DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Western Canada’s largest documentary film festival, returns to Vancouver to present the 19th annual Festival, now streaming online June 18 through June 26, 2020.
Originally scheduled to take place May 7-17, DOXA was one of many cultural events interrupted by COVID-19. After weeks of careful consideration and consultation with a variety of partners, the DOXA team has decided to launch an online edition of the festival. The online festival will feature over 64 films (shorts and features) from across Canada and around the world streaming online, as well as special live events.
DOXA kicks off their online festival edition with Wintopia, directed by Mira Burt-Wintonick. Wintopia traces the enigmatic footsteps of iconic Canadian documentary filmmaker Peter Wintonick through the lens of his daughter, Mira, as she tries to decipher the map he has left behind. Reverberating with emotion and whimsy, the film guides us on a journey through possible worlds in pursuit of reconciliation, both between artist and family, and between dreams and reality. A live moderated Q+A with Burt-Wintonick and special guests is scheduled for Saturday June 20. Audience members are encouraged to stream Wintopia in advance.
A special British Columbia spotlight will feature several Vancouver-based filmmakers including Greg Crompton’s Eddy’s Kingdom which recounts the story of businessman Eddy Haymour, and the extreme methods he used to construct a Middle Eastern-themed amusement park in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley in the 1970s. The world premiere of Tony Massil’s The End From Here profiles three reclusive men who live in the geopolitical anomaly of Hyder, Alaska (which straddles the B.C. border). In addition to the feature documentaries, DOXA also offers a selection of short films including Josephine Anderson’s On Falling (recently premiered at Tribeca Festival in New York City), which profiles three professional women mountain bikers.
Co-presented with DOC BC, DOXA is excited to host a masterclass with renowned cinematographer Iris Ng on Sunday June 21, 2020. Iris Ng is one of Canada’s most prolific documentary cinematographers, working on multi-award winning films such as The Stories We Tell (2012), Shirkers (2018), Toxic Beauty (2019), Migrant Dreams (2016), Nuuca (2018), and many more, including the popular Netflix docu-series Making a Murderer. This moderated conversation will take a deep dive into the unique creative process of a documentary cinematographer, drawing excerpts from her own work and notes from the field. A must-attend event for directors, cinematographers and all creatives, on the power of visual storytelling.
Against the backdrop of increasing global uncertainty, made even more poignant by the recent pandemic (potential economic recession, rising global wealth inequality, ongoing climate crisis), DOXA offers a selection of timely films from the international film festival circuit including: My Darling Supermarket, a musical ode to grocery store clerks in Brazil; Elegance Bratton’s Pier Kids, documenting homeless and queer youth on New York’s Christopher Street Pier; Lucie Viver’s Sankara Is Not Dead, an exploration into the backgrounds and landscapes of the rarely depicted African country of Burkina Faso, through the perspective of a young poet named Bikontine; Softie, which tells of long-time political activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, and his decision to run for office in a regional Kenyan election; Sky Hopinka’s małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore, spoken almost entirely the near-extinct Indigenous language of chinuk wawa and rooted in the origin-of-death myth from the Chinookan people in the Pacific Northwest; Landfall directed by Cecilia Aldarondo offers a visually striking, kaleidoscopic portrait of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria; and finally, Michèle Stepehenson’s Stateless takes an unflinching look at the legacy of systemic anti-black racism against Haitians in the Dominican Republic and one lawyer’s fight to protect the rights of citizens.
Committed, more than ever, to cultivating curiosity and critical thought, DOXA 2020 delivers some of the very best in contemporary documentary cinema over eight days. DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs June 18-26, 2020, offering an exceptional selection of films, filmmaker Q+A’s and live streaming events. Films will be available to stream for the duration of the above festival dates. Films are geo-blocked to British Columbia and virtual tickets will be limited. Select screenings will include pre-recorded filmmaker Q+As and extended discussions. Tickets are available online at http://www.doxafestival.ca.