Tig Notaro Doc to Open 2015 Hot Docs Festival

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Tig Notaro

The Los Angeles comic's unlikely survival story after battling cancer and losing her mother in one year will open North America's largest documentary festival.

The documentary Tig, about Los Angeles comic and cancer survivor Tig Notaro, will open the 2015 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on April 23, it was announced Tuesday.

Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York's film, which debuted in competition at Sundance, will have its international premiere in Toronto, with Notaro attending. The comedian-actress gained national attention in 2012, when she underwent a double mastectomy and faced the death of her mother, only to channel her pain into a nationwide stand-up comedy tour.

Hot Docs executive director Brett Hendrie told The Hollywood Reporter that Tig would be an inspiring opening night documentary. "It's a film about, when life gets in the way of the creative process, how you can persevere and carry on," he said.

Hot Docs is also bringing Napoleon Dynamite producer Jeremy Coon and Timothy Skousen's Raiders!, about two Mississippi friends who painstakingly remade Raiders of the Lost Ark, to Toronto after its SXSW bow. North America's largest doc festival also booked for its Show Me The Funny program Committed, a film about writer-performer Vic Cohen by directors Howie MandelReed Grinsell and Steve Sunshine, and Bao Nguyen's Live From New York!, a look at 40 years of Saturday Night Live, to open the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on April 15.

There's also a world premiere for Michele Hozer's Sugar-Coated, an investigation into the U.S. sugar industry and its PR tactics to hijack science and bury the toxic harm of sugar, much as the tobacco industry did a generation earlier to deflect critics.

The Canadian doc follows Denver dentist Cristin Kearns as she uncovers secret documents about a PR campaign by the sugar industry during the 1960s to co-opt science and discredit critics. "I knew there was a larger story to be told than just the science behind sugar," Hozer told THR.

Also headed to Toronto is ex-Fugee Pras Michel for an informal conversation about Ben Patterson's Haitian politics doc Sweet Micky For President, which is having its international premiere at Hot Docs after debuting at Slamdance. Hot Docs will also present in its Special Presentations sidebar Andreas Koefoed's arms-dealing doc The Arms Drop and Matthias Bittner's War of Lies, both of which debuted at IDFA in Amsterdam.

And competing in the International Spectrum sidebar is the Swedish doc Blood Sisters by director Malin Andersson, British director Karen Guthrie's The Closer We Get, and Ross Sutherland's Stand By For Tape Back-Up, a film about memory and loss.

There's also an international premiere for 3 Still Standing, Robert Campos and Donna LoCicero's film about three comics — Will Durst, Larry 'Bubbles' Brown and Johnny Steele — who worked alongside the late Robin Williams, Dana Carvey and other emerging comedy talent in tiny San Francisco comedy clubs during the 1980s.

The U.S. doc debuted at the Mill Valley Film Festival. The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is set to run from April 23 to May 3, 2015, in Toronto.

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