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For immediate release

Toronto, March 23, 2010 – Hot Docs will celebrate and explore a decade of docs during its 2010 Festival, April 29 to May 9, by looking back on the past ten years of documentary filmmaking with a retrospective, Ripping Reality, aimed at mapping the explosive growth and popularity of non-fiction film during this time.

With input from international documentary programmers, Ripping Reality will present a selection of 10 films deemed significant over the past decade of explosive growth and development for the documentary form.

“We think the past decade has seen a new wave emerge within documentary culture,” says Hot Docs director of programming Sean Farnel. “Yet unlike other new wave movements in the history of cinema this one remains largely undefined and unheralded. What are its attributes aesthetically, politically and socially? What are its key films and filmmakers? What are the factors behind the explosive growth of documentary filmmaking, festivals and their audiences? These are just a few of the questions with which we begin. But Ripping Reality is not just about looking back, it is about informing and furthering the vitality of documentary through the next decade.”

Intended as a catalyst for further initiatives over the next year, Ripping Reality will afford Hot Docs audiences the opportunity to view significant works of the past decade and discuss the transformation of the medium during this time.

Screening times for Ripping Reality appear below.

AMERICAN MOVIE D: Chris Smith | USA | 1999 | 107 min

This wildly funny film follows Milwaukee cineaste Mark Borchardt for two years as he rallies relatives, local theatre talent, slacker friends, and his endearing Uncle Bill to make a low-budget horror movie.

Saturday, May 1
4:00 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas

THE CORPORATION D: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott | Canada | 2003 | 145 min

Arguing that the modern corporation possesses all the personality traits of a psychopath, this provocative, witty, and sweepingly informative film dissects the damages done by corporatism. One of the most acclaimed and successful Canadian films of the decade.

Sunday, May 9
12:30 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

CZECH DREAM D: Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda | Czech Republic | 2004 | 87 min

To explore the manipulative powers of consumerism, two filmmakers create an ad campaign for something that doesn’t exist. The result is the largest consumer hoax in Czech history and a provocative look at rampant consumerism in a post-communist society.

Saturday, May 1
11:30 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE D: Hubert Sauper | Austria, Belgium, France | 2004 | 107 min

Devastating and prescient, this award-winning film is a shocking look at how globalization reduced a country to ruin. It’s compulsory viewing for anyone enjoying the privileges of the Western lifestyle.

Friday, Apr 30
11:15 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

FAMILY D: Sami Saif, Phie Ambo | Denmark | 2001 | 90 min

Alone and grief-stricken following the suicide of his brother and the death of his mother, filmmaker Sami Saif embarks on a journey to find his Yemenite father who abandoned him as a child.

Monday, May 3
11:00 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre

THE FOG OF WAR D: Errol Morris | USA | 2003 | 107 min

Errol Morris’s visually inventive, Oscar-winning portrait of former U.S. secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara is a compelling, thoughtful, and complex exploration of the moral issues related to many crucial events of the 20th century.

Saturday, May 8
9:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre

INTO GREAT SILENCE D: Philip Groning | France, Germany, Switzerland, UK | 2005 | 164 min

The monks of the Grande Chartreuse, home to the Catholic Church’s strictest order, dedicate themselves, in permanent silence, to the service of God. This mesmerizing and poetic chronicle of spiritual devotion provides a rare, moving, and transformative experience.

Sunday, May 2
1:30 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS D: James Longley | USA, Iraq | 2006 | 94 min

American director James Longley spent over two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered document of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. An Oscar nominee for best documentary.

Friday, May 7
9:30 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

SPELLBOUND D: Jeffrey Blitz | USA | 2002 | 95 min

This graceful, spirited, and uplifting documentary follows eight kids competing in the 1999 National Spelling Bee, offering an exciting and optimistic foray into eight different ways of growing up American.

Saturday, May 1
1:00 p.m.
Bloor Cinema

TARNATION D: Jonathan Caouette | USA | 2003 | 88 min

The most personal and experimental film to gain mainstream acclaim in recent memory, this captivating documentary provides a moving look into the director’s family life: a world of trauma, tragedy, mental illness, dysfunction, love, and devotion.

Friday, Apr 30
11:30 p.m.
Bloor Cinema


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, 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.

Media Download Site:
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
Phone: 416-466-9799

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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