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For immediate release

Toronto, March 23, 2010 – Hot Docs will pay tribute to Tahani Rached with this year’s Focus On retrospective, an annual program showcasing the work of a mid-career Canadian filmmaker.

Hot Docs will screen three of Rached’s films as part of the Focus On program. Rached’s most recent film, NEIGHBORS, will also screen in this year’s Festival as a Special Presentation.

Born in Egypt, Tahani Rached settled in Quebec in 1966. After attending Montreal’s École des Beaux-Arts, she was involved in community action until she made her first film, POUR FAIRE CHANGEMENT (1972), a documentary produced by Le Vidéographe, which set the tone for all her future work. In 1979, her first feature film, LES VOLEURS DE JOBS, revealed her distinctive view of the world, and was followed by a series of six half-hour documentaries for Radio-Quebec on Quebec’s Arab community. An NFB staff filmmaker from 1980 to 2004, Rached’s films include BEIRUT! NOT ENOUGH DEATH TO GO ROUND (1983); AU CHIC RESTO POP (1990); FOUR WOMEN OF EGYPT (1997); EMERGENCY! A CRITICAL SITUATION (1999); FOR A SONG (2001); SORAIDA, A WOMAN OF PALESTINE (2004), and THESE GIRLS (2006).

Hot Docs is pleased to announce that Tahani Rached will be in attendance at this year’s Festival. This year’s Focus On program is curated by Hot Docs senior Canadian programmer, Lynne Fernie.

Past Focus On honorees include 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 Tahani Rached retrospective appear below.

D: Tahani Rached | Canada | 1990 | 84 min

Welcome to the Resto Pop, a lively restaurant run by “outcasts… and punks” to serve healthy meals to the poor. With songs written and performed by the staff, this social activist doc takes a lively turn into an innovative docu-musical.

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

D: Tahani Rached | Canada | 1983 | 57 min

This powerful and raw vérité portrait captures the anguish and resilience of Lebanese civilians living with death and destruction after a 1982 Israeli bombing destroys their West Beirut homes.

Saturday, May 8
7:15 p.m.
Innis Town Hall

D: Tahani Rached | Egypt | 2006 | 68 min

The dangerous carnival of girls living on the streets of Cairo comes vibrantly alive as they fight, laugh, brag, sniff glue and fiercely try to protect one another from sexual assaults in this masterful and compassionate film.

Friday, May 7
3:45 p.m.
Alliance Cumberland Cinemas


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.

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