DOXA Film Fest to Open with ‘Because We Are Girls’

Because We Are Girls opens this year’s DOXA Film Festival
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By Pat Mullen

Vancouver’s DOXA Film Festival will open its 2019 edition with the BC premiere of Baljit Sangra’s Because We Are Girls. The film comes home after a world premiere at Hot Docs. Sangra’s doc tells the story of three sisters in a conservative Indo-Canadian family in small-town British Columbia coming to terms with the fact that they were sexually abused by an older relative during their childhoods.

Because We Are Girls headlines a festival with strong representation for women on screen and behind the camera. Other highlights in the DOXA slate include Tasha Hubbard’s nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, which reflects upon the death of 16-year-old Cree man Colten Boushie and the ongoing fight for Indigenous rights. nîpawistamâsowin marks the 10th anniversary of DOXA’s Justice Forum, which provides a platform for documentaries committed to social change. DOXA’s closing night film also takes a stand for Indigenous rights and representation with the West Coast premiere of Hepi Mita’s Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen. Merata tells the story of filmmaker Merata Mita, who made history as one of the first Indigenous women to direct a narrative feature film when she debuted Mauri in 1988. Mita died in 2010, the same year that New Zealand’s Boy, which she co-produced, became an international hit.

Other highlights at DOXA are Nanfu Wang’s Sundance champ One Child Nation, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s fellow Sundance winner American Factory, Kelly O’Brien’s live documentary Postings from Home, Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe’s Gordon Lightfoot doc If You Could Read My Mind, Shannon Walsh’s Illusions of Control, Larry Weinstein’s Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies, Brett Story’s The Hottest August, Isabelle Groc and Mike McKinlay’s Toad People, the Canadian premiere of Amy Jenkins’ Instructions on Parting, and the world premiere of Paul Émile D’Entremont’s Standing on the Line, which examines the plight of LGBTQ athletes.

DOXA runs May 2-12. Get the full line-up here and subscribe today to read more on the festival including a report from former programmer Dorothy Woodend and first looks at festival selections like nîpawistamâsowin, If You Could Read My Mind, Propaganda, The Hottest August and more!