Hot Docs Honours Raymonde Provencher
(January 21, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Hot Docs has announced that it will pay tribute to award-winning Canadian filmmaker Raymonde Provencher with this year’s Focus On retrospective, an annual program showcasing the work of a significant Canadian filmmaker. Hot Docs will screen a selection of Provencher’s films in the Focus On program during the 27th annual Festival, which will run from April 30 to May 10, 2020.
“Combining a journalist’s tenacity with deep humanism, Raymonde Provencher is a formidable filmmaker and storyteller, whose genuine care for, and interest in, her subjects arises from her profound commitment to women and human rights,” said Shane Smith, director of programming for Hot Docs (pictured). “We’re so thrilled to be able to spotlight her films with our Focus On program at this year’s Festival, a body of work that spans the globe and reflects some of its rarely covered stories with deep sincerity and compassion.”
With a passion for international affairs that has spanned her decades-long career, Provencher has been celebrated for her bold and honest approach to filmmaking. As a journalist and researcher, she helped launch Télé-Québec’s Nord-Sud in 1983, which opened a new chapter in international news programming in Quebec, and for which she produced over a hundred reports from across the globe. In 1995 she co-founded the private production company Macumba International, where she worked as a producer on the award-winning films 1973: The Last Stand of Salvador Allende (aka 11 de septembre de 1973. El último combate de Salvador Allende), Images of a Dictatorship and Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez.
Committed to uncovering stories about human rights and social injustice issues throughout the world, she began to devote most of her time to scriptwriting and directing in 2000. Provencher worked on the series Extremis, where she explored child labour in the Philippines with the film Lost Childhood (2000). Her 2002 film War Babies, about children born to victims of wartime rape, won four Gémeaux Awards and the Audience Award at the Hot Docs Festival. She followed that with the docs Une nouvelle vie pour Ramon Mercedes and Blue Helmets: Peace and Dishonour, and 2008’s A Senseless Death about the Iraq war. In 2009, she co-produced with the NFB Grace, Milly, Lucy…Child Soldiers, which tackled the painful tragedy of children forcibly recruited by rebel troops in Uganda. In 2012 and 2015, she directed and produced two films, Crime Without Honour and Café Désirs, and in 2017 presented Torn Apart, a powerful film about forced marriages, which still exist in Quebec.
The films in Focus On Raymonde Provencher will be announced in March. Hot Docs has also announced that Provencher will be in attendance at this year’s Festival.
Past Focus On honourees include Julia Ivanova (2019), John Walker (2018), Maya Gallus (2017), Rosie Dransfeld (2016), Carole Laganière (2015), John Zaritsky (2014), Peter Mettler (2013), John Kastner (2012), Alan Zweig (2011), Tahani Rached (2010), Ron Mann (2009), Jennifer Baichwal (2008), Kevin McMahon (2007), Serge Giguère (2006), Larry Weinstein (2005), Nettie Wild (2004), Shelley Saywell (2003) and Zacharias Kunuk (2002).
Industry registration for Hot Docs is now open online. Hot Docs also announced that the 2020 Festival will showcase recent works from Northern Ireland in its “Made In ” program. Film titles for that program will also be announced in March. The program is presented in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen.