DOXA 2015 Overview

doxa_logo_greyscaleThe 14th edition of Vancouver’s documentary festival, DOXA, begins today, Thursday, April 30, and runs through Sunday, May 10, presenting more than fifty new and retrospective features in its program, including opener HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, the Sundance award winning history of Greenpeace; and closer IRIS, the late Al Maysles portrait of style doyen Iris Apfel. Other notable program selections follow:

ithinkyouretotallywrongAmong the fest’s Special Programs this year is a sidebar on Satire & Subversion. Films featured here include: James Franco’s I THINK YOU”RE TOTALLY WRONG: A QUARREL (pictured), a meta-doc on the adaptation of David Shields book; Hazem Alhamwi’s FROM MY SYRIAN ROOM, a personal meditation on life in Syria before the 2011 uprising; and Kurt Walker’s HIT 2 PASS, which explores a long-standing demolition derby in British Columbia.

cutouttheeyesRecent Chinese cinema is the focus of Wild Grass, another Special Programs sidebar. Among the selections here are Xu Tong’s CUT OUT THE EYES (pictured), about itinerant performers in Mongolia; and Shen Jie’s KARST ELEGIES, a microcosmic exploration of China’s development as observed through the filmmaker’s home village.

cincinnatigoddamn3Other Special Programs include the festival’s social action section, Justice Forum, which includes films like April Martin and Paul Hill’s CINCINNATI GODDAMN (pictured), a look back at the police deaths of two unarmed African American men in 2001; French French, a section of Gallic nonfiction, both retrospective and recent, including films like Ioanis Nuguet’s SPARTACUS & CASSANDRA; and the youth-focused Rated Y for Youth, with films such as Victoria Lean’s AFTER THE LAST RIVER, which explores the reaction to a diamond company beginning mining operations in the vicinity of an Ontario First Nations community.

monstermanDOXA’s general program reflects a wide selection of curated films that have already made a splash elsewhere on the circuit, as well as less familiar work. Among the latter are: Antti Haase’s look at the unexpected success of Finland’s metal band Lordi, MONSTERMAN (pictured); Stefan Schaefer’s portrait of poet WS Merwin, EVEN THOUGH THE WHOLE WORLD IS BURNING; Cliff Caines’ exploration of an Ontario mine and its workers, A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE; and Kevin Nikkel’s examination of early Canadian cinematic representations of First Nations people, ON THE TRAIL OF THE FAR FUR COUNTRY.

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