‘Limit is the Sky’, ‘Horse-Being’ Top DOXA Winners

Limit is the Sky
Photo by Julia Ivanova / NFB


By Pat Mullen

Julia Ivanova’s Limit is the Sky was the big winner for Canadian film at this year’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival. The NFB doc took home the Colin Low Best Documentary Award on Saturday night ahead of DOXA’s closing night screening of the Cate Blanchett master class Manifesto. Limit is the Sky is Ivanova’s portrait of millennials in Fort McMurray as they work in the oil industry and confront the broken dreams of paydays and rewards they hoped to find in the fields. (Read more about Limit is the Sky in the feature Working the Dream.)

On the international front, the winner of the of the Feature Documentary Award was the French doc Horse-Being by Jérôme Clément-Wilz. Horse-Being brought a tale of master/servant power play to DOXA with its study of a transgender ex-school teacher who engages in some risqué horse-play with an elderly cowboy. The film had its Canadian premiere at DOXA.

This year’s DOXA festival opened with Marie Clements’ NFB doc musical The Road Forward and featured a retrospective on the work of Chris Marker as part of its ten-day celebration of non-fiction film.

The winners for this year’s DOXA festival are:

Colin Low Best Canadian Documentary Award: (award partner: William F. White)
Limit Is the Sky (Julia Ivanova)
Honourable Mention: A Moon of Nickel and Ice (François Jacob)

Feature Documentary Award:
Étre Cheval (Horse-Being) (Jérôme Clément-Wilz)
Honourable Mention: Miss Kiet’s Children (Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster)

Short Documentary Award:
Vers la tendresse (Alice Diop)
Honourable mention: Fixed! (Cat Mills)

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film:
Best Female-Directed Film (feature): Drokpa (Yan Chun Su)
Best Female-Directed Film (short): Life at a Snail’s Pace (Alexandra Gaulupeau)

Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming:
Swagger (Olivier Babinet)
Honourable Mention: The Caretakers (David Goldberg)