Canadian Filmmaker Terence Macartney-Filgate: Recipient of Hot Docs’ 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award

Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award
Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award




Toronto, January 18, 2011 – The Hot Docs Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has chosen distinguished Canadian filmmaker Terence Macartney-Filgate as the recipient of its 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award. As part of the honour, Hot Docs will screen a retrospective during the 18th annual Festival, April 28-May 8, celebrating Macartney-Filgate’s remarkable career as a director and cinematographer. Hot Docs is also pleased to pay tribute to local Toronto filmmaker Alan Zweig, honouree of this year’s Focus On retrospective.

“For over ten years, our annual retrospective programs have been two of Hot Docs’ most anticipated events,” says executive director Chris McDonald. “The honorees, selected by our Board of Directors, provide new and returning audience members with a better appreciation of the great and soon-to-be great filmmakers working in our midst.”

Born in the United Kingdom and raised in India until he was nine-years-old, Macartney-Filgate is celebrated as an influential figure in the growth of new forms of documentary in Canada. A WWII veteran and Oxford University graduate, Macartney-Filgate was a long-time admirer of the National Film Board of Canada. Hired as an NFB scriptwriting assistant in 1954, he directed his first film in 1956, and worked extensively as a producer and cinematographer on the groundbreaking Candid Eye series. Responsible for seven of the thirteen films, he helped refine the free-form, unscripted, observational approach and is considered perhaps the most important single influence on the direct cinema style of the series. In 1960 Macartney-Filgate joined Bob Drew’s assemblage of documentarians Drew Associates, which included previous Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award honourees Richard Leacock, Albert Maysles, and D.A. Pennebaker, and worked uncredited as a principal camera operator on the influential direct cinema documentary PRIMARY, which follows a young John F. Kennedy and his opponent Hubert Humphrey as they campaign to win the Wisconsin Democratic nomination. Brought in to replace director Shirley Clarke for a project on poet Robert Frost, Macartney-Filgate completed ROBERT FROST: A LOVER’S QUARREL WITH THE WORLD only to see Clarke credited as the sole director of the film, which would go on to win an Academy Award. Based in New York City for most of the 1960s, he won a Peabody Award in 1964 for his documentary CHANGING WORLD: SOUTH AFRICAN ESSAY, then joined the CBC where he would make a number of influential and celebrated films, including 1992’s Gemini Award-winning TIMOTHY FINDLEY: ANATOMY OF A WRITER. Terence Macartney-Filgate lives in Toronto where he continues to work freelance.

“Probably because he’s always been difficult to categorize, as well as self-effacing, Terence has typically been on the margins when it comes to recognizing the core filmmakers of the Direct Cinema movement,” says Hot Docs director of programming Sean Farnel. “‘Oh, I’ve been a bottom feeder,’ he told me when informed of the award. I’m certain his many collaborators and champions see it differently.”

Hot Docs is pleased to announce that Macartney-Filgate will be in attendance at this year’s Festival. Curated by Sean Farnel and Sarafina DiFelice, the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective films will be announced in March.

The Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award is presented annually by the Hot Docs Board of Directors in recognition of a filmmaker’s enduring contribution to the documentary form. Past recipients and Hot Docs guests include Kim Longinotto (2010), Alanis Obomsawin (2009), Richard Leacock (2008), Heddy Honigmann (2007), Werner Herzog (2006), Errol Morris (2005), Michael Maclear (2004), Nick Broomfield (2003), Frederick Wiseman (2002), D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (2000) and Albert Maysles (1999).

Hot Docs will pay tribute to Alan Zweig with this year’s Focus On retrospective, an annual program showcasing the work of a mid-career Canadian filmmaker.

“Alan has a very unique voice, literally and metaphorically,” says Farnel. “Like most interesting artists, he has created his own genre, and while his films have been very popular at Hot Docs, in some way I also think he’s been underrated. Until now.”

Alan Zweig spent 20 years in the film business as a driver captain, screenwriter, teacher, short film director and occasional actor, managing in this time to direct one feature drama. In 2000 he completed VINYL, his first documentary, which premiered at Hot Docs and went on to develop a cult following. He made two more documentaries in a similar style, both of which also premiered at Hot Docs – 2004’s I, CURMUDGEON, which cleverly examines the risks of being a naysayer in a society continually pitching the positive, and 2007’s LOVABLE, which explores yearnings for the romantic myths of our culture. Having completed these films, sometimes referred to as his “mirror trilogy,” Alan moved on to less personal territory with A HARD NAME, which premiered at Hot Docs in 2009 and went on to win the Genie for best feature-length documentary. Alan lives in Toronto with his wife Julie and baby daughter Keely.

Hot Docs is pleased to announce that Alan Zweig will be in attendance at this year’s Festival. Curated by Hot Docs programmer Angie Driscoll, the titles in Focus On Alan Zweig will be announced in March.

Past Focus On honorees include 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).

These names join that of founder and director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Ally Derks, previously announced as this year’s Doc Mogul Award recipient, as individuals being honoured as part of Hot Docs 2011.

Hot Docs is proud to include Rogers, Telefilm Canada and documentary as its Presenting Partners.