A mix of festival favourites and Canadian debuts are making their way to DOXA Documentary Festival. The Vancouver festival released the full line-up today for its 2022 hybrid edition. DOXA previously announced several special presentations titles, including the opening night film Fire of Love, which graces the cover of our next issue.
Headlining today’s announcement of DOXA titles is Fire of Love’s fellow NatGeo Sundance acquisition, The Territory, which observes the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe in the Amazon fighting to protect its way of life amid aggressive settler campaigns to harvest the forest’s natural resources. The Territory, which was this writer’s personal favourite doc at Sundance, won the festival’s Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary and a special jury prize for documentary craft. Director Alex Pritz engages members of the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe in a collaborative and participatory production, ultimately drawing the film’s urgency from their immediacy to the situation.
New Canadian Films
Canadian world premieres at DOXA include Ali Kazimi’s Beyond Extinction: Sinixt Resurgence. The film is a work over 25 years in the making as Kazimi began his journey with story in 1995. Beyond Extinction draws upon an encounter that Kazimi had with members of the Sinixt Nation, and the violence of colonialism they encountered in the years since then. Other Canadian titles debuting at DOXA include Sara Wylie’s A More Radiant Sphere, which explores the life and work of Canadian poet Joe Wallace.
Also touching down at DOXA is Jeremiah Hayes’s personal study of Martin Duckworth and his wife, Audrey, as she slips away due to Alzheimer’s in Dear Audrey. The film debuted to much acclaim at RIDM in the fall. John Bolton’s The Lake / nx̌aʔx̌aʔitkʷ has its BC premiere and brings to DOXA a self-reflexive study of Barbara Pentland and Dorothy Livesay’s long-lost opera The Lake by bringing together the perspectives of Indigenous teacher Delphine Derickson of Westbank First Nation and settler opera singer Heather Pawsey. Luke Gleeson’s DƏNE YI’INJETL – The Scattering of Man and Heather Hatch’s Wochiigii Io: End of the Peace, meanwhile, continue their festival runs and bring home stories of Indigenous resistance to the devastating consequences wrought by dams.
On the international front, DOXA taps two Polish features with very different styles and stories. 1970 is Tomasz Wolski’s exploration of a workers’ strike through animation and puppetry, while Pawel Lozinski’s The Balcony Movie is an unconventional portrait of the COVID-19 pandemic viewed entirely from his front balcony. The First Step, meanwhile, has its Canadian premiere at DOXA and brings a portrait of activist Van Jones as he navigates the polarization of a deeply divided America. The film is directed by Brandon Kramer. Nasim by Ole Jacobs and Arne Büttner brings an intimate perspective of the global migration crisis seen through the eyes of an Afghan family living in the massive refugee camp in Moria, Greece, as they seek asylum.
The films represent a full line-up that includes 55 features and mid-lengths, and 24 short films. DOXA runs in theatres and online May 5-15.