Documentary on Lott wins award in TorontoWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A 2009 car accident motivated Victor Buhler’s documentary, “A Whole Lott More,” which last week placed third at the Toronto Hot Docs Film Festival.
The festival celebrated its 20th anniversary with 180,000 audience members, according to hotdocs.ca. The 11-day event featured 418 public screenings of 204 films on 16 screens across Toronto. The film’s win was decided by an audience vote.
“Those are the 200 best documentaries that were made in the past year,” Buhler said.
Buhler, who resides in London, attended the festival with locals TJ Hawker, Wanda Huber and Kevin Tyree, three people who appear in “A Whole Lott More.” He said at the end of the screening his film received a standing ovation.
“It was just a really fantastic moment,” Buhler said. “It was an incredible, rewarding moment.”
The documentary takes a look at Toledo company Lott Industries, which employs 1200 people with developmental disabilities. It tells the story of three locals associated with Lott: Hawker, who has cerebral palsy and is deaf; Huber, who has become an advocate for the disabled; and Tyree, whose mother works at the company.
Buhler wants to make people with disabilities more visible with his documentary. He acquired a sense of empathy for the community when he spent two years in a wheelchair and crutches following a car crash.
“During that experience, although different from having a permanent disability, I became very interested in their world,” Buhler said.
He began to see how challenging their lives can be and how differently they are treated from everyone else.
“They really want the things that we want. They want a good job, a place to live, they want a car,” Buhler said. “They are also extraordinary people because they’ve been given challenges that they deal with.”
Buhler started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the documentary in 2010 and he raised more than $18,000. Buhler spent over two years in Toledo filming the documentary. In total, the film took more than three years to make.
For more information on the film, visit awholelottmore.com. Because there are no screenings planned at the moment, Buhler said signing up for the newsletter will be useful for upcoming news.