Tomorrow, Friday, May 2, sees the start of the 13th edition of DOXA, Vancouver’s documentary film festival, which will continue through Sunday, May 12, presenting more than sixty documentary features in its lineup. The fest is bookended by two films which recently premiered at Tribeca: Orlando von Einsiedel’s VIRUNGA, about the struggle to protect one of Africa’s largest national parks, opens the event, while Brent Hodge’s A BRONY TALE, a new film about the MY LITTLE PONY male fan subculture, brings it to a close. The following offers select highlights from the rest of the programming:
Social issue docs are grouped under the Justice Forum heading, which returns to DOXA for the fifth year, and includes: Dennis Allen’s CRAZYWATER, a personal exploration of Native American substance abuse; Alexander John Glustrom’s BIG CHARITY (pictured), about the fate of a New Orleans hospital in the wake of Katrina; Jesper Wachtmeister’s MICROTOPIA, on the emergence of space conserving urban design; and Jennifer Anderson and Vernon Lott’s MASSACRED FOR GOLD, a chronicle of the murder of Chinese gold miners in the Pacific Northwest of 1887.
Other notable newer or recent features include several character portraits: Adam Gray and Andrew Gray’s FLY COLT FLY: LEGEND OF THE BAREFOOT BANDIT, a partly animated hybrid about the infamous outlaw Colton Harris-Moore; Shen Jie’s LITTLE PROLETARIAN, about a fourteen-year-old Chinese juvenile delinquent; La Zha’s HUHU (pictured), a child-focused portrait of rural life for a Chinese Muslim ethnic group; Rosa Rogers’ CASABLANCA CALLING, which follows female Muslim leaders combatting misogyny in Morocco; Sara Rastegar’s MY RED SHOES, an autobiographical portrait of the filmmaker’s parents, former Iranian Marxist revolutionaries; and Menna Laura Meijer’s 69: LOVE SEX SENIOR, which candidly explores sexuality among the older set.
Finally, a number of DOXA’s selections capture places, such as: Bo Wang’s CHINA CONCERTO, a meditation on China’s unique approach to capitalism and consumption; Carl Javér’s FREAK OUT!, about an early 20th century Utopian community in Switzerland; Florent Tillon’s LAS VEGAS MEDITATION, an anthropological survey of the Recession-era Nevadan desert city; Jide Tom Akinleminu’s PORTRAIT OF A LONE FARMER, a profile of the Nigerian filmmaker’s family farm; and Marcos Pimentel’s BREATH (pictured), an observational portrait of a rural Brazilian community.