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HIGH-PROFILE HITS FROM THE WORLD’S FESTIVAL CIRCUIT HEADLINE SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS AT HOT DOCS

For immediate release

Toronto, March 23, 2010 – Hot Docs is pleased to announce that this year’s Special Presentations program will feature 19 high-profile documentary features, including recent hits from the international festival circuit. Featuring new works by acclaimed filmmakers such as Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney (TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE), Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (JESUS CAMP), Nicolas Philibert (ÊTRE ET AVOIR), Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker (THE WAR ROOM), and Academy Award-winner Steven Soderbergh (TRAFFIC), Special Presentations shares stories of the Cambodian genocide, a 13-year-old paparazzo, space tourism, one of Canada’s most beloved rock bands, and the lives of theatre artist Spalding Gray, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, artist Vik Muniz and shopping channel guru Joan Rivers.

Included in this program is Thomas Balmès’ BABIES, which will open the 2010 Festival on April 29.

Of the 19 feature film titles screening in the Special Presentations program, six are receiving their international premiere, four are receiving their North American premiere, and nine are receiving their Canadian premiere. Special Presentations will also include two short films, the Doc It! youth showcase, and a screening of the finalists from the International Documentary Challenge, a competition to develop, produce and edit a four to seven minute doc in just five days.

The Special Presentations program is generously supported by the Government of Ontario.

The screening times and descriptions for the Special Presentations program appear below. In many cases, filmmakers will be in attendance for post-screening discussions.

Opening Night Film
BABIES
D: Thomas Balmès | France | 79 min | Canadian Premiere

A visually stunning and joyful chronicle of the lives of four of the world’s newest human inhabitants – in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco, and Tokyo – from first breath to first steps, on a journey at once universal and amazingly original.

Thursday, April 29
6:30 p.m.
Winter Garden Theatre

Friday, April 30
1:45 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

12TH & DELAWARE
D: Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing | USA | 80 min | International Premiere

In Fort Pierce, Florida, a pro-life centre opens up directly across from an abortion clinic, igniting America’s most uncompromising war in unexpected ways. 12TH & DELAWARE delivers unprecedented access behind the frontlines and to the women caught in the crossfire.

Tuesday, May 4
6:30 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Thursday, May 6
2:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE
D: Steven Soderbergh | USA | 89 min | International Premiere

Meticulously crafted entirely from archive footage, Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh’s AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE is a poignant final monologue for his long-time friend and collaborator, the late theatre artist and master monologist Spalding Gray.

Friday, Apr 30
6:30 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Saturday, May 1
1:45 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

BHUTTO
D: Duane Baughman, Johnny O’Hara | USA | 115 min | International Premiere

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s remarkable life and last days are exquisitely unravelled in this epic biographic documentary. Featuring exclusive interviews with the Bhutto family, this riveting portrait is as bold as the controversial figure herself.

Saturday, May 1
6:15 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Tuesday, May 4
11:00 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

BUDRUS
D: Julia Bacha | USA, Palestine, Israel | 82 min | Canadian Premiere

Through peaceful protest and skillful leadership, one man heroically struggles for 10 months to protect his small Palestinian village from being arbitrarily divided by an Israeli-built barrier in this gripping and inspirational tale.

Sunday, May 2
4:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Monday, May 3
7:15 p.m.
ROM Theatre

CASINO JACK AND THE UNITED STATES OF MONEY
D: Alex Gibney | USA | 120 min | International Premiere

Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney delivers a powerful pop-essay on the dysfunctional processes of the U.S. political system, told through the scandalous story of lobbyist-turned-convicted-fraudster Jack Abramoff.

Thursday, May 6
6:30 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Saturday, May 8
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

DOC IT! SHOWCASE
A showcase for teenage doc makers, Doc It! presents the brightest of these young voices, screening a selection of work from submissions received from across the country and beyond.

Saturday, May 8
11:30 a.m.
ROM Theatre

ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE
D: Thet Sambath, Rob Lemkin | Cambodia, Great Britain | 94 min | Canadian Premiere

On his 10-year journey to reveal the truth about the Cambodian genocide, journalist Thet Sambath attempts to come to terms with the loss of his family by befriending Pol Pot’s enigmatic lieutenant in this Sundance prizewinner.

Monday, May 3
6:30 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Wednesday, May 5
11:30 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

FAREWELL
D: Ditteke Mensink | Netherlands | 90 min | North American Premiere

Through stunning archival footage and intimate journal entries, Lady Grace Drummond-Hay’s exhilarating yet tumultuous journey around the world is recreated, revealing her experiences as the only female passenger onboard the 1929 maiden voyage of the Graf Zeppelin.

Sunday, May 2
9:45 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Tuesday, May 4
4:15 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY CHALLENGE SCREENING

Hot Docs is pleased to host the theatrical premieres of the finalists in the International Documentary Challenge, a timed filmmaking competition where teams from around the world have five days to make a documentary. For a complete list of films please visit www.hotdocs.ca.

Sunday, May 2
9:30 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

JOAN RIVERS - A PIECE OF WORK
D: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg | USA | 89 min | International Premiere

Can we talk? Joan Rivers may be the butt of as many jokes as she tells. Outrageously funny and brutally honest, like the raunchy comedienne herself, this all-access exposé peels back her nipped ‘n tucked public mask with surprising results.

Sunday, May 2
6:30 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Monday, May 3
4:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

THE KIDS GROW UP
D: Doug Block | USA | 90 min | Canadian Premiere

Doug Block (51 BIRCH STREET) focuses his lens on his only child, Lucy, now 17, as she leaves home for college in this tender, funny, and endearing exploration of the complexities of modern-day parenting and the hardship of letting go.

Screening with
TIME’S UP
D: Jan Peters, Marie-Catherine Theiler | Germany | 15 min | North American Premiere

Tuesday, May 4
6:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre

Thursday, May 6
4:00 p.m.
ROM Theatre

KINGS OF PASTRY
D: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker | France, Netherlands, USA, UK | 86 min | Canadian Premiere

Sixteen top chefs, three intense days, and one chance at France’s top pastry honour: the Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Frosting flies as documentary legends D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus serve up this epic battle for sweet victory. Bon appétit!

Screening with
SELTZER WORKS
D: Jessica Edwards | USA | 7 min | Canadian Premiere

Wednesday, May 5
6:30 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Friday, May 7
11:00 a.m.
ROM Theatre

NEIGHBORS
D: Tahani Rached | Egypt | 105 min | North American Premiere

Architecture, history, and a diverse cast of international characters star in this stunningly shot journey through the once-opulent homes and abandoned gardens of Cairo’s bygone colonial elite, creating a powerful allegory of contemporary Egypt.

Friday, May 7
9:30 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Saturday, May 8
4:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre

NÉNETTE
D: Nicolas Philibert | France | 70 min | North American Premiere

A captivating study of an enigmatic animal and our relationship to her, NÉNETTE asks us what we can learn from an orangutan, and what she can teach us about ourselves.

Thursday, May 6
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Saturday, May 8
4:30 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

THE RAINBOW WARRIORS OF WAIHEKE ISLAND
D: Suzanne Raes | Netherlands | 87 min | North American Premiere

A pioneering group of Greenpeace activists, the crew of the famous ship The Rainbow Warrior, form a community on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Best described as a “rest home for burnt-out greenies”, the friends revisit their legacy of protest.

Monday, May 3
9:15 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Wednesday, May 5
1:30 p.m.
ROM Theatre

RUSH: BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE
D: Scot McFadyen, Sam Dunn | Canada | 106 min | Canadian Premiere

Canada’s greatest rock band, the influential and iconic Rush, get the musical bio they deserve: a hard-driving, engaging, heavy-on-the-hits chronicle of the world’s biggest cult band.

Thursday, Apr 29
9:30 p.m.
Winter Garden Theatre

Friday, Apr 30
4:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

SECRETS OF THE TRIBE
D: José Padilha | UK, Brazil | 94 min | Canadian Premiere

Academic bickering has never been as luridly scandalous as between the anthropologists studying the Yanomami, an isolated tribe in the Amazon Basin. Jaw-dropping ethical breaches leave generational scars on the world’s last “pure” society.

Thursday, May 6
6:30 p.m.
Koerner Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music

Sunday, May 9
4:15 p.m.
ROM Theatre

SPACE TOURISTS
D: Christian Frei | Switzerland | 98 min | Canadian Premiere This Sundance award-winner deftly probes the new space race – space tourism – and all its ramifications for those left on the ground as it follows an American woman’s $20-million trip aboard a Russian rocket.

Wednesday, May 5
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Thursday, May 6
1:45 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

TEENAGE PAPARAZZO
D: Adrian Grenier | USA | 101 min | International Premiere

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.

Thursday, May 6
9:30 p.m.
Koerner Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music

Saturday, May 8
9:00 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

WASTE LAND
D: Lucy Walker | UK, Brazil | 99 min | Canadian Premiere

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.

Saturday, May 1
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Wednesday, May 5
9:15 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

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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
Media Download Site: http://www.hotdocs.ca/media/media_download_centre
Username: hotdocsfestival
Password: media2010

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

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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