Just before TIFF, the always awesome Toronto After Dark Film Festival announced the first group of films for the seventh year of the festival taking place October 18-26 at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. With the festival around the corner, we know have the rest of the films to complete the slate. This year is looking like a real fun one with a great choice of films for all you genre lovers to enjoy. And of course we will be there again covering the fest and bringing the best (and really only) reviews you need.
Check out the newly announced films below (with trailers) and see you at the festival.
AMERICAN MARY (Canada) Canadian Premiere! In this new festival circuit sensation from Jen and Sylva Soska aka The Twisted Twins, a disillusioned medical student (GINGER SNAPS star Katherine Isabelle in a standout performance) decides to ply her trade in the shady underworld of unregulated surgeries and body modification with horrifying consequences.
Xavierpop Pick!! - COCKNEYS vs ZOMBIES (UK) Canadian Premiere! When a bunch of East End bank robbers find themselves caught in the middle an outbreak of the undead on the streets of London, it’s every gangster for himself. One part SHAUN OF THE DEAD, one part SNATCH, and loaded with outrageous zombie kills, the latest hit zombie comedy from Britain is a shotgun blast of fun from start to finish!
MY AMITYVILLE HORROR (USA) In this genuinely chilling and disturbing new documentary, almost 40 years after the most infamous alleged haunting in American history, Daniel Lutz who was just a young boy at the time, finally breaks his silence and tells his side of the story of the supernatural events that took place in his family’s Amityville home.
CRAVE (USA) With echoes of TAXI DRIVER and FIGHT CLUB, this award-winning directorial debut film from BLADE RUNNER Special Edition producer Charles De Laurenzika sees a mentally unstable crime scene photographer spiraling into darkness, madness and violent vigilantism on the gritty streets of Detroit. Also features a fantastic supporting turn from Ron Perlman (HELLBOY) as a grizzled cop whose seen more than one murder too many.
INBRED (UK) With nods to the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and DELIVERANCE, this over-the-top gory British horror film finds a group of inner-city kids and their counsellors on a field trip fall prey to a rural village’s inbreds and their uniquely violent form of hospitality. Warning: not for the weak of stomach!
GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2 (Canada/USA) Canadian Premiere! Chilling found footage of a TV crew being haunted to their apparent deaths by supernatural forces inside an abandoned mental institute made the original GRAVE ENCOUNTERS a youtube sensation. In this even scarier follow-up, a young documentary filmmaker obsessed with finding out what really took place at the institute persuades a group of his friends to help him break into the building at night and record whatever they find.
CITADEL (Ireland/UK) Following an unprovoked attack by a mysterious group of hooded thugs, a young father finds himself paralyzed by fear and unable to leave his home. To compound his nightmare, the local priest warns him that the hoodies will be back one day to claim the child. A terrifying film, dripping in palpable fear, CITADEL was a deserved winner of the Midnighters Audience Award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.
GAME OF WEREWOLVES (Spain) When a struggling young writer returns to his remote village home after years away in the city, he’s shocked to discover it’s become cursed by werewolves and also that he might just be the only one who can stop them. Fantastic old school effects, great werewolf fight scenes and kills, and an endearing misfit hero makes multiple Audience Award winner GAME OF WEREWOLVES an absolute delight for fans at every festival it plays!
IN THEIR SKIN formerly known as REPLICAS (Canada) In this intense, dark home invasion thriller that drew glowing reviews from the Tribeca Film Festival, a young husband and wife (HELLBOY’S Selma Blair in a standout performance) and their son find themselves in a fight for their lives with another similar aged family who have taken them captive at their vacation home.
RESOLUTION (USA) Any attempt to describe this film would in too much detail would be to spoil it: Creepy photographs, bizarre found films, mysterious caves, possibly supernatural forces at work, and too many twists and turns to mention. If you like watching unique films unlike any you’ve seen before, then look no further than RESOLUTION, a one-of-a-kind horror movie that took the Tribeca Film Festival this year by storm. Just come see it and be equally blown away!
AFTER (USA) Canadian Premiere! In this fascinating dark fantasy with shades of SILENT HILL and THE MIST, two bus crash survivors awake to find themselves the only people left in a deserted small town. Even worse, they only have a limited number of days left to solve the mystery of their predicament, as a dark black cloud is advancing from all sides, and within its mist are some hostile creatures!
But wait..there is more!
Fans can also look forward to two fantastic showcases of cutting edge genre short films at this year’s festival!
CANADA AFTER DARK: 20 outstanding Canadian short films will screen at this year’s festival. And as per tradition at Toronto After Dark, one in front of each of the Feature Films: ADJUST TRACKING, ALCHEMY AND OTHER IMPERFECTIONS, ANNIE AND THE DOG, BIO-COP, BIRTHDAY PICTURES, BYDLO, THE CAPTURED BIRD, CHILDREN OF THE DARK, DO NOT ERASE, EVICTION, FROST, GAME, GARLIC BREAD MAN VS. SUPERBO LASAGNA MAN, MALODY, THE MYTH OF ROBO WONDER KID, NOT TILL WE’RE MARRIED, A PRETTY FUNNY STORY, SANDWICH CRAZY, TRUDY, WE ATE THE CHILDREN LAST.
SHORTS AFTER DARK: 9 incredible International Short films will screen this year as part of the international short film showcase: BOBBY YEAH, CATERWAUL, DECAPODA SHOCK, DIALOGUE, FAMILY NIGHTMARE, HENRi, NUMBERS, ODOKURO, VICKI.
One of Xavierpop’s Top 5 Docs To Watch has walked away with one of the top prizes at this Hot Docs Canadian Documentary Film Festival. Earlier tonight, The World Before Her took home the Prize for Best Canadian Feature. A documentary that shines a light on the struggle and cultural challenges young girls in India face came into the festival having been just recently awarded the Best Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. Playing to packed houses and fantastic reviews, it is indeed a worthy documentary for the prize.
Call Me Kuchu walked with the best International Feature. The important and must-see documentary looks at the formidable efforts of Ugandan activist David Kato to fight his country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and liberate his fellow LGBT citizens. Powerful and humbling, Call Me Kuchu exemplifies why the art of documentary is such an important part of film.
Other top prize winners include Peace Out taking home the Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature and Boxing Girls of Kabul taking home the Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Prize.
Full details in the press release below, however I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the festival on another successful run.
HOT DOCS AWARDS TOP HONOURS TO THE WORLD BEFORE HER AND CALL ME KUCHU
Toronto, May 4, 2012 – Hot Docs is pleased to announce the winners of the Festival’s 2012 awards. The Hot Docs Awards Presentation, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi (host, Q CBC Radio One), took place on Friday, May 4, at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto. Ten awards and $71,000 in cash prizes were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers, including awards for Festival films in competition and those recognizing emerging and established filmmakers. The Best Canadian Feature, Best International Feature, and the Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Prize winners will have encore screenings on Sunday, May 6.
The award for Best Canadian Feature was presented to THE WORLD BEFORE HER (D: Nisha Pahuja; P: Cornelia Principe, Nisha Pahuja, Ed Barreveld), a revealing looking at the clash between modernity and tradition faced by young women in India. Sponsored by the Documentary Organization of Canada, the award includes a $10,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “For its brave and provocative exploration of the role of women at its two extremes in contemporary Indian society, the jury recognizes the exceptional storytelling of THE WORLD BEFORE HER. THE WORLD BEFORE HER will screen on Saturday, May 5, at 9:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West) and on Sunday, May 6, at 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West).
The Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature was presented to PEACE OUT (D: Charles Wilkinson; P: Tina Schliessler), which explores the high costs of energy development in Canada’s pristine Peace River. Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada and the DGC-Ontario, the award includes a $5000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “For its intelligent treatment of the environmental debate around the Peace River, an urgent Canadian issue with global implications, the jury recognizes PEACE OUT as a necessary call to arms.”
New this year, the Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Prize was awarded to a film in the Canadian Spectrum program that presents an accessible perspective (or perspectives) of one or more belief systems in such a way as to contribute to the development of mutual understanding, respect and inclusion among young people in society. Selected and presented by the Inspirit Foundation, the inaugural prize was awarded to THE BOXING GIRLS OF KABUL (D: Ariel J. Nasr; P: Annette Clark), the story of a courageous group of young Afghan women who risk persecution to become world-class boxers, training in a stadium where the Taliban once executed women. The award comes with a $10,000 prize courtesy of the Inspirit Foundation. THE BOXING GIRLS OF KABUL will screen again on Sunday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. and at 6:15 p.m. at the Cumberland Cinemas (159 Cumberland Street).
The award for Best International Feature was presented to CALL ME KUCHU (D: Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Katherine Fairfax Wright; P: Malika Zouhali-Worrall; USA), which looks at the formidable efforts of Ugandan activist David Kato to fight his country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and liberate his fellow LGBT citizens. Sponsored by A&E, the award includes a $10,000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “CALL ME KUCHU explains a great injustice with life-and-death consequences and accomplishes the rare achievement of showing both the human tragedies and the triumphs of the struggle. Combining directorial intent with the prescience and persistence that enables a documentary’s crew to be in an important place at an important time, we the Jury recognize CALL ME KUCHU for its wrenching yet inspiring depiction of people trying to succeed as humans and as activists in the face of hatred.” CALL ME KUCHU will screen again on Saturday, May 5, at 9:00 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West) and on Sunday, May 6, at 6:00 p.m. at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West).
The Special Jury Prize – International Feature was presented to THE LAW IN THESE PARTS (D: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz; P: Liran Atzmor, B.Z. Goldberg; Israel), in which the legal minds who worked in the Occupied Territories in the Gaza Strip speak candidly about creating a framework that has had a profound global impact. Sponsored by the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the award includes a $5000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “We the Jury recognize THE LAW IN THESE PARTS for its brilliance and simplicity, turning the issues of history in Israel and the Palestinian Territories into a broader and more direct question: How precisely do civilized democracies process legally and morally complex actions in the name of survival? Viewing legislation through the lens of the people who enacted it long ago with a modern and forward-looking sense of filmmaking as art, THE LAW IN THESE PARTS reveals the fragile nature of international law in contemporary conflict.”
The HBO Documentary Films Emerging Artist Award was shared by the directors of two films: Bill Ross and Turner Ross for TCHOUPITOULAS (P: Bill Ross, Turner Ross; USA), and Benjamin Kahlmeyer for MEANWHILE IN MAMELODI (P: Boris Frank; Germany, South Africa). The HBO Documentary Films Emerging Artist Award is sponsored by HBO Documentary Films. Jury statement: “We the Jury recognize these films because they have an indelible sense of place while speaking to universal concerns of community. We also recognize these films as they represent a superb combination of both the constructed and the found. While each film shows us places we think we know, whether New Orleans or Pretoria, both use the tools and craft of non-fiction storytelling to give the viewer different perspectives and new insights. The Jury awards these prizes in recognition of the merits of these films, but also to note how strongly and sincerely we look forward to the future works from these filmmakers as they continue to push the medium forward.”
The award for Best Mid-Length Documentary was presented to MY THAI BRIDE (D/P: David Tucker; Australia), the story of a Welshman’s complicated marriage to an attractive younger Thai woman. Sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts, the award includes a $3000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “MY THAI BRIDE is a film that takes the story of an unlikely couple and through subtle analysis extends their human dramas into a moving examination of political, cultural and economic power dynamics. It is a film that destabilizes its viewer’s empathy through a nuanced and even-handed portrayal of charged, contradictory terrain, and reframes who exactly is the conqueror and conquered.” The Shorts and Mid-Length Jury also gave an honourable mention to NESSA (D: Loghman Khaledi; P: Katayoon Shahabi; Iran).
The award for Best Short Documentary was presented to FIVE FRAGMENTS OF THE EXTINCT EMPATHY (D: Anna Nykyri; P: Joonas Berghäll; Finland), which lays bare Finland’s antipathy towards dealing with domestic violence. The award includes a $3000 prize courtesy of Hot Docs. Jury statement: “In just seven minutes this film creates a poetry of contraction between its stunning black and white imagery and grandiose music, to illustrate how cycles of violence persist and are imprinted upon the faces of Finnish women.” The Shorts and Mid-Length Jury also gave an honourable mention to FAMILY NIGHTMARE (D/P: Dustin Guy Defa; USA).
The Hot Docs Board of Directors acknowledged Michel Brault as the recipient of the 2012 Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award, which was presented to the influential Canadian filmmaker at an event earlier in the day.
documentary‘s Don Haig Award, presented annually to a Canadian documentary filmmaker whose work demonstrates a unique voice and talent, was awarded to Montreal-based director Mia Donovan (INSIDE LARA ROXX, Hot Docs 2011 Official Selection). Awarded by the Don Haig Foundation, the prize includes a $20,000 cash prize courtesy of documentary. Director Charles Officer (MIGHTY JEROME, Hot Docs 2011 Official Selection) received an honourable mention.
The Lindalee Tracey Award, which honours an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, a strong sense of social justice and a sense of humour, was presented to Halifax filmmaker Jasmine Oore. As part of the award, the winner will receive a $5000 cash prize from the Lindalee Fund and $5000 in equipment rental donated by SIM Video International.
The 2012 awards for films in competition were determined by three juries.
The Canadian Feature Documentary Jury: Borislav Andjelic (film journalist; director of International Film Festival Belgrade), Maya Gallus (director, THE MYSTERY OF MAZO DE LA ROCHE), Dana O’Keefe (senior executive, Cinetic Media), Basil Tsiokos (programming associate, Sundance Film Festival; film journalist).
The International Feature Documentary Jury: Matthew Akers (director and cinematographer), Avril Benoît (director of communications, Doctors Without Borders – Canada), James Rocchi (film journalist), David Wilson (co-founder and co-director, True/False Film Fest).
The Shorts and Mid-Length Jury: Luis Ceriz (owner, Suspect Video), Marcelle Lean (executive director, Cinéfranco), Chi-hui Yang (film programmer, lecturer and writer).
The Hot Docs People’s Choice Award and audience top ten favourite films of the 2012 Festival, determined by audience ballot, will be announced on Monday, May 7. The public can contribute to a cash prize for the People’s Choice Award on Hot Docs’ crowd funding service Doc Ignite (www.hotdocs.ca/docignite). Also announced on this day is the Filmmaker Award, determined by ballots cast by Hot Docs 2012 filmmakers.
Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca) 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 www.hotdocs.ca, 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)
Hot Docs is proud to include Scotiabank, Rogers Group of Funds, Telefilm Canada and documentary as its Presenting Partners.