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Three Irish Documentaries to Screen at Hot Docs Film Festival 2019 in Toronto
21 Mar 2019 : News Desk
Hot Docs Film Festival
‘Shooting the Mafia’ directed by Kim Longinotto, will screen in the Artscapes strand of the festival, Garry Keane & Andrew McConnell’s ‘Gaza’ will feature in the Special Presentations strand, whilst ‘Bojayá: Caught in the Crossfire’ will have its world premiere in the World Showcase strand.

‘Bojayá: Caught in the Crossfire’ looks at the events of the 2002 Bojayá massacre, where 79 people were killed when The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC) bombed a church. The documentary follows the account of Leyner Palacios, a survivor who lost 32 members of his family during the massacre. Leyner co-founded the Committee for the Rights of Victims of Bojayá, which represents 11,000 victims of the Colombian conflict. 

As a result of his fight for social justice, Leyner was asked to represent Bojayá massacre victims during peace negotiations between guerilla forces and the government. For his role in the process, he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. However, in the wake of FARC’s demobilisation, other armed groups seek to fill the power vacuum and political pressure through presidential elections, putting Leyner’s work and life at risk. The powerful documentary is produced by Loretta van der Horst for Fine Point Films, with financing from Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, and Kew Media.

‘GAZA’ is a unique film project from directing duo Garry Keane (‘The Deafening’, ‘The Writing in the Sky’) and award-winning conflict photographer Andrew McConnell. Donegal-based Real Films produce with Belfast filmmakers Brendan Byrne and Trevor Birney co-producers on the film on behalf of Fine Point Film. The feature documentary is filmed from beyond the reach of television news reports to reveal a world rich with eloquent and resilient people who live their lives in perennial conflict. It offers a cinematic and enriching portrait of people attempting to lead meaningful lives in the most horrific circumstances. An Irish-Canadian co-production, ‘Gaza’ is supported by Screen Ireland, with additional support from Northern Ireland Screen.

Kim Longinotto’s feature documentary ‘Shooting the Mafia’, unflinchingly explores the stark reality of life, and death, under the oppressive Sicilian Mafia. The documentary is told from the perspective of Letizia Battaglia, an Italian photographer who dedicated her life to documenting the life and crimes of the Mafia. The Mafia’s far-extending reach is portrayed through a combination of rare archive footage, newsreel and personal photographs and memories. Produced by Niamh Fagan for Lunar Pictures, the film is financed by Screen Ireland, Impact Partners, The Artemis Rising Foundation, and Screenscene Post Production.

The 26th edition of Hot Docs Film Festival will run from April 25th to May 5th, 2019.

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