HURT, the documentary film written and directed by Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny — Best Canadian Feature, TIFF 2013, A Hard Name, 15 Reasons to Live), will have its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
A documentary portrait of Steve Fonyo, the one-legged cancer survivor who successfully completed a cross-Canada run in the ’80s only to spend the next three decades mired in crime and addiction, HURT is executive produced by Peter Gentile of MDF Productions.
It is the only Canadian film, and the only documentary, to screen as part of TIFF’s new Platform section, a juried program designed to trumpet auteur-driven films.
At first denounced as a Terry Fox copycat and unable to generate many donations, the “Journey For Lives” run was an uphill battle until Steve ran past the spot where Terry Fox had been forced to stop. Suddenly, publicity picked up, donations poured in and by the time he reached the Pacific Ocean, Steve had raised $13 million for cancer research and was named to the Order of Canada. The next 30 years were straight downhill: petty theft, larceny, and drug addiction until the Order of Canada was rescinded in 2010. Steve Fonyo today is a mass of contradictions. The film spends a year in the world of this one-time hero and documents how the run has nothing — and everything — to do with his life.
I will be leading the interactive team for the film and developing the digital media component — a website, organized around an interactive timeline that documents the “Journey For Lives” run. The website will also include photo galleries and video as well as a wealth of archival materials never made public. Expected launch date for the website is September 8, 2015 in advance of the TIFF 2015 screening. HURT is scheduled to air on SuperChannel in early 2016.