Hot Docs 2014 selects five Australian documentaries
Four Australian documentaries have been selected to screen at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and one documentary has been selected to take part in the Hot Docs Forum.
Clare Young’s From the Bottom of the Lake will have its North American premiere at the festival, screening in the Next program. The documentary is an intimate portrait of writer/director Jane Campion and follows her filmmaking process for her six-part crime mystery series, Top of the Lake.
Screening in the Mystery, Myth and Legend program, The Darkside was conceived and directed by filmmaker Warwick Thornton. The film is a collection of poignant, sad, funny and absurd true ghost tales from across Australia, brought to life by some of Australia's most iconic actors as the storytellers.
Kitty Green’s Ukraine Is Not a Brothel will screen in the Special Presentations program. This powerful and controversial documentary, which premiered at Venice Film Festival earlier this year, offers a fascinating look into the lives of Ukraine’s topless feminist sensation Femen, a movement against patriarchy that has taken the European media by storm.
Short documentary Ghost Train, by James Fleming and Kelly Hucker, will screen in the Love, Factually program. It is about an elderly man whose wife’s decline into dementia leaves him feeling lonely, until he chances upon a cabaret restaurant and becomes captivated by the lead actress.
In addition to the four Australian documentaries selected to screen at the Hot Docs Festival, Juliet Lamont has been invited to pitch her documentary, A Cold War, in the Hot Docs Forum. The film explores the corrupt tactics at play as Russian energy giants Gazprom take on Greenpeace in one of the most gripping environmental battles of the 21st century.
Held 24 April – 4 May 2014, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is known as North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market. Hot Docs Forum is regarded as an effective pitching event designed to stimulate international co-production financing for projects at various stages of completion.
FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE
Clare Young Films
Director/Producer/Writer Clare Young
Producer Sasha Burrows
International Sales BBC Worldwide Limited
Synopsis An intimate portrait of writer/director Jane Campion and her collaborators at work; a personal and insightful exploration of how, often against all odds, the creative spirit can sing. This documentary follows Jane’s process through the writing, rehearsals, shooting and screening of a six-part crime mystery series. Top of the Lake is the case in question, but the themes at the heart of its story are common to filmmaking anywhere in the world, or perhaps the artistic process, anywhere, anytime.
Scarlett Pictures Pty Ltd
Director Warwick Thornton
Producer Kath Shelper
International Sales Artscope (Memento Films)
Synopsis Caméra d'Or-winning director Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah) assembles a collection of poignant, sad, funny and absurd true ghost tales from across Australia and brings them to life with some of Australia's most iconic actors (Deborah Mailman, Bryan Brown, Claudia Karvan, Aaron Pedersen, Sacha Horler and Shari Sebbens) as the storytellers. Honest, matter-of-fact firsthand accounts illuminate a black perspective on the other side.
UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL
Noise & Light
Director Kitty Green
Producers Kitty Green, Jonathan auf der Heide, Michael Latham
International Sales Cinephil
Synopsis Ukraine’s topless feminist sensation Femen have stirred up a press frenzy across Europe. Outraged by the world's image of Ukrainian women as either brides for sale or commodities of sex tourism, Femen bare their breasts in protest in order to disrupt this perception and agitate these patriarchal forces. Now, for the first time, Ukraine Is Not a Brothel offers an intimate glimpse inside the world's most provocative feminist organisation. A movement that began in the snow-filled streets of a corrupt, post-Soviet Ukraine, Femen’s naked war against patriarchy is gaining momentum across Europe. But before they take the world by storm, these bold and beautiful women must first confront the perverse and contradictory forces that power their own 'titillating' feminist organisation.
Directors/ Producers James Fleming, Kelly Hucker
International Sales Premium Films
Synopsis An elderly man struggling to cope with his wife’s dementia is drawn into a macabre cabaret restaurant where he becomes enchanted by the lead actress. Ghost Train is a documentary about the many forms of love and finding life in unexpected places.
A COLD WAR
Sling & Arrow, JOTZ Productions
Director/Producer Juliet Lamont
Producer Julia Overton
Synopsis A Cold War explores the dirty tactics at play as Russian energy giants Gazprom take on Greenpeace in one of the most gripping environmental battles of the 21st century.