Finally, finally another documentary film festival! As I can’t make it to Hotdocs, Sheffdocfest nor Guth Gafa this summer, Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival, which happened from 6-15 May 2011, was a welcome fix for my doc-starved self. A Justice Forum as well as a Spotlight on Vancouver were among some of this year’s programming highlights.
Despite a few minor issues, such as my day job getting in the way, I managed to see a good few films at the festival. Here is my favourites list with comments:
The Florestine Collection – amazing 31 minute short, which was very moving, the website is well worth checking out if you’re into art, animation, dressmaking, pot-bellied pigs, New Orleans or are simply a human
Louder Than A Bomb – a very close second for me, the opening night film was a tour de force of cutting edge slam poetry with a live performance of one of the main characters thrown in on the night for good measure, brilliant
KOOP – an intriguing and layered artist portrait which was beautifully (!) shot by Marcia Connolly and really well edited, a quiet film but the images do stay with you
Detroit Wild City – more depressing than I thought it would be but it still made me want to go and explore this city caught between the past and the future, great film
Forgotten Transports series (4 films) – as shocking as it was, and it really was, the director’s meticulous research and the fantastic editing made this somber historic documentary an experience that you’ll remember for a long time
I also enjoyed Prosecutor (good pace and charismatic main character) and The National Parks Project (interesting approach, even if a tad too long for one session) but sadly missed a whole lot of other films, including some of the award winners.
Apart from a couple of Pacific Cinematheque shifts I also worked at the opening and closing events, which were great for mingling with filmmakers, audiences and other volunteers. Of course the week went by way too fast, but thankfully there are plenty more film festivals coming up in this culture-filled city throughout the year.
Stay tuned for more festival fun in the weeks and months to come!