With close access to Hilton, Petty shot extensive footage of Hilton talking about her image, her notorious sex tape, the tabloid photographers who follow her and just the business of being herself.
"I'm basically being judged, and they're creating this false person, and I can't do anything about it," Hilton says in the film.
Featuring interviews with Hilton's parents, sister Nicky, publicist Elliott Mintz and such personalities as Donald Trump, "Paris, Not France" follows her on business meetings, a promotional trip to Japan and everyday tasks such as getting a burger at a drive-thru while dozens of photographers take shots of her ordering.
"It's amazing that this woman is a human being and that people actually can be ruthless enough to forget that," Petty said. "That's the one thing about this movie and about that experience with her is I could have just been shooting fluff, but she gave me a lot more."
Before the Toronto premiere, Hilton posed for photos with Petty but did not talk to reporters. Outside the theater afterward, Hilton signed a few autographs before she was driven off in an SUV.
Petty said the idea was to create for this era a film like "Madonna: Truth or Dare," the 1991 documentary that examined the phenomenon surrounding the pop singer.
Hilton has "created a mystery about herself that a film like this maybe wouldn't have been a great thing for her in the past," Petty said. "But now, she's been so saturated in the media. We're so used to her. To see a new side of her is so exciting."
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