Media Room

DOCS FOR SCHOOLS RETURNS TO HIGH SCHOOLS ACROSS THE PROVINCE

EXPANDS TO REACH STUDENTS IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL

For immediate release

Toronto, March 23, 2010 – Hot Docs is pleased to announce that its phenomenally popular Docs for Schools program, which provides high school students with free access to screenings of Festival films, both in theatres and in their schools, will once again expand to service schools across the province, with a particular emphasis on those in Hamilton, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Thunder Bay. Joining those communities is Ottawa, where Docs for Schools will reach students in the nation’s capital for the first time.

Launched in 2006, Doc for Schools immediately became a must for both educators and students. In 2007, the number of participating students doubled to more than 15,000, and then leapt again to 22,000 in 2008. 2009 saw Docs for Schools reach an outstanding 50,593 students in 250 schools across the province.

For students, Docs for Schools offers an eye-opening experience, presenting unique perspectives on their world and the issues that shape it. The topics of Docs for Schools films closely relate to course content in such subjects as art, economics, environment, geography, history, media studies, politics, science and world issues. At the screenings, students often also have the added benefit of discussing the film with its director or subjects.

For each film showcased in the Docs for Schools program, Hot Docs – in consultation with professional educators – prepares detailed educational packages that include lesson plans and links to the Ontario curriculum. These are used by teachers before and after the screening to further explore the subject matter of the film, to help foster an appreciation of narrative and the documentary form, as well as to develop wider skills, such as critical and analytical thinking.

This year, all proceeds from Impact: A Green Gala, Hot Docs’ 2010 opening night event, will support the Docs for Schools program. For more information on Impact: A Green Gala, or to buy tickets, please visit www.hotdocs.ca.

Docs for Schools is generously supported by Lead Partner Dundee Wealth with additional support from The Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the Government of Ontario, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Hal Jackman Foundation, the Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, the Charles H. Ivey Foundation, the National Film Board of Canada, Deluxe, and though contributions by individual donors.

The Docs For Schools film selections for 2010 appear below. Three popular titles from last year’s Festival returning for in-school screenings this year are PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI (D: Paul Saltzman, Canada, 2009), P-STAR RISING (D: Gabriel Noble, USA, 2009) and REPORTER (Eric Daniel Metzgar, USA, 2009). Educators wishing to attend Docs For Schools screenings with students, or to arrange for screenings in their schools, can contact Lesley Sparks, Education and Youth Programs manager, at lsparks@hotdocs.ca.

A SMALL ACT D: Jennifer Arnold, USA, 88 min
For $15 a term, a Swedish stranger sponsors a young Kenyan’s education and transforms his life. Now a Harvard-educated lawyer, he founds a scholarship to pay it forward, but discovers a failing school system that’s leaving its children behind.

CANDYMAN: THE DAVID KLEIN STORY D: Costa Botes, New Zealand, 76 min
Jelly Belly releases an official history of the candy, but the inventor’s name, David Klein, isn’t to be found. Featuring an eccentric millionaire, conniving corporations, lots of sugar, and Weird Al Yankovic, this is the unbelievable story explaining why.

CONGO IN FOUR ACTS D: Dieudo Hamadi, Divita Wa Lusala, Kiripi Katembo Siku, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, 69 min
A quartet of powerful, hard-hitting short films made by young Congolese filmmakers lays bare the disturbing reality of everyday life in mineral-rich Democratic Republic of Congo.

GASLAND D: Josh Fox, USA, 107 min
Flammable tap water, mysterious ailments, poisoned land and livestock: Sundance prize-winner GASLAND exposes the shocking environmental calamities and cover-ups caused by natural gas drilling, shedding an absurd light on America’s new energy race.

IN THE NAME OF THE FAMILY D: Shelley Saywell, Canada, 90 min
The tragic murder of Mississauga’s Aqsa Parvez is featured in this powerful and sensitive investigation into the killing of young girls in the name of family honour in North America. These young girls’ heartbreaking stories expose the patriarchal beliefs used to justify violence against women.

LISTEN TO THIS D: Juan Baquero, Canada, 76 min
Jasmine Jacobs is an artist - she just doesn’t know it yet. Three special kids blossom through a music program at an inner-city Toronto elementary school in this inspiring doc about what it means to be truly heard.

THE STORY OF FURIOUS PETE D: George Tsioutsioulas, Canada, 85 min
Pete was recovering from anorexia when a friend dared him to eat a super-sized breakfast. He rose to the challenge and ate four. Now, he’s a YouTube sensation as a world champion competitive eater.

TEENAGE PAPARAZZO D: Adrian Grenier, USA, 101 min
Who better to expose the world of the paparazzi and star-worship than a celebrity? Actor Adrian Grenier turns the camera onto 13-year-old shooter Austin Visschedyk, and stalks famous friends Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon and Paris Hilton.

THUNDER SOUL D: Mark Landsman, USA, 83 min
Big afros, funk arrangements, and a super tight stage show put the Kashmere High School Band on the map in the 1970’s. Thirty-five years later, the band reunites to honor their mentor, Conrad “Prof” Johnson.

WASTE LAND D: Lucy Walker, UK, Brazil, 99 min
Already a multiple-award winner on the fest circuit, Lucy Walker’s transcendent doc follows artist Vik Muniz and his work with pickers of recyclable materials in Brazil’s Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill site.

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Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. From April 29 to May 9, 2010, Hot Docs will present an outstanding selection of 170+ documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions, market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Toronto Documentary Forum, May 5 and 6, and The Doc Shop.

The Hot Docs documentary Box Office (55 Avenue Road, 2 blocks north of Bloor St. W., lower level of Hazelton Lanes) 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 $12 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 screening). A Festival Pass (10 tickets) is $98 and a Premium Pass (one ticket to every screening, excluding those running concurrently) is $180 ($300 for two passes). Free tickets for all screenings before 6 p.m. are available for students and seniors (subject to availability) with valid photo ID at the venue box offices on the day of the screening.

FILM STILLS AVAILABLE
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Hot Docs is proud to include Rogers, Telefilm Canada and documentary as its Presenting Partners, with special support from the Government of Ontario.

Media Contact:
Virginia Kelly
V Kelly & Associates
Email: info@vkpr.ca
Phone: 416-466-9799

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