Hot Docs starts off with ‘Flesh’

Canadian fest to close with Blasioli's 'Round'

TORONTO — Jonathan Karsh’s “My Flesh and Blood” will open the Hot Docs Canadian Intl. Documentary Festival, North America’s largest doc festival, April 25.

The doc about Susan Tom and her 11 adopted special-needs children won the audience award and director’s award at Sundance.

The closing night film on May 4 will be the world premiere of “The Last Round,” the tale of the 1966 boxing match in Toronto between Mohammad Ali and George Chuvalo from filmmaker Joseph Blasioli.

This year’s fest is the largest ever with 122 films from 29 countries. It will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a series of free public screenings.

The international showcase of 48 films includes “Bus 174” from Jose Padilha, chronicling a hijacking in Rio in June 2000, and in “girlhood” Liz Garbus accompanies two young offenders through the criminal justice system.

Italian filmmakers Fabrizio Lazzaretti and Alberto Vendemmiati (“Jung (War) in the Land of the Mujaheddin”) return to Afghanistan for “Afghanistan — Collateral Damages,” to document those working to alleviate personal suffering there.

As the “conscience of the Danish Dogma 95 movement,” Jesper Jargil in “The Purified,” takes us along for Dogma’s day of reckoning. Seems that Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen and Kristian Levring may have violated their own rules on cinematography.

The international spotlight is trained on the U.K with a 13-film slate including Clive Gordon’s “The Lost Boys,” about thousands of boys forced to flee a refugee camp in northern Kenya and their hopes for finding a better life in America.

Maverick British documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield will receive the outstanding achievement award. The fest includes a retrospective of his bleak and controversial examinations of celebrity and pop culture, including “Biggie and Tupac” (2002), “Chicken Ranch” (1984) and “Driving Me Crazy” (1988) during which Broomfield’s filmmaking style undergoes an innovative change when his budget dries up.

A new geographic focus features a country with a developing documentary industry. This year’s selection, “Made in Taiwan” includes director Zero Chou’s “Poles Extremity” about four people living on the edges of that Island, and Ting-Fu Huang’s “Nail,” tracking the criminals, elderly, prostitutes, hustlers, tourists and Buddhists at Taipei’s legendary Long-Shan Temple.

Chronicling the dying days of coal mining in Cape Breton, “Men of the Deeps” from John Walker, will kick off the Canadian Spectrum Program. It also includes John Kastner’s “Rage Against the Darkness,” about two sisters headed for a “retirement lodge,” and “Maxime, McDuff & McDo,” about two teens’ drive to unionize their McDonald’s workplace, directed by Magnus Isacsson.

The fest’s market event, Toronto Documentary Forum, will feature 36 filmmakers chosen from 120 entries from 20 countries pitching their wares before a panel that includes broadcasters from around the world.

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