@HotDocs To Welcome Intriguing Film Subjects & A Record Number Of Directors

We are in full swing in the spring season as the final days of the TIFF Kids International Film Festival wind down that great festival, the Cannes Film Festival just announced their schedule and now Hot Docs is quite literally around the corner. Xavierpop will be rolling out its coverage in the days leading up to North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, however a press release just dropped in my mailbox that will definitely get you in the spirit.

This year, the festival is really bringing it with a very eclectic and impressive lineup of films lead by the powerful opening night film Ai Weiwei Never Sorry. Of the advanced screenings we have seen so far, there are a lot of lovely films that I know you will enjoy and to add to the festivities, the organizers of the festival have not only presented to us one of its strongest schedules in years, they have also markedly increased the amount of directors and actors attending the screenings. I don’t know about you, however one of the funnest things about attending these festivals is the opportunity to meet the filmmakers or stars themselves and ask any lingering questions that you may as a result of watching the film. (Case in point, was the brilliant Q&A Peter Lord had after the North American premiere of his latest Aardman Animation movie Pirates : Band of Misfits during TIFF Kids recently).

So check out the list below to see if there is anybody you want to meet.



Oh Look! A press release:


For immediate release

Toronto, April 19, 2012 – Hot Docs is honoured to welcome a number of guest subjects, including rock star Rick Springfield, director Jennifer Lynch, video game creator Phil Fish, war photographer Don McCullin, artist and Pee-wee’s Playhouse puppeteer Wayne White, and Dahmer-case detective Pat Kennedy, who are featured in films at the upcoming Festival, April 26 to May 6. In addition to guest subjects, 146 directors – a record number – will be in attendance at the Festival to introduce their films and participate in post-screening audience Q&As.

Featured guests are listed below. In most cases, the guests will be present at one or more screenings.

  • Rick Springfield from AN AFFAIR OF THE HEART (D: Sylvia Caminer | USA | 94 min) – Rock star Rick Springfield is well known for pop mega-hits like “Jessie’s Girl” and from his stint as General Hospital’s Noah Drake.
  • Wayne White from BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING (D: Neil Berkeley | USA | 91 min) – Wayne White began as a humble puppeteer and went on to become a co-creator of Pee-wee’s Playhouse and a celebrated artist.
  • Karen Winther from THE BETRAYAL (D: Karen Winther |UK, Norway | 64 min) – Winther turns the camera on herself in a first-person exposé of her  darkest moments.
  • Fredrik Gertten from BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!** (D: Fredrik Gertten | Sweden | 88 min) – Gertten chronicles the lawsuit led by a multi-national food giant that attempted to quash the release of his film BANANAS!*
  • Stacy Peralta from BONES BRIGADE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (D: Stacy Peralta | USA |110 min) – The Bones Brigade, a ‘80s skateboarding team that included director Stacy Peralta, revolutionized skateboarding.
  • Qi Moxiang from CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT (D: Yung Chang | Canada, China |89 min) – A state boxing coach, Qi Moxiang searches for young boys with raw talent who he hopes to shape into champions.
  • Aruna Papp from CRIMES WITHOUT HONOUR (D: Raymonde Provencher | Canada |69 min) – Aruna Papp counsels Canadian men and women who are trapped in cultures that extol honour and shame.
  • Jennifer Lynch from DESPITE THE GODS (D: Penny Vozniak | Australia | 85 min) – Daughter of cult film auteur David Lynch, director Jennifer Lynch’s Bollywood/Hollywood production puts her to the test.
  • Dawn “Godiva” Maetas from GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING (D: Brett Whitcomb | USA | 76 min ) – Appearing in seasons three and four, Godiva is one of Glow’s gorgeous ladies of wrestling.
  • Nina Conti from HER MASTER’S VOICE (D: Nina Conti | UK |61 min) – An acclaimed ventriloquist and comedian, Nina Conti receives news that her mentor has bequeathed to her his collection of dummies.
  • Jackie Sumell from HERMAN’S HOUSE (D: Angad Singh Bhalla | Canada| 81 min) – Artist and activist Jackie Sumell asks imprisoned Black Panther Herman Wallace to collaborate on an art project by imagining his dream house.
  • Phil Fish from INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE (D: James Swirsky, Lisanne Pajot | Canada | 96 min) – The creator of video game Fez, Phil Fish is a gifted game-maker from Montreal.
  • Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi from ITALY LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT (D: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi | Italy, Germany |75 min) – These two filmmakers take a six-month road trip across Italy.
  • Pat Kennedy from JEFF (D: Chris James Thompson | USA | 75 min) – When brought in for questioning, infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer confessed to Detective Kennedy.
  • Ewan MacKinnon from THE KID AND THE CLOWN (D: Ida Grøn | Denmark | 53 min) – Better known as Angus the Clown, Ewan MacKinnon brings joy to hospital patients.
  • Frank Lee and Corey Lee from LEGEND OF A WARRIOR (D: Corey Lee | Canada |78 min) – Filmmaker Corey Lee trains with his father, Frank, a martial arts master, to better understand his Chinese heritage.
  • Ben Peter from LIFE IN STILLS (D: Tamar Tal | Israel | 58 min) – Ben join forces with his grandmother to save his grandfather’s photographic legacy.
  • Don McCullin from MCCULLIN (D: Jacqui Morris | UK | 89 min) – To many, Don McCullin is the greatest living war photographer.
  • Tiffany Sudela-Junker from MY NAME IS FAITH (D: Tiffany Sudela-Junker, Jason Banker, Jorge Torres-Torres |USA | 82 min) – Director Tiffany Sudela-Junker tackles the seemingly impossible task of helping her adoptive daughter overcome past traumas.
  • Sami Helle, Pertti Kurikka, and Toni Välitallo from THE PUNK SYNDROME (D: Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi | Finland |85 min) –  Bassist Sami Helle , guitarist Pertti Kurikka and drummer Toni Välitallo are three quarters of the punk rock band Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day.
  • Radioman from RADIOMAN (D: Mary Kerr | UK | 75 min) – A fixture on NYC film sets, Radioman is a celebrity’s celebrity.
  • Brian White from SMOKE TRADERS (D: Jeff Dorn, Catherine Bainbridge | Canada | 51 min) – Brian White is a former tobacco runner from Akwesasne.
  • Wu Tsang from WILDNESS (D: Wu Tsang | USA |74 min) – Director and L.A. performance artist Wu Tsang co-founded the popular weekly party called Wildness.




Hot Docs ( is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. From April 26 to May 6, Hot Docs’ 19th edition will present an outstanding selection of 189 documentaries from Canada and around the world 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, May 2 and 3, and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.

The Hot Docs documentary Box Office, newly located at 783 Bathurst Street, 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 $14.50 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 of the nine screenings). A Festival 10-Pack is $115, a Festival 20-Pack is $205, and a Bloor Cinema All Access Pass is $115. Courtesy of Scotiabank, Hot Docs offers free tickets for all screenings before 6 p.m. to seniors (60+) and students with valid photo I.D. at the venue box offices on the day of the screening (subject to availability).

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