PEN Canada and Hot Docs Present New Series: PEN Picks Featuring Vincent Lam, Camilla Gibb, Miriam Toews, and Linwood Barclay

Jan 15, 2014, 12:38 ET from PEN Canada

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - PEN Canada and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival are pleased to announce that Vincent Lam, Camilla Gibb, Miriam Toews, and Linwood Barclay will headline the PEN Picks series.

Every three weeks, starting Feb.10, a celebrated Canadian writer will present a documentary of their choice at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Each author will discuss their personal interest in the film after the screening, and will participate in a Q&A with the audience.

Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam (Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, The Headmaster's Wager) will open the series on Feb. 10 with Hatsumi, which follows one grandmother's journey through the Japanese Canadian internment.

n March, Trillium Book Award winner Camilla Gibb (Sweetness in the Belly, The Beauty of Humanity Movement) and Governor General Award-winning fiction writer Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness, the forthcoming All My Puny Sorrows) will present their PEN Picks. Gibb's selection, The Unknown Famine, was the first documentary to report on the horrific famine in Ethiopia to western audiences. Toews will host a screening of Marwencol, a documentary on the imaginary World War II–era town a man creates after he loses his memory from a near-death beating.

Internationally bestselling thriller writer Linwood Barclay (A Tap on the Window, Trust Your Eyes) will host the final screening of the series on April 14. Sons of Perdition follows three teenage boys in their bid to break free of a cultist polygamist community. "The boys' struggles to make it on their own, with mixed success, and the resulting banishment from their families is inspiring yet heartbreaking," Barclay said.

Single tickets for events are $15 ($12 for Bloor Hot Docs Cinema members) and series passes are $45 ($36 for Bloor Hot Docs cinema members) and can be purchased online at  or in person at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema box office (506 Bloor St. W.).

PEN Picks lineup

Vincent Lam's PEN Pick: Hatsumi
Monday, February 10, 6:15 p.m.

Camilla Gibb's PEN Pick: The Unknown Famine
Monday, March 3, 6:15 p.m.

Miriam Toews' PEN Pick: Marwencol
Monday, March 24, 6:15 p.m.

Linwood Barclay's PEN Pick: Sons of Perdition
Monday, April 14, 6:15 p.m.

All screenings take place at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor St. W.).

PEN Canada is a nonpartisan organization of writers that works with others to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right at home and abroad. PEN Canada promotes literature, fights censorship, helps free persecuted writers from prison, and assists writers living in exile in Canada.

Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 21st annual edition from April 24May 4, 2014. An outstanding selection of approximately 200 documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood.