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The inside scoop on the DOXA Film Festival

The DOXA Film Festival takes place in Vancouver from May 7 – 16. We’ve got a strong presence there this year, and NFB producer Tracey Friesen recently gave me the low down:

DOXA’s great!  It’s a real spring fest of documentaries from all over the world.   10 days of screenings, which this year includes a pair of NFB feature docs and a short.   They’ve been at it here in Vancouver for over 12 years and the festival grows every year in the number and quality of films.  I always stumble across unexpected gems, plus have the chance to catch some headliners.

For me this year is a real treat because I’m on the feature documentary jury along with Murray Battle and Vic Sarin.  We get the privilege of pre-screening 10 international documentaries and deliberating on a winner based on originality, relevance and artistic proficiency.  So far I’ve seen a couple of really riveting pieces of work.  (Not giving any hints though!…)

The NFB is again giving out the Colin Low Award for Most Innovative Canadian Documentary, valued at $3000, juried by Kevin Griffin, Sharon McGowan and Christine Welsh. It’s been a challenging time of transition in the Canadian doc scene over the last couple of years, so it’s inspiring to see such a slate of compelling films being brought to the screen here at DOXA.

We’re also excited about Connexions Youth Forum.  This is the 4th year that the NFB’s Pacific & Yukon Centre has partnered with DOXA in delivering a digital filmmaking workshop through the duration of the festival.  Six recent female film school graduates will take part in intensive training, culminating in the creation of short docs shown on closing night at the festival.  It’s always a real highlight.

We have 4 English titles at the festival this year, including Tying Your Own Shoes (see above), plus one French title, Ne le dis pas, from the Wapikoni project:


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