The 21st DOXA: Documentary Film Festival kicks off on Thursday. There are 77 in-theatre screenings and 61 films available to watch online. With so many pertinent topics and compelling subjects included in this year’s program, it’s daunting to choose only five “must-sees,” but we put ourselves to the task… Below you’ll find the handful of titles that made our shortlist of documentaries being projected onto the big screens of various Vancouver venues from May 5th to 15th, 2022. (All are also available to watch on your personal screens, if that’s your jam.)
From Western Sahara, Morocco, to Churchill, Manitoba, land is the overarching theme of the Changing Landscapes series of six short films, but the complexities and cross-sections explored are as varied as their settings. Territorial controversy (Galb’Echaouf), indigenous histories (Forests), urbanization (Listen to the Beat of Our Images), climate change (Belle River), science (Planktonium) and wildlife (Nuisance Bear) are all topics featured in this mixed bag of international shorts.
A genre-bending film for the artistically inclined: Archipelago (Archipel) pushes the boundaries of the documentary film style with its captivating, layered illustration-style animated visuals, accompanied by a visceral soundtrack and breathy conversational voices. Quebecois filmmaker Félix Dufour-Laperrière’s rumination on the land around the St. Lawrence River is a poetic experience and a visual treat.
The Balcony Movie
Polish filmmaker Pawel Lozinski lobs heavy life questions from his apartment balcony at the people walking along the sidewalk below and receives mixed, character-revealing reactions (really, who hasn’t fantasized about enacting some version of this film at some point, especially while deep in Covid-era self-isolation…?)
Sirens follows the individual lives and relationship between Lilas Mayassi and Shery Bechara, co-founders and guitarists of the titular Lebanese all-female metal band, at a crucial professional and personal point. Between the struggles of being a 20-something, flare-ups within the band’s dynamic, and the political tensions of a country amid a revolution, the drama that ensues is manyfold…
We Feed People
As the charity of choice for local businesses wanting to support humanitarian efforts for Ukraine, The Central World Kitchen has been on our radar a lot lately. It only makes sense then that we’d like to get a more vivid idea of what the organization does and who its founder, chef José Andrés, is. This is precisely where renowned filmmaker Ron Howard’s new documentary, We Feed People, comes in. Tune in to see how your donations make a difference.
Bonus: Filmmaking and Motherhood Panel Discussion
Looking for a way to treat your film-loving mom and/or other mom figures in your life this Mother’s Day? DOXA’s got an on-theme panel discussion with three women filmmakers (Ana Carrizales, Carmen Pollard, and Nadia Shihab, moderated by Sarah Shamash) that will fit nicely between your brunch and happy hour and/or dinner plans. Find out more.
The general admission ticket price for all film screenings is $15 each. See the full schedule and make your purchases here.