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Corus-Hot Docs Funds Recipients 2009

Round Four: Completion Fund

Eligible projects were considered by the Corus-Hot Docs Completion Fund Selection Committee, which consisted of: Nick Crowe, Production Executive, Canwest Media Inc.; Sean Farnel, Director of Programming, Hot Docs; and David Paperny, President, Paperny Films. The Committee awarded five completion grants totaling $222,000 to the following projects:

BEHIND THE SCENES AT KINNGAIT STUDIOS
Producers: David Craig, Katherine Knight
Director: Annette Mangaard
Production Company: Site Media Inc.

Set in the Canadian Arctic, the film weaves together many voices in a first hand account of how the remote settlement of Cape Dorset, Nunavut, has become the capital of the Inuit art world.

GRINDER
Producers: Cornelia Principe, Matt Gallagher
Director: Matt Gallagher
Production Company: Border City Productions

GRINDER is the director’s journey into the unconventional – and often bizarre - underground world of those who play poker for a living.

RAW OPIUM
Producer: Robert Lang
Director: Peter Findlay
Production Company: Kensington Communications Inc.

RAW OPIUM travels the world to offer an intimate and broad-ranging exploration of a commodity that has gone from being a “gift of the gods” to a scourge on society.

THE REAL MASH
Producer: Ed Barreveld
Director: Min Sook Lee
Production Company: Storyline Entertainment

THE REAL MASH traces the original stories and the people behind them that inspired the fictional TV series and feature film about the Korean War.

A STRANGE BREW - THE END OF ADDICTION
Producers: Amanda Handy, Robin McKenna
Directors: Mark Johnston, Mark Ellam
Production Company: Nomad Films Inc.

Guided by botanist Dr. Adam Brown, A STRANGE BREW takes us on a fascinating journey in an effort to unlock the secrets of plants that could play an important role in our common future.


Round Four: Development Fund

Eligible projects were considered by the Corus-Hot Docs Development Fund Selection Committee, which consisted of: Lynne Carter, Production Executive, Factual Content, Canwest Media Inc.; Charlotte Engel, Production Executive, Documentaries & Alternative Programming, CTV; and Sean Farnel, Director of Programming, Hot Docs. The Committee awarded six no-interest development loans totaling $57,500 to the following projects:

9.79: THE RISE AND FALL OF BEN JOHNSON
Producer: Damon D’Oliveira
Director: Clement Virgo
Production Company: Conquering Lion Pictures

9.79 chronicles the legendary rise and fall of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson. With the emergence of new evidence on the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in competitive sport, was Johnson set-up when he tested positive for steroids during the 1988 Olympics?

ARIEL
Producer/Director: Laura Bari
Executive Producer: Mila Aung-Thwin
Production Company: EyeSteelFilm

Three years after undergoing a double amputation following a work accident, Ariel, a 33-year-old Argentine man, decides to design and build his own prosthetic legs, strengthening his will to survive and persevere.

GREEN TO THE END
Producer: Julia Bennett
Director: Kim Harris
Production Company: Pink Job Inc.

GREEN TO THE END follows two feisty sisters who, determined to spend no money and leave no footprint, go on the road to find a carbon-zero funeral.

INVISIBLE WAR: SECRETS OF THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL
Producer: Linda Stregger
Executive Producer: Barbara Barde
Director: Michael Maclear
Production Company: Take 3 Productions Inc.

America’s decade of combat in Vietnam centred on the so-called Ho Chi Minh Trail, yet no armies confronted each other there. INVISIBLE WAR will be a comprehensive documentary on the legendary Trail and those who endured eight years of continuous U.S. saturation bombing.

OPERATION SOAP
Producer/Director: James Wood
Executive Producer: Jerry McIntosh
Production Company: 21D Productions Inc.

On February 5, 1981, at 11 pm, Toronto police conducted simultaneous raids, dubbed Operation Soap, on four gay bathhouses. With first person accounts, archival footage and dramatic re-enactments OPERATION SOAP examines the raids and the 48 hours after in which the Canadian gay movement was born.

TAXI SCHOOL
Producers: Wendy Champagne, Denis McCready
Executive Producer: Sylvie Van Brabant
Director: Wendy Champagne
Production Company: Producions du Rapide-Blanc

Set in Montreal, TAXI SCHOOL will explore the lives of recent immigrants to Canada through the window of a taxi school, where they end up after exhausting their search for work in their own fields.


Round Three: Completion Fund

Eligible projects were considered by the Corus-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:

ATANASOFF
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.

BLOOD, SWEAT AND BEERS
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.

INJURY
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.

WATER ON THE TABLE
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?


Round Three: Development Fund

Eligible projects were considered by the Corus-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:

ANGRY INUK
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.

BIG RED & EDDIE
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.

JUST BLOW IT UP
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.

METAMORPHOSIS
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.

TON UP!
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.

TRANSFORMATION
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.

UPROOTED
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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