Media Room



Toronto, July 15, 2009 – Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Canwest are pleased to announce that 11 projects have been chosen to receive a total of $254,500 in grants and no-interest loans from the Canwest-Hot Docs Documentary Funds in its third round of disbursements. Established in April of 2008, the Funds consist of a $3-million completion fund and a $1-million development fund that aim to provide Canadian documentary filmmakers with much needed financial support at critical stages in their projects.

“It is quite satisfying to be able to award funds directly to independent filmmakers,” says Sean Farnel, director of programming at Hot Docs. “Both selection committees found the need for funding to be greater than ever, and were delighted to come across many projects worthy of the support.”

These 11 projects join those selected in 2008, during the first two rounds of funding applications, as the total 32 projects to have received funding via Canwest-Hot Docs Funds to date. A total of $838,500 in completion grants and no-interest loans has been awarded since the Funds’ inception. The application process for the second round of funding will open in the fall of 2009, with an application deadline of Wednesday, October 28. For further information on the application process, eligibility requirements and deadlines, please visit

Canwest-Hot Docs Completion Fund
Eligible projects were considered by the Canwest-Hot Docs Completion Fund Selection Committee, which included Sean Farnel, director of programming, Hot Docs; Sarah Jane Flynn, director, factual content, Canwest Media Inc., and Gary Marcuse, writer/producer/director, Face To Face Media Inc.

Four completion grants totalling $162,000 were awarded to the following projects:

Producers: Mila Aung-Thwin, Daniel Cross
Director: Daniel Cross
Production Company: EyeSteelFilm (Montreal, QC)

After drawing out the elements on a cocktail napkin in a roadhouse bar, John V. Atanasoff built the first-ever computer, only to find his invention stolen, his partner mysteriously missing, and the original record lost. Two decades later, in an epic six-year trial, Atanasoff re-emerged to invalidate the patent on the computer, thus liberating the technology and launching the personal computing revolution.

Producer: Ron Goetz, Pounce Inc.
Director: Eppo Eerkes
Production Company: Partners in Motion (Regina, SK)

A no-holds-barred, full-access pass to the men, wives, girlfriends, children, bosses and fans of national AAA hockey champions the Bentley Generals, BLOOD, SWEAT AND BEERS is a uniquely Canadian look at life’s hardships and great glories.

Producer: Frederic Bohbot
Director: Brett Story
Production Company: Bunbury Ontic Films (Montreal, QC)

The hard-working industrial city of Sarnia, Ontario is rocked by revelations that its workers suffer an epidemic of cancers. But even more threatening is the looming promise of job losses. Dying may be inevitable – but having good work is not. INJURY offers a portrait of a working-class city in paralysis and an investigation into when, and what, people fight for.

Producers: Liz Marshall, Susan McGrath
Director: Liz Marshall
Production Company: Water On The Table Inc. (Toronto, ON)

Following “international water warrior” Maude Barlow’s crusade against water privatization, WATER ON THE TABLE explores this country’s relationship to its freshwater. Should Canada treat its water as a commodity or adopt a policy that protects its water?

Canwest-Hot Docs Development Fund
Eligible projects were considered by the Canwest-Hot Docs Development Fund Selection Committee, which included Sean Farnel, director of programming, Hot Docs; Nick Crowe, production executive, Canwest Media Inc., and Trish Dolman, president/producer/director, Siren Screen Pictures Inc.

Seven no-interest loans totalling $92,500 were awarded to the following projects:

Producers: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok-MacDonald
Director: Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
Production Company: Unikkaat Studios Inc. (Iqaluit, NU)

Aaju Peter quit her job and committed herself to spending a year defending the Inuit right to hunt and eat seal, travelling across the circumpolar region to organize a unified Inuit effort that would educate the outside world.

Producer and Director: Marike Emery
Production Company: Little Dog Productions Inc. (Toronto, ON)

BIG RED & EDDIE explores the profound relationship between Secretariat, one of the greatest racehorses of all time, and his groom, Eddie Sweat. Set during a time of tremendous pressure on both Sweat and Secretariat, the film uncovers the unique connection between horse and human and reveals the rise of a great champion.

Producers: Paul Scherzer, Ric Beairsto
Director: Julian Pinder
Production Company: Six Island Productions Inc. (Toronto, ON)

An unflinching look at the past, present and future of the oil industry in western Canada, told from the unique perspective of the ordinary men and women who have fought back against the industry, some with legal means, others with violence.

Producer: Damon D’Oliveira
Director: Clement Virgo
Production Company: Conquering Lion Pictures (Toronto, ON)

Twenty years after leaving Regent Park, filmmaker Clement Virgo embarks on a personal journey back to this inner-city cradle for new immigrants and families. Virgo explores the costs and the benefits for the community with the promise of a new Regent Park, uncovering steps being taken to revitalize the residents as they watch their physical surroundings being reborn.

Producer and Director: Karen Porter
Production Company: Tony Devenyi Inc. (Vancouver, BC)

The untold story of how of a few hundred teenagers in 1950s London created an archetype of cool that permeates popular culture today, TON UP! explores the history, mythology, music, aesthetic and evolution of the “rocker” movement from its roots to a growing, present-day, international revival scene.

Producer: John Christou and Pepita Ferrari
Director: Sebastian Lange
Production Company: Loaded Pictures (Montreal, QC)

Since the death of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in February 2008, long time practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and well-known director, David Lynch, has been embraced as the movement’s chief international ambassador. Filmmaker Sebastian Lange gives an intimate look at this new phase in the movement’s evolution.

Producer: Lucie Tremblay
Director: Simon Trépanier
Production Company: Lowik Media 2008 Inc. (Montreal, QC)

UPROOTED follows the lives of the Chinese and the Bakoya pigmies as they leave their respective home in China and Gabon, in an attempt to pursue new working opportunities in the Central African rainforest.

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Canwest Global Communications Corp. (, (TSX: CGS and CGS.A,) an international media company, is Canada’s largest media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, Canwest is Canada’s largest publisher of paid English language daily newspapers and owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in conventional television, out-of-home advertising, specialty cable channels, web sites and radio stations and networks in Canada, Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Hot Docs (, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 17th annual edition from April 29 – May 9, 2010. 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 Toronto Documentary Forum and The Doc Shop.

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Telephone: 416-466-9799

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