Toronto, ON [September 20, 2015] — HURT, the documentary directed by Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny (Best Canadian Feature, TIFF 2013), A Hard Name, 15 Reasons to Live), has won the Platform Prize after having its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. HURT is the only Canadian film, and the only documentary, to screen as part of the new Platform programme which is comprised of up to 12 films of high artistic merit that demonstrate a strong directorial vision by significant international filmmakers.
“We are thrilled and humbled that our ambitious little film about the extraordinary life of Steve Fonyo stood out in the minds of a prestigious international jury and, at the same time, won over the hearts of his nation again,” noted Producer Peter Gentile.
Director Alan Zweig said, “While we were making HURT, I had the feeling that everything was unfolding as it was supposed to, and that was a good feeling. But this prize, particularly from this jury, is something I never let myself imagine. It was an honor to present our film to its first audience at TIFF and a thrill to be included in the inaugural Platform program. I would say that this prize is too much, but I fear they’d take it away.”
HURT was produced by Peter Gentile (Clubland, Nureyev, Shadow Pleasures), edited by Robert Swartz (When Dreams Take Flight, The Young Romantic), with music composed by Ohad Benchedtrit (Semisweet: Life in Chocolate, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and Justin Small (Semisweet: Life in Chocolate).
HURT is a portrait of Steve Fonyo who in 1985, at 19 years of age, completed his run across Canada, after having lost his left leg to cancer. At first denounced as a Terry Fox copycat and unable to generate many donations, it was an uphill battle until Steve ran past the spot where Terry Fox had been forced to stop. Suddenly, publicity picked up, donations poured in and by the time he reached the Pacific Ocean, he had raised $13 million for cancer research and was named to the Order of Canada. The next 30 years were straight downhill: petty theft, larceny, and drug addiction until the Order of Canada was rescinded in 2010. Steve Fonyo today is a mass of contradictions. Spend a year in the world of this one-time hero and see how the run has nothing to do with his life and everything to do with it.
Cinematography by Jonathon Cliff (Redacted, Small Town Gay Bar), Emmy Award-winner Ian Kerr (National Geographic Explorer, The Good Son: The Life of Ray Boom Boom Mancini) and Chris Romeike (The Team, Souvenir of Canada)
About MDF Productions:
MDF Productions is an award-winning Toronto production company. It has produced documentary one-offs to television series for CBC, MTV, History Television, Global and that have also played at Hot Docs. It’s dramas for Bravo! and Super Channel have also played at Toronto, Montreal, Havana and ReelWorld film festivals. Its performing arts programs have won many awards and have been released theatrically in Canada and Cuba. From short films to television series the company has produced projects that have been viewed by millions around the world.
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