Toronto-based festival also refreshes programming teams

HotDocs has announced two programmes – Made In Italy and a retrospective program called Ripping Reality – The B-Sides – as well as its 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, Canadian director and cinematographer Terence Macartney-Filgate (pictured).

Both programs will feature a selection of titles to be screened during HotDocs’ 18th edition which runs April 28 to May 8 in Toronto.

The festival announcement bills Ripping Reality as “some of the past decade’s most overlooked and underappreciated documentaries,” including titles picked by “international festival programmers” of “films they didn’t program but wished they had.”

“In many cases we expect that these films will have been the most quietly influential and revered works of the documentary new wave,” says director of programming Sean Farnel.

Specific titles will be announced in late March.

This year, HotDocs Made In programme spotlights films from Italy. “After being somewhat moribund over the past decade, there are signs of an emerging renaissance within Italian documentary culture,” Farnel said in the release.

Meanwhile, Hot Docs Board of Directors chose Macartney-Filgate as the recipient of its 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award; a retrospective will screen during the festival, which will also pay tribute to local Toronto filmmaker Alan Zweig, honouree of this year’s Focus On retrospective.

“For over ten years, our annual retrospective programs have been two of Hot Docs’ most anticipated events,” said festival executive director Chris McDonald in a separate release.

Born in the UK and raised in India until he was nine, Macartney-Filgate is celebrated as an influential figure in the growth of new forms of documentary in Canada. Based in New York City for most of the 1960s, he is perhaps best known for his film which won a Peabody Award in 1964: Changing World: South African Odyssey. Today he lives in Toronto where he continues to freelance.

Zweig‘s credits include Vinyl, his first documentary, which developed a cult following; Curmudgeon, which cleverly examines the risks of being a naysayer in a society continually pitching the positive; and Lovable, which explores yearnings for the romantic myths of our culture.   

The festival also announced several new roles and appointments amongst its programming team.

“Over the past five years we’ve endeavoured to construct a programming culture that develops and retains curatorial talent, while refreshing with new perspectives and sensibilities whenever possible,” says director of programming Sean Farnel. “Our 2011 programming team represents the culmination of these efforts.”

Led by director of programming Sean Farnel, the 2011 programming team includes Gisèle Gordon, who moves from her previous role as Canadian programmer to international programmer. Joining Gordon as international programmers are Lynne Crocker and Heather Haynes, both of whom previously held the role of associate programmer for Hot Docs. These three join established programmers Angie Driscoll and Myrocia Watamaniuk, as well as programming manager Karina Rotenstein, as the international programming team for this year’s Festival.

Long-time Hot Docs programmer Lynne Fernie resumes her role as senior Canadian programmer, and is joined by former associate programmer Alex Rogalski, now a Canadian programmer. Michelle Latimer resumes her 2009 position of associate Canadian programmer.

Newly appointed as associate programmers are Juan Baquero, Samara Grace Chadwick, Eli Horwatt, and Merrie Whitmore, who join returning associate programmer Sarafina DiFelice. 

Farnel and DiFelice will program this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective, while Driscoll with program Focus On Alan Zweig. Farnel and Watamaniuk will program Made In Italy.