HOT DOCS HONOURS LOCAL DOC ICON JOHN KASTNER WITH FOCUS ON RETROSPECTIVE
Toronto, March 20, 2012 – Hot Docs will pay tribute to John Kastner with this year’s Focus On retrospective, an annual program showcasing the work of a mid-career Canadian filmmaker. Hot Docs will screen five of Kastner’s films, including Emmy-winners FIGHTING BACK and THE LIFER AND THE LADY.
“We’re grateful that John will be taking a break from filming his next project to join us at this year’s festival,” says Charlotte Cook, Hot Docs Director of Programming. “Given his long history with Hot Docs, it is very fitting for us to present a major retrospective of his work.”
Kastner began in television as a professional child actor and has gone on to become one of Canada’s most acclaimed documentary filmmakers. His films have been screened at major film festivals including the Berlinale, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Hot Docs, and the Cinematheque Quebecoise in Montreal recently ran a retrospective of his work. In 2007 Kastner was honoured by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television with its Achievement Award. His most recent film, LIFE WITH MURDER, gained him his forth Emmy and fifth Emmy nomination, as well as Canada’s Donald Brittain Gemini for Best Documentary, gold and silver Hugo awards at the Chicago Film Festival, and several other awards including a Special Jury Prize at the Houston International Film Festival. In 2004, his trilogy for CBC-TV, RAGE AGAINST THE DARKNESS, followed seniors going into long-term care facilities. One of the films from the series, BUNNY AND LEONA, which will screen as a part of the retrospective, won several awards including Best Canadian Documentary Feature at Hot Docs in 2003.
Past Focus On honorees include Alan Zweig (2011), Tahani Rached (2010), Ron Mann (2009), Jennifer Baichwal (2008), Kevin McMahon (2007), Serge Giguère (2006), Larry Weinstein (2005), Nettie Wild (2004), Shelley Saywell (2003) and Zacharias Kunuk (2002).
The Focus On program is generously supported by the National Film Board of Canada.
Films included in the Focus On John Kastner retrospective appear below.
D: John Kastner | Canada | 1980 | 85 min
Filmed over two years, FIGHTING BACK is an Emmy-winning portrait of four children in London, Ontario, and their brave battle with leukemia at a time when no child had survived the disease.
FRIDAY, MAY 4 9:00 PM CUMBERLAND FOUR - ALLIANCE CINEMAS
HUNTING BOBBY OATWAY
D: John Kastner | Canada | 1997 | 45 min
When sex offender Bobby Oatway is released from prison into a halfway house the local community are fearful and outraged. HUNTING FOR BOBBY OATWAY shows a man forever trapped in a prison of his own creation.
Screening with ASK A SILLY QUESTION
D: John Kastner | Canada | 1999 | 45 min
An oddball exposé of falsehoods in the polling and market research industry.Through bogus street polls, we see how frequently people are willing to give opinions on subject matter they know nothing about.
SUNDAY, APRIL 29 7:00 PM INNIS TOWN HALL
THE LIFER AND THE LADY
D: John Kastner | Canada | 1986 | 85 min
The Emmy Award-winning story of convicted murderer Ron Cooney as he battles his demons and works toward his dream of parole and a new life with the woman he loves-a prison volunteer.
FRIDAY, APRIL 27 11:00 AM ISABEL BADER THEATRE
RAGE AGAINST THE DARKNESS: BUNNY AND LEONA
D: John Kastner | Canada | 2003 | 85 min
Winner of the Hot Docs 2003 Best Canadian Documentary, BUNNY AND LEONA follows two sisters as they live apart for the first time in 30 years. A beautiful portrait of old age, family and the transitions we make in life.
THURSDAY, MAY 3 1:00 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX
Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca) is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. From April 26 to May 6, Hot Docs’ 19th edition will present an outstanding selection of 189 documentaries from Canada and around the world 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, May 2 and 3, 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, newly located at 783 Bathurst Street, 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 $14.50 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 of the nine screenings). A Festival 10-Pack is $115, a Festival 20-Pack is $205, and a Bloor Cinema All Access Pass is $115. Courtesy of Scotiabank, Hot Docs offers free tickets for all screenings before 6 p.m. to seniors (60+) and students with valid photo I.D. at the venue box offices on the day of the screening (subject to availability).
FILM STILLS AVAILABLE
Media Download Site: http://www.hotdocs.ca/media/media_download_centre
Hot Docs is proud to include Scotiabank, Rogers Group of Funds, Telefilm Canada and documentary as its Presenting Partners.
V Kelly & Associates