Bye Bye Tiberias | Photo by Frida Marzouk / Beall Productions

Bye Bye Tiberias Tops DOXA Winners

The Soldier's Lagoon wins again for Canadian film

3 mins read

Bye Bye Tiberias topped the winners at this year’s DOXA Documentary Festival. The Vancouver festival handed out its jury prizes over the weekend with Lina Soualem’s film winning the big prize for feature documentary. Bye Bye Tiberias is a personal look at Soualem’s family, particularly her mother, Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass (Succession), as she returns home to Deir Hanna. The film explores the fracturing of identity and what it means to carry a sense of home with you in the diaspora. Bye Bye Tiberias premiered at the Venice and Toronto film festivals last fall and was selected to represent Palestine in last year’s Oscar race for Best International Feature.

“This urgent personal documentary of longing, displacement and connection illuminates Palestinian family archives at a time when these documents and stories are being erased in the ongoing genocide,” noted the DOXA jury. “Cinematically weaving generations of matrilineal history with that of her motherland, we honour filmmaker Lina Soualem for her courage and artistry.”

The DOXA winners also included a repeat honour for The Soldier’s Lagoon director Pablo Alvarez-Mesa. After winning Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs last week, Alvarez-Mesa received the Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director. The Soldier’s Lagoon is an experimental non-fiction essay that considers the history of the land, particularly in one pocket of the Colombian mountainside forever haunted by Simón Bolívar’s 1819 liberation campaign.


The full list of DOXA winners is as follows:

DOXA Feature Documentary Award: Bye Bye Tiberias – Lina Soualem
Special mentions: The Stimming Pool – The Neurocultures Collective and Steven Eastwood; Kamay – Ilyas Yourish and Shahrokh Bikaraan

Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director: The Soldier’s Lagoon Pablo Alvarez-Mesa
Special mentions: Yintah – Jennifer Wickham, Brenda Michell, Michael Toledano; Wilfred Buck – Lisa Jackson

Short Documentary Award: Wouldn’t Make It Any Other Way – Hao Zhou
Special mention: A Short Film About ChairIbrahim Handal

Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming: Red Fever – Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge
Special mention: Singing Back the Buffalo – Tasha Hubbard

Elevate Award: Kamay – Ilyas Yourish and Shahrokh Bikaraan
Special mention: Yintah – Jennifer Wickham, Brenda Michell, Michael Toledano

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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