Honigmann tapped for Hot Docs honor


TORONTO -- The Hot Docs documentary festival on Thursday said it will give Dutch filmmaker Heddy Honigmann, best known for her portraits of displaced people worldwide, an outstanding achievement award at its upcoming event.

North America's largest documentary festival also said it will stage a retrospective of documentaries by Canadian filmmaker Kevin McMahon, while giving Toronto-based documentary programmer Rudy Buttignol an outstanding industry achievement award.

Hot Docs programming director Sean Farnel cited Honigmann's ability to draw "moments of profound emotional honesty" from people as diverse as cab drivers in Peru and Iranian ex-patriates in Paris in explaining his choice for this year's outstanding achievement award.

Honigmann will attend Hot Docs in Toronto to receive the tribute on April 27. The festival also will present a retrospective of her work, including the 2001 "Good Husband, Dear Son," a portrait of women in post-war Sarajevo who lost their sons or husbands, and "Metal and Melancholy," a 1993 film about cowboy taxi drivers in Peru.

Hot Docs also has programmed Honigmann's latest documentary, "Forever," which is set in Paris' famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

Past recipients of the Hot Docs outstanding achievement award include Errol Morris, D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Albert Maysles and Werner Herzog.

In addition, Hot Docs will present "Focus on Kevin McMahon," a retrospective of documentaries from the co-founder of Primitive Entertainment.

McMahon's credits include the 1991 film "The Falls," a portrait of Niagara Falls; "Intelligence" (1998); and "Truth Merchants" (1998) a critique of public relations in the media.

Other filmmakers to receive 'Focus On ..." retrospectives at Hot Docs include Serge Giguere, Larry Weinstein, Nettie Wild, Shelley Saywell and Zacharias Kunuk.

Hot Docs also said that Rudy Buttingnol, most recently creative head of network programming at TVOntario for six years to 2006, will receive the first annual outstanding industry achievement award.

The 14th annual Hot Docs festival runs April 19-29.