France's "Babies" to open Hot Docs festival

Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:48pm EDT
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By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - "Babies," a French documentary by Thomas Balmes, will open the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on April 29, organizers said Tuesday.

The Focus Features film revolves around four babies -- in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and Tokyo -- as they take their first steps.

The Toronto festival will unspool 166 documentaries from 41 countries during its 11-day run, April 29 to May 9.

Also to be featured on opening night is the Canadian premiere of Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn's "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage," a portrait of the popular Canadian rock band Rush.

Hot Docs will also screen Steven Soderbergh's Spalding Gray documentary "And Everything is Going Fine," which bowed at Slamdance, and Alex Gibney's "Casino Jack and the United States of Money," a portrait of jailed Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Toronto also booked "12th & Delaware," Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing's report from the front line of the U.S. abortion debate, and "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," an all-access portrait of the American comedy legend by filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg ("The Devil Came on Horseback"). Also bound for Hot Docs are the Sundance award winners "Space Tourists," a look at super-rich space travelers by Swiss director Christian Frei, and Josh Fox's "Gasland," a probe into the current U.S. natural gas drilling boom.

Actor Adrian Grenier ("Entourage") will screen his "Teenage Paparazzo," a film about a 13-year-old celebrity photographer, Austin Visschedyk, that bowed at Sundance.