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HOT DOCS’ INTERNATIONAL SPECTRUM PROGRAM SHOWCASES THE BEST DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING

For immediate release

Toronto, March 23, 2010 – A globe-spanning roster of strong documentaries will make up this year’s International Spectrum program at Hot Docs, April 29 to May 9, including a significant number of titles from the Nordic Region, Germany and Israel, and co-productions from Qatar and Yemen. In this compelling program of films offering provocative glimpses into the world, audiences will meet an enlightenment-seeking David Lynch; a hard-drinking, hard-rockin’ Buddhist priest; a reclusive artist with a WWII-era model town in his backyard; members of the Russian mafia; the indigenous peoples of western Mexico on a traditional peyote pilgrimage, and a falconer who becomes caught up in a web of international intrigue.

All feature-length titles in the program are eligible for the Best International Feature award.

Thirty-two titles make up the International Spectrum program, of which 16 are feature-length, 10 are mid-length and six are shorts. One title will receive its world premiere, five their international premiere, eight their North American premiere, sixteen their Canadian premiere and two will receive their Toronto premiere.

The screening times and descriptions for the International Spectrum program appear below. Many filmmakers will be in attendance for post-screening discussions.

AISHEEN [STILL ALIVE IN GAZA]
D: Nicolas Wadimoff | Qatar, Switzerland | 85 min | North American Premiere

Shot a few weeks after the end of Israel’s January 2009 offensive, this compelling, sensitively crafted doc captures the human suffering and devastation wrought on Gaza’s Palestinian residents as they struggle daily to survive.

Monday, May 3
9:30 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Thursday, May 6
1:30 p.m.
ROM Theatre

AUTUMN GOLD
D: Jan Tenhaven | Austria, Germany | 94 min | World Premiere

Hold on to your hip replacements and brace your funny bones! Aged 80 and up, a group of top senior track and field athletes train for the World Masters Championships, battling injury and upset in their quests for personal bests.

Tuesday, May 4
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Thursday, May 6
11:30 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

CHEMO
D: Pawel Lozinski | Poland | 58 min | North American Premiere Chemotherapy patients at a Warsaw oncology clinic are shot in close-ups. Their pillow talk revealing lives still left to be lived: a wedding, the chance to see hair grow back, and the everyday minutiae that makes life worth fighting for.

Screening with
SIX WEEKS
D: Marcin Janos Krawczyk | Poland | 18 min | North American Premiere

Saturday, May 1
7:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Monday, May 3
1:30 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

DADDY’S GIRLS
D: Lily Sheffy | Israel | 53 min | International Premiere

Filmmaker Lily Sheffy tries to untangle the secret lives her father simultaneously maintains with four different women, but as the truths are revealed, she finds herself in the uncomfortable role of confidante.

Screening with
QUADRANGLE
D: Amy Grappell | USA | 20 min | Canadian Premiere

Sunday, May 2
9:30 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Tuesday, May 4
4:00 p.m.
ROM Theatre

DAVID WANTS TO FLY
D: David Sieveking | Germany, Austria, Switzerland |96 min | North American Premiere

Sieveking follows filmmaking idol David Lynch to seek enlightenment through Transcendental Meditation, his tumultuous journey ending in a pilgrimage to discover the elusive truth about the technique’s famous founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Tuesday, May 4
9:00 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Wednesday, May 5
3:45 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

DISORDER
D: Huang Weikai | China | 58 min | Toronto Premiere

Compellingly absurd street scenes – an abandoned baby, a seizure of illegal bear paws, pigs running rampant on the freeway – capture life in a nameless Chinese city facing the moral growing pains brought on by rapidly encroaching development.

Screening with
TUSSILAGO
D: Jonas Odell?Sweden ? 14 min ? Canadian Premiere

Saturday, May 1
9:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Tuesday, May 4
9:15 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

FEATHERED COCAINE
D: Thorkell Hardarsson, Orn Marino Arnarson | Iceland | 80 min | Canadian Premiere

What do you do when you walk into a room and see a falcon and a terrorist? A falconer enters a whirlpool of international intrigue and obsession when he takes on the smuggler market for coveted birds of prey.

Tuesday, May 4
6:30 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

Thursday, May 6
4:30 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

A FILM UNFINISHED
D: Yael Hersonski?Israel?89 min ? Canadian Premiere

Hersonski’s haunting visual essay masterfully deconstructs a now-infamous, unfinished Nazi propaganda film about Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto, affirming that within every perfectly constructed frame lays a darker truth.

Sunday, May 2
1:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Wednesday, May 5
7:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

FLOWERS IN THE DESERT
D: José Alvarez?Mexico?72 min ? Canadian Premiere

In this vivid, engrossing film, the Wixárika, an indigenous peoples of western Mexico, offer rare access to their traditional peyote pilgrimage, a spiritual journey to the sacred region of Wirikuta.

Wednesday, May 5
7:15 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

Sunday, May 9
7:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

GASLAND
D: Josh Fox?USA?107 min ?International Premiere

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.

Friday, Apr 30
9:45 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Sunday, May 2
12:30 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 9
D: Robert Persons?USA?72 min?International Premiere

A stunning and accomplished work, this experimental doc contemplates the signs of loss and transformation in the American South as potent metaphors for personal and collective destiny.

Friday, Apr 30
6:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre

Sunday, May 2
2:00 p.m.
ROM Theatre

HIS & HERS
D: Ken Wardrop?Ireland?80 min?Toronto Premiere

With charm and affection, HIS & HERS tells a 90-year love story through the collective voice of 70 Irish women. From young to old, each woman’s tale is woven into one perfectly crafted cinematic quilt.

Saturday, May 1
7:15 p.m.
ROM Theatre

Monday, May 3
4:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Sunday, May 9
4:30 p.n.
Isabel Bader Theatre

I SHOT MY LOVE
D: Tomer Heymann | Israel, Germany | 56 min?North American Premiere

Deeply moving and emotionally affecting, I SHOT MY LOVE is an intimate portrait of two lovers, one German and one Israeli, as they confront the challenges posed by their families, their national histories, and their own emotions.

Tuesday, May 4
7:30 p.m.
Royal Cinema

Thursday, May 6
4:15 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

INTO ETERNITY
D: Michael Madsen ? Denmark, Sweden, Finland?75 min ? Canadian Premiere

The fascinating scientific minds behind Finland’s massive underground nuclear waste storage facility, where radioactive waste must sit untouched for at least 100,000 years to neutralize its potential danger, are probed in this unique and stylish film.

Wednesday, May 5
9:45 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Friday, May 7
1:30 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

THE INVENTION OF DR. NAKAMATS
D: Kaspar Astrup Schröder?Denmark?59 min ? Canadian Premiere

At a mere 81, Ig Nobel-winning inventor Dr. Nakamats fully intends to live to the age of 144. Holding 3,300 patents for everything from floppy disks to aphrodisiacs, the quirky Japanese icon delightfully champions the limitlessness of imagination and innovation.

Screening with
ARSY-VERSY
D: Miro Remo?Slovakia?23 min ? Canadian Premiere

Saturday, May 1
4:15 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Wednesday, May 5
1:45 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

ITO - A DIARY OF AN URBAN PRIEST
D: Pirjo Honkasalo?Finland?111 min ?Canadian Premiere

This visually stunning film follows the intimate journey of a young, hard-drinking, hard-rockin’ Buddhist priest on his fervent search for life’s meaning amongst Tokyo’s disenchanted and troubled denizens.

Sunday, May 2
9:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Wednesday, May 5
4:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

MARWENCOL
D: Jeff Malmberg?USA?83 min? International Premiere

Seeking solace after a brutal beating, Mark Hogencamp constructs a miniature WW II-era town in his backyard. But when his talent is discovered, the instant “artist” must choose between his fantasy life and the real world he’s carefully avoided.

Screening with
PETER IN RADIOLAND
D: Johanna Wagner?Scotland?10 min?Canadian Premiere

Tuesday, May 4
9:45 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Thursday, May 6
1:30 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

THE OATH
D: Laura Poitras?USA, Yemen ?97 min ?Canadian Premiere

A complex, mysterious portrait of Abu Jandal, a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden. Themes of loyalty, guilt, and betrayal elegantly emerge in this sophisticated political and psychological study.

Friday, Apr 30
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Friday, May 7
4:00 p.m.
ROM Theatre

THE PLAYER
D: John Appel?Netherlands?85 min ?Canadian Premiere

Three hardened gamblers let us into their lives, their loves, and their losses. Through these men’s stories, Dutch documentarian John Appel weaves a masterful tale of his own father, an irrepressible gambler.

Screening with
DEAR MATTHEW
D: Keith O’Shea?Wales?15 min ?Canadian Premiere

Sunday, May 2
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Monday, May 3
1:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre

REGRETTERS
D: Marcus Lindeen?Sweden?59 min?Canadian Premiere

In this riveting dialogue, the gender flip-flops of two Swedish men, now in their sixties, form the basis for provocative reflections on sexuality, expectations, and regrets.

Screening with
NOBODY PASSES PERFECTLY
D: Saskia Bisp?Denmark, Germany?44 min?North American Premiere

A rare exploration of the transman experience, this intimate, stylish, and sometimes funny work creates a space where gender isn’t a predefined state, but a form of self-expression to be challenged and sometimes changed.

Monday, May 3
7:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Wednesday, May 5
2:00 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

SONA, THE OTHER MYSELF
D: Yang Yonghi?Japan, South Korea?82 min?North American Premiere

A follow-up to her festival hit DEAR PYONGYANG, Yang Yonghi returns with a loving, poignant portrait of her niece, whom the filmmaker hasn’t seen since being banned from North Korea five years ago.

Tuesday, May 4
9:30 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Friday, May 7
1:30 p.m.
ROM Theatre

STEAM OF LIFE
D: Joonas Berghäll, Mika Hotakainen?Finland?82 min?Canadian Premiere

Naked men in saunas talk straight from the heart. The heat from rusty stoves cleanses their bodies, while drawing profound emotional catharses from several of these typically reserved Finnish men.

Monday, May 3
7:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

Wednesday, May 5
4:00 p.m.
ROM Theatre

TANKOGRAD
D: Boris Bertram?Denmark?57 min?International Premiere

What could possibly thrive in Chelyabinsk, Russia, the world’s most radioactive city? Dance, of course. A world-renowned modern dance company soars above the city’s toxic soil to create an inspiring future in this unique environmental essay.

Tuesday, May 4
7:15 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Friday, May 7
4:15 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

THIEVES BY LAW
D: Alexander Gentelev ?Israel,Germany?90 min?Canadian Premiere

Raw and audacious, three former kingpins of the Russian Mafia take us inside the world’s most notorious criminal organization. This unprecedented access captures the underworld’s formation and its coldly calculated ascension, without a Hollywood safety net.

Wednesday, May 5
9:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

Saturday, May 8
10:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

WISTFUL WILDERNESS
D: Digna Sinke ?Netherlands ?88 min?North American Premiere

The island of Tiengemeten is getting a makeover. Originally cleared to serve as agricultural land, it is now being abandoned to the elements, left to revert back to wilderness. A profound portrait spanning fifteen years of transformation, loss and lament.

Thursday, May 6
6:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre

Saturday, May 8
2:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

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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

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