, as well as special documentary presentations and showcases, including the popular Doc Soup screening series. Continuing its longstanding role as a community cinema, it also hosts many of the city’s independent film festivals and offers audiences some repertory and specialized fiction film programming. The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is a joint Blue Ice Group-Hot Docs project.

No comments:

Post a Comment