‘Murderball’ opens Hot Docs festival

Fest to run until May 1

MONTREAL — The 12th Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary fest, will kick off April 22 with the international preem of Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro’s “Murderball,” a pic about rugby played by quadriplegics in wheelchairs.

Details of the Hot Docs lineup were unveiled in Toronto Wednesday. The fest, which runs until May 1, will present 100 docs from 23 countries.

Closing pic is the world premiere of Lode Desmet’s “Heysel ’85 — Requiem for a Cup Final.” The Belgian film is about the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, in which 39 soccer fans were trampled to death in a riot at the stadium in Brussels just before a Cup Final match between Juventus and Liverpool.

The Canadian Spectrum 26-pic sidebar opens with the world premiere of Quebecois filmmaker Paul Carriere’s “The Cross and Bones,” about the small town of Drumheller, Alberta. The town is the site of the world’s richest dinosaur graveyard, an annual passion play production and a giant Harley-Davidson motorbikers’ rally.

The Intl. Showcase, which includes 31 pics, will feature the international premiere of “Abel Raises Cain,” a docu from Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett about media prankster Alan Abel, and the international preem of helmer Barbara Kopple’s “Bearing Witness,” portraits of four female war correspondents.

Section also includes Jeff Feuerzeig’s “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” about a musical genius plagued by mental illness.

Sidebar will have the Canadian premiere of vet German helmer Werner Herzog’s “Grizzly Man,” about Timothy Treadwell’s decision to live with grizzly bears, a decision that led to his gruesome death.

National Spotlight highlights 12 docs by Israeli filmmakers.

As previously announced, the outstanding achievement award will go to U.S. filmmaker Errol Morris.

On April 30, fest will host an on-stage interview with Morris led by Canuck film critic Gerald Peary, and fest will present a retrospective of Morris’ work.

Canadian helmer Larry Weinstein will be the subject of the Focus On program. Fest will screen six of his pics.

Hot Docs also introduces a new section, Show Me Yours: Sex & Documentary.

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