Media Room



Toronto, September 1, 2011 – Hot Docs is pleased to open the 2011-12 season of the Doc Soup monthly screening series with the Toronto premiere of MARATHON BOY (D: Gemma Atwal, UK, 98 minutes), the story of a four-year-old plucked from the slums and trained to become India’s greatest runner. Called “fascinating, dark and gripping” by The Telegraph and “an unforgettable documentary (that) rivals any dramatic thriller” by The Hollywood Reporter, MARATHON BOY will receive its Toronto premiere on Wednesday, October 5, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Advance tickets are now available for purchase online at Filmmaker Gemma Atwal will be in attendance to introduce the film and answer questions following the screenings.

Gemma Atwal’s dynamic epic follows four-year-old Budhia, rescued from poverty by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life judo coach and operator of an orphanage for slum children in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. When Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long distance running, Biranchi nurtures his gift, heralding him as a folk hero for the impoverished masses, and maybe even for India itself. But after golden child Budhia breaks down during a world-record 65 kilometer run, public opinion begins to turn on the guru and his disciple, and soon the two are swept up in a maelstrom of media controversy and political scandal. Following Budhia’s roller-coaster journey over five years, MARATHON BOY is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption, and broken dreams set between the heart-racing world of marathon running, the poverty-stricken slums, and the political intrigue of a modernizing India.

The Doc Soup monthly screening series brings the latest Canadian and international documentaries to the big screen in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Select subscription packages for Toronto’s Doc Soup are still available for purchase. Single tickets for MARATHON BOY are $14 and can be purchased in advance at or at the door on the night of the screening (subject to availability). A limited number of free tickets for the 9:15 p.m. screening will be available to students with proper ID (subject to availability) at the door, on a first-come first-served basis beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Upcoming screening dates for Toronto’s Doc Soup are November 9, December 7, January 4, February 1, March 7 and April 4. Doc Soup titles are announced at least one month prior to their screenings and, whenever possible, guest directors are in attendance.

Hot Docs is pleased to acknowledge Citytv as the Presenting Partner of the Doc Soup series.

Doc Soup Toronto is sponsored by Rogers Group of Funds and Ford.


Hot Docs (, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 19th annual edition from April 26 – May 6, 2012. An outstanding selection of 150+ documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented 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 and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the recently acquired Bloor Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.

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Telephone: 416-466-9799

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