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Canuck hot docs picked

'Chiapas,' 'Hitman' share kudos

TORONTO — Nettie Wild’s “A Place Called Chiapas” and Paul Jay’s “Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows” shared top kudos at the sixth annual Hot Docs: Toronto Intl. Documentary Festival awards, presented Sunday.

Each took three prizes at this year’s competition, which included a shared award for best feature. “Hitman Hart,” the riveting tale of the double cross of professional wrestler Bret “the Hitman” Hart, also received the award for best independent Canadian film of the festival and the film’s editor, Manfred Becker, shared the best editing award with John Weedmark, who cut Chris Mullington’s visually inventive spiritual contemplation “Beyond Belief.”

Wild received the award for best direction for “A Place Called Chiapas,” about the underbelly of the Zapatista uprising, and the film’s soundman, Velcrow Ripper, took the award for best overall sound.

“The Road From Kampuchea,” directed by Anne Henderson, received the best political doc prize and the Vision TV humanitarian award.

“The Last Stand of Salvador Allende,” directed by Patricio Henriques, took best history award and received an honorable mention for best independent Canadian film of the festival.

Academy Award nominee “Sunrise Over Tianamen Square,” directed by Shui-Bo Wang, took home the best short award.

The one international award, the critics’ prize for international documentary, went to Mosco Boucoult’s tale of a police investigation in the Ivory Coast, a French production entitled “Un Crime a Abidjan.”

This year’s Hot Docs festival, which ran May 5-9, featured 80 films from Canada and around the world. There were close to 1,000 registrants, and fest CEO Chris McDonald reported that more than three times as many moviegoers came out for public screenings as last year.