Films about Big Bird, The Iron Sheik, bound for Hot Docs
The Iron Sheik arrives at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday July 15, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:28PM EST
TORONTO -- Documentaries about Big Bird, wrestling hero The Iron Sheik and gay and lesbian youth in Russia are among the features headed to this year's Hot Docs film festival.
Hot Docs organizers have announced 14 titles selected for its special presentations slate, which features world and international premieres, recent award-winners and works by master filmmakers or featuring star subjects.
"I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story" uses home videos to reveal the origins of beloved "Sesame Street" stars Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch while the Canadian film "The Sheik" examines Khosrow Vaziri's transformation from Olympic wrestler to pop culture icon.
The Russian film "Children 404" is billed as "an intimate firsthand account of Russian's LGBT youth," while the U.K. offering "A Dangerous Game" looks at everyday heroes battling against the Donald Trump empire.
Several films examine tumult around the world: Libyan rebels try to oust Moammar Gadhafi in "Point and Shoot," two friends are caught up in Syria's civil war in "Return to Homs," Ukraine's topless feminist activists protest their government in "Ukraine is Not a Brothel" and director Victor Kossakovsky sends 32 film students to document Barcelona's violent anti-austerity protest in "Demonstration."
The full lineup will be announced March 18. The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival runs April 24 to May 4.