'Hoop Dreams' Director Steve James to Get Career Tribute at Hot Docs Festival

Steve James

North America's largest doc festival will also honor the American filmmaker with a movie retrospective.

Steve James, whose Roger Ebert appreciation film Life Itself was snubbed 20 years after his movie Hoop Dreams was also left off the Oscar documentary shortlist, is to be feted at the upcoming Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, set to run April 28-May 8.

James has been tapped to receive North America's largest doc festival's outstanding achievement award and a film retrospective at the Toronto event.

"Over a career spanning three decades, his body of exceptional work has demonstrated his commitment to illuminating stories of grit, honor and personal sacrifice and solidified his status as a master of the documentary form," Hot Docs director of programming Shane Smith said Tuesday in a statement.

Hoop Dreams, a film about the lives of two inner-city basketball players which was glaringly shut out of the Oscar doc race in 1994, is widely credited with raising the profile of documentaries at the Academy Awards. James' other films produced by Kartemquin Films includes Stevie (2002), The New Americans (2004) and The Interrupters (2011).

Previous winners of Hot Docs' outstanding achievement awards include Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Nick Broomfield, Frederick Wiseman, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus and Albert Maysles.