Toronto Film Festival documentary lineup includes Herzog, Spurlock

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The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has filled its documentary lineup with a heady mix of movies from today’s best-known documentarians, including Morgan Spurlock, Jonathan Demme, Werner Herzog and Alex Gibney, among others, organizers announced Wednesday.

The subjects are just as varied as the filmmakers. Spurlock (‘Super Size Me’) will present his take on the annual geek fest in San Diego in ‘Comic-Con: Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.’


Demme, who has made documentaries on Neil Young and Jimmy Carter, among other subjects, is on tap to deliver his tale of Hurricane Katrina from one woman’s eyes in ‘I’m Carolyn Parker: the Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful.’

Werner Herzog, who surprised audiences with his 2005 tale of grizzly bear devotee Timothy Treadwell and struck box office gold this year with his 3-D ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams,’ is back with an examination of a triple homicide case in Texas.

Gibney, who won an Oscar for his 2008 documentary on U.S. torture practices in ‘Taxi to the Dark Side,’ takes on an extremely different subject matter in ‘The Last Gladiators’: professional hockey players. And for those unsatisfied with Stephen Bannon’s recent flattering Sarah Palin film, “The Undefeated,’ there’s ‘Sarah Palin -- You Betcha’ from Nick Broomfield (‘Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer’).

Thom Powers, lead programmer for documentaries at the festival, said: ‘I’m thrilled at the large number of veteran filmmakers who have brought us new works this year. The lineup contains a wide range of memorable characters -- crusaders, convicts, artists, athletes, nude dancers, comic book fans, dog lovers and more.’

The festival is also presenting the world premiere of Mark Cousins’ 15-hour documentary, ‘The Story of Film: An Odyssey’ that tells the story of innovation in movies. The lengthy work traces 11 decades of cinema, features 1,000 movies and dozens of interviews with filmmakers such as Stanley Donen (‘Singin’ in the Rain’) and Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 8-18.


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-- Nicole Sperling