‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’ to open Hot Docs

Fest to screen 189 features, shorts

TORONTO — Toronto’s 19th Hot Docs fest will open April 26 with “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” Alison Klayman’s Sundance-preeming portrait of China’s renowned artist-activist.

North America’s largest documentary fest, mart and confab announced its slate Tuesday morning, with 189 features and shorts from 52 countries set to screen across 11 programs in 11 days.

“Weiwei” screens in Special Presentations, which includes the international preems of Stacy Peralta’s “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography,” Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing’s “Detropia,” Kirby Dick’s “The Invisible War,” Scott Thurman’s “The Revisionaries” and Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer’s “Sexy Baby.”

International Spectrum, a competition program, will see world preems of Freida Mock’s “G-Dog,” exploring the work of a gang reformer, and Miri and Erez Laufer’s “One Day After Peace,” about an Israeli woman seeking out the Palestinian man who shot her son.

The Canadian Spectrum competition includes world preems of Christy Garland’s “The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song,” a Guyana-set family heart-tugger; Najeeb Mirza’s “Buzkashi!,” about competitive horsemen in Tajikistan; Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math’s “The Final Member,” about an unusual museum in Iceland; Corey Lee’s “Legend of a Warrior,” a father-son story set in a martial arts training gym, and Rosie Dransfeld’s “Who Cares?,” which centers on Edmonton sex-trade workers.

World Showcase includes world preems of Penny Vozniak’s “Despite the Gods,” Tiffany Sudela-Junker’s “My Name Is Faith,” Sven Zellner and Chingunjav Borkhuu’s “Price of Gold” and Jean-Philippe Tremblay’s “Shadows of Liberty.”

Made in Southwestern Europe includes the world preem of Lena Muller and Dragan von Petrovic’s “Dragan Wende-West Berlin,” while the Next program of arts docus offers the world preem of Shogo Watanabe’s “Aida: A Natural-Born Artist” and Jacqui Morris’ “McCullin.”

Amie Williams’ “We Are Wisconsin” will world preem in Rise Against, which showcases activist pics.

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