American documentary master Les Blank will receive Hot Docs’ Outstanding Achievement award and a retrospective of his 50-year career at the fest, it was announced Tuesday.
Best known for his BAFTA-winning 1982 feature “Burden of Dreams,” documenting the production of Werner Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo” in the South American jungle, Blank has received numerous awards in the U.S. and around the world for his work exploring the cultural nooks and crannies of American society.
“His is an incredible body of work that explores culture, music, personality and beyond with grace, humor and the highest calibre of craft, and one which has also inspired generations of filmmakers,” Hot Docs director of programming Charlotte Cook said.
Poland will be the focus of fest’s “Made In” program, with an official delegation from the country attending this year.
The fest also named boundary-pushing docu filmmaker and cinematographer Peter Mettler (“End of Time”) as the subject of its “Focus On” retro, an annual showcase spotlighting the work of a mid-career Canadian filmmaker.
The 20th Hot Docs, North America’s largest docu fest, mart and confab, will unveil its slate in March. It unspools in Toronto April 25 to May 5.