Wylie Writes @ Hot Docs 2014: One-On-Two with Hotline’s Tony Shaff and Miss Cleo


By: Addison Wylie

As I state in the interview, part of the reason I love Hot Docs is that I usually have the chance to sit down with people I wouldn’t have expected to talk to.

Miss Cleo is someone who I grew up watching on TV during commercial breaks.  The infomercial psychic movement she created with her catch phrase and bright on-screen personality is something that couldn’t be ignored.  She became a nostalgic icon to anyone who grew up in the late 90’s.

Documentarian Tony Shaff has interviewed Miss Cleo for his film Hotline, which had its world premiere at Hot Docs earlier this week.  Shaff has sat down with various other 1-800 operators to talk about their work as well as the search for human connectivity.  Many of these people have received calls from people who feel the need to talk to a stranger.  The doc takes a more detailed look at that situation.

Shaff, Cleo and I talked more about the doc.  We also talked about their experience being hotline operators, how involved Cleo is with her family and clients, and who performed Miss Cleo’s favourite impression of her on-screen persona.

Catch Hotline at Toronto’s Hot Docs International Film Festival on:

Friday, May 2 at 9:45 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre

Sunday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. @ Isabel Bader Theatre

Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

Click here to read my review of Hotline

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