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“The Contestant” Gets Its Canadian Premiere on Hollywood Suite

Riveting Documentary Had World Premiere at TIFF 2023 

The Contestant

Toronto. June 25, 2024 Hollywood Suite is excited to announce the Canadian television premiere of The Contestant, a gripping documentary that sheds light on our cultural fascination with reality television and oversharing-obsessed culture. Directed by Clair Titley and narrated by Fred Armisen, the film tells the true story of Tomoaki Hamatsu, a Japanese reality TV star left naked in a room for more than a year and tasked with entering contests to earn food and clothing. The Contestant, which had its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, will debut on Hollywood Suite On Demand on July 1, and have its broadcast premiere July 20 at 9pm ET.

Cut off from the outside world, Hamatsu, nicknamed Nasubi (Japanese for “Eggplant”), was stripped and left with a stack of magazines. Everything he needed to survive could be won by entering sweepstakes, with sights on reaching the prize goal of one million yen.

“I was immediately charmed and fascinated by Nasubi,” said Sharon Stevens, Vice President, Programming, Hollywood Suite. “Shot in 1998, the filmmakers deftly handle this unbelievable story that was a precursor to the reality TV boom that would take over Western culture in the years that followed.”

The Contestant will be available on Hollywood Suite On Demand beginning July 1. The film was produced by Misfits Entertainment and MRC Television. 

To request stills or screening links for review purposes, please contact Angie Power at angie@route504pr.com.



Hollywood Suite owns and operates four exclusive HD channels featuring the iconic movies that defined the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, plus essential Hollywood classics from the Golden Age, always uncut and commercial-free. With hundreds of movies every month on four HD channels and Hollywood Suite On Demand, Hollywood Suite provides unparalleled value to consumers.

Hollywood Suite is available to over 10 million households across Canada, exclusively through Canadian television service providers and Amazon Prime Video Channels. Visit hollywoodsuite.ca for more information.


MRC is the leading independent entertainment studio which develops, finances, and produces some of the world’s most iconic, award-winning, and prestigious films, television series and non-fiction documentaries with the industry’s foremost creative artists. To date, MRC has been nominated for 115 Emmy® Awards, 38 Golden Globe ® Awards, 17 Academy® Awards and 2 GRAMMY Awards® and its films have grossed more than $6 billion in worldwide box office. MRC television projects include: “Poker Face,” “The Terminal List,” “Ozark,” “The Great,” “Ted,” “Shrink Next Door,” “Shining Girls,” “Hello Tomorrow!,” “Time Bandits,” “The Outsider,” and “House of Cards.” MRC films include: “American Fiction,” “Saltburn,” “Fair Play,” “Knives Out,” “Persuasion,” “Baby Driver,” “Ted, “Elysium,” “Bruno,” “Babel,” “Jerry and Marge Go Large,” “The Blackening,” “and “The Lovebirds”. Its non-fiction features include: “The Sparks Brothers,” “Milli Vanilli,” “The Contestant,” “The Greatest Night in Pop,” “Blink of an Eye” (working title) and the “Untitled Sly Stone” project. For more information, visit: www.mrcentertainment.com.


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Angie Power

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