Toronto, ON [April 10, 2017] — Peter Gentile, President of MDF Productions, is pleased to announce that HOPE, the documentary sequel to the award-winning film HURT, directed by Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny, Best Canadian Feature, TIFF 2013; A Hard Name, Vinyl), will have its World Premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs: Canadian International Documentary Festival in the Spectrum programme.
HOPE was produced by Peter Gentile (HURT, Clubland, Nureyev, Shadow Pleasures), with cinematography by John Price (The Ghosts in Our Machine, Engraved on a Nation, Sounding Lines are Obsolete), editing by Robert Swartz (When Dreams Take Flight, The Young Romantic), and with music composed by Ohad Benchedtrit (HURT, Semisweet: Life in Chocolate, Scott Pilgrim vs The World) and Justin Small (HURT, Semisweet: Life in Chocolate).
In 1985, Steve Fonyo, 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, Steve ran past the spot where Terry Fox had been forced to stop. It was at this point when publicity picked up, donations poured in and by the time he reached the Pacific Ocean, $13 million for cancer research had been raised, and he was the youngest person ever named to the Order of Canada. The next 30 years were straight downhill: petty theft, larceny, drug addiction and the rescindment of the Order of Canada in 2010. The documentary HURT ended on the day of a violent home invasion, which left Steve brain-damaged, in a medically-induced coma for 17 days and hospitalized for 76 days. Once out of the hospital, Steve still had to contend with the life he had made for himself on the streets of Surrey, B.C., including lingering drug problems, financial difficulties and girlfriend Lisa Marie. HOPE follows Steve from December 2015 to December 2017 as he leaves Surrey, and enters rehab in Powell River, B.C.
Director Alan Zweig said, “Thirty years ago, Steve Fonyo finished his legendary run across Canada. He had inspired the nation, filling their hearts with hope. But as it turned out, his own heart was filled with hurt. We made a film about the hurt. For the sequel, we thought we’d concentrate on the hope.”
“On the last day of filming HURT, when Steve had been hospitalized after the home invasion, I knew we had to go back to this story. I couldn’t just walk away and leave him that way. We are very proud to premiere our documentary HOPE at the HotDocs Film Festival, the world leader to an art form that is arguably a Canadian creation much like Steve Fonyo,” noted producer Peter Gentile.
HOPE is produced with the participation of Super Channel, the Ontario Media Development Fund, Canada Media Fund and Hollywood Suite.
About MDF Productions:
MDF Productions is an award-winning Toronto-based production company. It has produced documentary features to television series for CBC, MTV, History Television and Global Television. 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 internationally. The company continues to pursue stories that bring us closer together by furthering our understanding of each other.
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For more information, contact:
Cynthia Amsden, Roundstone PR