March 20, 2008 / 12:11 AM / 10 years ago

U.S. filmmakers claim 44 slots at Hot Docs festival

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - U.S. documentaries will dominate the awards competition at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which unveiled its official lineup Tuesday.

Hot Docs will open April 17 with U.S. director Sacha Gervasi’s “Anvil,” a portrait the legendary Canadian heavy metal band that had its bow in January at Sundance. Gervasi and his camera follow the once-famous members of the band -- now in their 50s and playing in dodgy Toronto bars -- as they embark on a European tour.

Other U.S. titles bound for Toronto include world premieres for Susan Gray’s “Killer Poet,” a portrait of an escaped convicted killer who was on the run for two decades; Koji Masutani’s “Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived”; and Gabriel Rhodes’ “Behind the Glass.”

Hot Docs -- whose 15th edition runs April 17-27 in Toronto -- also will host international premieres for “At the Death House Door,” by Steve James and Peter Gilbert; Eric Daniel Metzgar’s “Life. Support. Music”; Erik Nelson’s “Dreams With Sharp Teeth,” a portrait of writer Harlan Ellison; and “Waiting for Hockney,” in which filmmaker Julie Checkoway waits 10 years for an audience with British artist David Hockney.

The festival will feature 44 U.S. titles in a lineup of 173 films from 36 countries.

The opening Canadian film at Hot Docs will be Sturla Gunnarsson’s “Air India 182,” an investigation into the 1985 airplane bombing by Sikh terrorists that killed 329 passengers.

The National Film Board, Canada’s public film production entity, has five world bows at the festival, including Nettie Wild’s “Bevel Up,” Tracey Deer’s “Club Native” and Nik Sheehan’s “Flicker.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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