Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sundance favourite on '05 Hot Docs list

Mar. 31, 2005. 01:00 AM
Hot Docs Festival

The international premiere of Sundance Audience Award winner Murderball kicks off this year's Hot Docs, the largest documentary festival in North America, which brings fact-based films and industry representatives from around the world to Toronto each spring.
This year's festival will screen more than 100 docs from 23 countries, including 36 produced all, or in part, in Canada, as well as offer workshops and forums in professional development and marketing for filmmakers.
It runs April 22 to May 1 at the Bloor, ROM, Isabel Bader and Innis Town Hall theatres.
From modest beginnings 12 years ago, Hot Docs has developed into what International Documentary Magazine calls one of the top two A-list documentary festivals in the world. Organizers say attendance topped 37,000 last year and attracted 1,500 filmmakers, programmers and buyers.
This year's festival is book-ended by sports movies.
Murderball (U.S.A. 2005) is about an American team of quadriplegics who play the full-contact sport known as quad rugby in armoured wheelchairs. Rivalry between the U.S. and Canadian teams provides much of the dramatic narrative. Co-directors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro will attend.
The closing film is Heysel '85 — Requiem For A Cup Final (Belgium, 2005), which reveals for the first time what went on behind the scenes after a key soccer game between Juventus and Liverpool was ordered to go on despite 39 fans getting trampled to death in a pre-game riot.
The festival's national spotlight this year is on films from Israel.
The RealKids, RealTeens section features films relating to young people and a new program, called Show Me Yours, is about sexual behaviour from pornography to therapy.
As previously announced, U.S. filmmaker Errol Morris (Fog Of War) and Canadian Larry Weinstein will be honoured with retrospectives. Morris will be interviewed in a program co-presented with Cinematheque Ontario.

Hot Docs Festival tickets ($10 each or 10 for $60) are available at Sonic Boom Records, 512 Bloor St. W. or at http://www.hotdocs.ca and 416-530-8105.

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