‘Power’ rules Hot Docs

Devlin pic, 'Denial' win at Canuck fest

This article was updated on May 6, 2003.

TORONTO — Paul Devlin took the top prize for “Power Trip,” about a U.S. power company trying to keep the lights on in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, as Hot Docs Canadian Intl. Documentary Festival wrapped up its 10th anniversary Sunday.

“State of Denial,” Elaine Epstein’s look at South Africans living with the AIDS epidemic, won a special jury prize, and “Hidden,” from Swedish directors Hanna Heilborn and Mats Johansson, about a 12-year-old illegal immigrant, won the short- to mid-length category.

Honorable mention went to “And Along Came a Spider,” from Iranian director Maziar Bahari about the serial murder of 16 prostitutes in Iran.

“Rage Against the Darkness,” John Kastner’s portrait of two sisters dealing with aging, took the award for feature-length Canadian documentary, and a special jury prize went to Joseph Blasioli’s “The Last Round,” the festival’s closing night pic, about the 1966 fight between Toronto’s George Chuvalo and the legendary Mohammad Ali.

“The Moon and the Violin,” from Carole Laganiere, won the short-to-midlength Canadian doc category, and honorable mention went to John Walker for “Men of the Deeps.”

Director kudos went to Montreal’s Eve Lamont for “Squat!” about a “legal” squat in Montreal in 2001. Pic also took the humanitarian award.

Dutch helmer Johan Kramer took the statue for first doc for “The Other Final,” and Korbett Matthews took the director’s nod in the short- to mid-length category for “Devouring Buddha.”

Raymonde Provencher’s harrowing tale “War Babies,” about the children conceived of rape in wartime, was the audience’s pick as the top film at the festival. Second prize went to “The Moon and the Violin,” from

Carole Laganiere, about the colorful residents at a retirement community for artists in Montreal, and “Men of the Deeps,” about a choir of coal miners in Canada’s East Coast, took third.

Admissions for North America’s largest documentary festival was up 30% from last year with 30,000 people attending, despite the Toronto-area outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

A World Health Organization warned against traveling to Toronto just two days before the fest kicked off, and most of the international delegates canceled. The travel advisory was lifted a week later.

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