Media Room



Toronto, April 15, 2014 – Hot Docs is honoured to welcome a number of guest subjects, including shock rocker Alice Cooper, renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, pop culture icon George Takei, master puppeteer Caroll Spinney, the brave plaintiffs in THE CASE AGAINST 8, best-selling author Cory Doctorow, hacker-culture expert Gabriella Coleman, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, actress Brandy Burre of The Wire, blogger and street photographer Ari Seth Cohen, infamous American psychic Miss Cleo, Turkish-American Internet personality, political activist and commentator Cenk Uygur, godfather of the zombie genre George A. Romero, and legendary wrestler The Iron Sheik, who are featured in films at the upcoming Festival, April 24 to May 4. In addition to guest subjects, 186 directors - a record number - will be in attendance at the Festival to introduce their films and participate in post-screening audience Q&As.

Featured guests are listed below. In most cases, the guests will be present at one or more screenings.

  • Brandy Burre from ACTRESS (D: Robert Greene | USA | 2014 | 87 min) – The Wire’s Brandy Burre returns to acting after starting a family, trying to find a balance between the demanding roles of mother, lover, wife and performer.
  • Ari Seth Cohen and several of the fashionable ladies from ADVANCED STYLE (D: Lina Plioplyte | USA | 2014 | 72 min) – Blogger Ari Seth Cohen photographs the most stylish and creative older women on the streets of New York City.
  • Gruff Rhys from AMERICAN INTERIOR (D: Gruff Rhys, Dylan Goch | UK | 2014 | 90 min) – Gruff Rhys is a Welsh musician who performs solo and with several bands, including Super Furry Animals.
  • Louis Ortiz from BRONX OBAMA (D: Ryan Murdock | USA | 2014 | 91 min) – Louis Ortiz is an American impersonator with an uncanny resemblance to Barack Obama.
  • Ajit George and Vijay Veerappan from THE BACKWARD CLASS (D: Madeleine Grant | Canada | 2014 | 91 min) – Ajit George has been the Director of Operations for the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project since 2008, and Vijay Veerappan was in the school’s inaugural graduating class in 2010.
  • Gerrit Becker and Danilo Povolo from BEFORE THE LAST CURTAIN FALLS (D: Thomas Wallner | Germany, Belgium | 2014 | 86 min) – Two members of Cabaret Follies, a comic transvestite theatre company that tours Belgium.
  • Paul Katami, Kris Perry, Sandy Stier and Jeff Zarrillo from THE CASE AGAINST 8 (D: Ben Cotner, Ryan White | USA | 2014 | 112 min) – The brave plaintiffs who took part in the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
  • Justin from CHILDREN 404 (D: Pavel Loparev, Askold Kurov | Russia | 2014 | 70 min) – A courageous Russian LGBT teenager.
  • George A. Romero from DOC OF THE DEAD (D: Alexandre Philippe | USA | 2014 | 82 min) – George A. Romero is an American-Canadian filmmaker known as the godfather of the zombie genre.
  • Jill Appel, Janet Rothrock and Adriana Cohen from DIVIDE IN CONCORD (D: Kris Kaczor | USA | 2013 | 82 min) – Three Concord residents involved in the town’s fight over bottled water.
  • Anthony Lynch, Kasey White and Maria Rivera from THE HOMESTRETCH (D: Anne de Mare, Kirsten Kelly | USA | 2014 | 90 min) – Two of the three teens featured in the film and selfless teacher Maria Rivera.
  • James Randi from AN HONEST LIAR (D: Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom | USA | 2014 | 91 min) – James Randi, known as The Amazing Randi, has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.
  • Miss Cleo from HOTLINE (D: Tony Shaff | USA | 2014 | 80 min) – Miss Cleo is an American psychic who achieved fame as a spokeswoman for the Psychic Readers Network.
  • Caroll Spinney from I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY (D: Chad Walker, Dave LaMattina | USA | 2014 | 85 min) – Master puppeteer Caroll Spinney is the man who brought Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life.
  • Gabriella Coleman, Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig from THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ (D: Brian Knappenberger | USA | 2014 | 105 min) – Best-selling author Cory Doctorow, hacker-culture expert Gabriella Coleman and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig speak about the issues raised in the film.
  • Kristin Beck from LADY VALOR: THE KRISTIN BECK STORY (D: Mark Herzog, Sandrine Orabona | USA | 2014 | 90 min) – Kristin Beck is a former United States Navy SEAL who came out as a trans woman.
  • Poe Ballantine from LOVE AND TERROR ON THE HOWLING PLAINS OF NOWHERE (D: Dave Jannetta | USA | 2014 | 95 min) – Poe Ballantine is an American fiction and nonfiction writer.
  • Cenk Uygur from MAD AS HELL (D: Andrew Napier | USA | 2014 | 80 min) – Cenk Uygur is a Turkish-American political commentator, Internet personality, and political activist.
  • Giuseppe Marinoni from MARINONI (D: Tony Girardin | Canada | 2014 | 90 min) – Giuseppe Marinoni is a revered 75-year-old bicycle craftsman and competitive cyclist.
  • Sylvia Earle from MISSION BLUE (D: Robert Nixon, Fisher Stevens | USA | 2013 | 95 min) – Internationally renowned oceanographer and eco-activist Dr. Sylvia Earle is passionately committed to saving the world’s oceans and its imperiled inhabitants.
  • Allessandro Gualtieri from THE NOSE – SEARCHING FOR BLAMAGE (D: Paul Rigter | Netherlands | 2013 | 53 min) – Allessandro Gualtieri is a radical Italian perfumer who launched his own perfume line in 2007.
  • Jay Reinke from THE OVERNIGHTERS (D: Jesse Moss | USA | 2013 | 100 min) – Pastor Jay Reinke started a program called “The Overnighters” in his church to help down-on-their-luck men working in Williston, North Dakota.
  • Matthew VanDyke from POINT AND SHOOT (D: Marshall Curry | USA | 2014 | 82 min) – Matthew VanDyke is a freedom fighter, former POW, and documentary filmmaker.
  • Razan Shalab-al-Sham and Mouaz Moustafa from RED LINES (D: Andrea Kalin, Oliver Lukacs | USA | 2014 | 98 min) – Mouaz Moustafa is the executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force , and Razan Shalab-al-Sham serves as the organizations’s field director.
  • Sophie and Moe Harkat from THE SECRET TRIAL 5 (D: Amar Wala | Canada | 2014 | 84 min) – Security certificate detainee Moe Harkat and his wife Sophie.
  • The Iron Sheik from THE SHEIK (D: Igal Hecht | Canada | 2014 | 95 min) – Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri is better known as legendary wrestler and performer The Iron Sheik.
  • Alice Cooper from SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER (D: Reginald Harkema, Scot McFadyen, Sam Dunn | Canada | 2014 | 86 min) – Born Vincent Furnier, Alice Cooper is an American rock star whose career spans five decades.
  • George Takei from TO BE TAKEI (D: Jennifer Kroot, Bill Weber | USA | 2014 | 93 min) – Pop culture icon George Takei is an American actor, author and activist, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek.
  • Inna Schevchenko from UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL (D: Kitty Green | Australia, Ukraine | 2013 | 80 min) – Inna Shevchenko is a member of the Ukrainian feminist protest group FEMEN.

To arrange interviews with Hot Docs special guests and guest directors, contact V Kelly & Associates by email at, or by phone at 416-466-9799.


Hot Docs (, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 21st annual edition from April 24–May 4, 2014. An outstanding selection of 197 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, 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.

The Hot Docs documentary Box Office, located at 2 Bloor Street West, Cumberland Terrace–Lower Level is open for ticket, package, and pass sales and ticket redemption. Tickets can be purchased in person, online at, or by phone at 416-637-5150. Single tickets to screenings are $14.60 each, and $19.25 each to special events. Late night screenings (after 11 p.m.) are $6.20 each or $12.40 for an All-You-Can-Eat Late-Night Pass (one ticket to each of the nine screenings). A Festival 10-Pack is $125, a Festival 20-Pack is $215, and a Bloor Cinema All Access Pass is $130. Hot Docs offers free same day tickets for all screenings before 5 p.m. to seniors (60+) and students with valid photo I.D. at the venue box offices (subject to availability).

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Hot Docs is proud to include Scotiabank as its Presenting Platinum Partner, and Rogers Group of Funds, Telefilm Canada and documentary Channel as its Presenting Partners.

Media Contact:
Virginia Kelly
V Kelly & Associates
Phone: 416-466-9799

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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