Shawney Cohen's 'The Manor' to Open Hot Docs Canadian Film Fest

The dysfunctional family film about a strip club run by the filmmaker’s 400-pound father and his 84-pound anorexic mother will receive a world bow.

TORONTO – A Canadian documentary about a strip club run by the filmmaker’s 400-pound father and his 84-pound anorexic mother who cooks all day is to open the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

First-time director Shawney Cohen’s The Manor, a dysfunctional family film pitched at the IDFA Forum, will receive a world premiere to launch the 20th edition on April 25 in Toronto.

Hot Docs programmers, revealing their upcoming documentary lineup in Toronto, also booked into the festival's Canadian Spectrum program Michelle Latimer’s Alias, about Toronto’s street hip-hop scene, John Kastner’s NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, which weighs the rights of the mentally ill and the safety of others, and Charles Wilkinson’s Oil Sands Karaoke.

Other Canadian titles bound for Hot Docs include Hans Olson’s The Auctioneer, Anne Wheeler’s Chi, Liz Marshall’s The Ghosts in Our Machine and Nimisha Mukerji’s Blood Relative, about a man’s fight to secure life-saving medical treatment for young people in India.

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The International Spectrum program will feature Lotfy Nathan’s 12 O’Clock Boys, Matt Wolf’s Teenage, Inigo Westmeier’s Dragon Girls, set in a kung fu school outside Beijing, and Jessica Oreck’s Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys, about reindeer herders in Lapland.

Also booked into the competitive sidebar is Jon Bang Carlsen’s Just the Right Amount of Violence, Chinese director Zhu Yu’s Cloudy Mountains, a film about miners that screened in Shanghai and Leipzig, and Ran Tal’s Garden of Eden, about vacationers in an Israeli national park.

Elsewhere, the World Showcase program has booked Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina’s The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, about an 81- year-old jewel thief, Laura Checkoway’s Lucky, Nebojsa Slijepcevic’s Gangster of Love, and Rena Mundo Croshere and Nadine Mundo’s American Commune.

The Canadian documentary festival also plans a Focus On program to showcase the works of Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler and a retrospective program to honor filmmaker Les Blank.

The 2013 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is set to run from April 25 to May 5.