Within every hero lives a tragedy.

Toronto, ON [August 13, 2015]Peter Gentile, President of MDF Productions, is please to announce that HURT, the documentary written and directed by Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny — Best Canadian Feature, TIFF 2013, A Hard Name, 15 Reasons to Live), will have 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.

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 The next 30 years were straight downhill: petty theft, larceny, and drug addiction until the Order of Canada was rescinded in 2010.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.

Writer/director Alan Zweig said, “When I googled the Platform programme and read the language used to describe the films, I was flattered, embarrassed, excited and more than a little scared.”

“The fact that we are the only Canadian film, and a documentary at that, against an international field of dramas makes me feel proud and humble that our story, talent and doc tradition have opened another world stage”, noted producer Peter Gentile.

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 and Global TV that have also played at Hot Docs. Its 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.


HURT is a documentary portrait of Steve Fonyo, a one-legged cancer survivor who successfully completed a cross-Canada run in the 1980's, only to spend three decades mired in crime and addiction.

Produced with the participation of

Canadian Media Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation, Super Channel and iChannel.

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