The DOXA award winners are selected on the basis of three major criteria: success and innovation in the realization of the project's concept; originality and relevance of subject matter and approach; and overall artistic and technical proficiency.
DOXA Feature Documentary Award
Leonard Schein (announced the award)
Sheona McDonald (not pictured)
All the films in the Feature Documentary Award category this year are must-see films. They reveal intimate portraits of their main characters that will inspire, enrage, confound, encourage, appall, delight, irritate, and galvanize - no emotion is left untapped by this year's film makers. Consequently, it was a difficult decision to choose just one above the others. Fire in the Blood is truly outstanding. The real story of the struggle to make HIV and AIDS drugs available and affordable for the world's poor, is nothing like the headlines we've read. It is both a heart-breaking and a heart-warming story all in the same film and it is elevated by exceptional access to captivating moments of deep humanity and emotion.
In exploring the macrocosm of big industry and the microcosm of individual people Fire in the Blood makes clear that we are all responsible for this crisis and there is something we can do to influence change. It is a wake up call and a call to action for all of us to take back our health care rights from the pharmaceutical companies who only care about their bottom lines, and our world leaders who allow big pharma to let millions die in the name of profit.
The fight continues, not just for AIDS but for all diseases - watch this film!
On behalf of everyone involved with Fire in the Blood, I would like to express our immense gratitude to the jury, the festival organizers and the audiences at DOXA for this wonderful and totally unexpected award. To win top honours at one of the world’s great showcases for nonfiction film, especially as a fledgling Indian production, is incredibly humbling, and it is hard to put into words what this recognition means to all of us. I am so sorry not to be able to be with you in person today to accept this award, but unfortunately my optimistic plans fell victim to some unavoidable scheduling conflicts. At the same time, I have been deeply moved by the messages and feedback I have received from numerous friends and strangers in Vancouver, even before winning this prize, and it is an absolutely thrill to know that our film has touched such a nerve there.
Today being Mother’s Day, my thoughts are naturally of my own mother, who passed away several years back. She was a child refugee who spent much of her life in poverty, and also worked for many years as a nurse. One of the things she loved most about Canada and Canadians was their strong, universal belief in the idea of a fundamental human right to health, a conviction that healthcare must never be viewed as a privilege, and the vital principle that the poor and middle-class should receive the very same level of care as the rich.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where healthcare is primarily viewed through a prism of economic opportunity and the promise of enrichment for a small cadre of corporate bosses, and artificial scarcity is regarded as the key to maximizing their profits. The system we detail in Fire in the Blood is one in which millions of mothers are forced to watch their children suffer and die of treatable and preventable ailments, denied access to medicine which can be easily, cheaply and safely produced in order to ensure that a handful of giant monopoly-holding corporations can maintain almost unfathomable profit margins selling drugs which were more often than not discovered through taxpayer-funded research. We believe that Fire in the Blood can start a global conversation with the potential to positively impact the lives of literally billions of our fellow human beings. To everyone at DOXA, thank you a million times over for supporting this project, for helping to get it seen by as many people as possible and, in a small but significant way, being part of ending monopolies on essential medicine. The characters of Fire in the Blood are living proof that it is possible to do the unthinkable, to take on the most powerful governments and corporations on the planet, and – if the cause is just – to change the world. Many, many thanks once again to all of you on their behalf, and on behalf of those of us who have tried to do justice to their story.
Dylan Mohan Gray
The Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary (Presented by William F. White)
John Bolton (announced the award)
After much discussion, we have awarded the Colin Low Award to Antoine Bourges' provocative East Hastings Pharmacy.
Aesthetically bold and formally assured, Bourges' collaborative film throws into sharp relief the individual stories – be they actual or re-enacted – of marginalized citizens who are frequently painted with the same brush. Against an austere backdrop, East Hastings Pharmacy transforms the methodical routine of methadone dispensing into the mechanics of gripping drama. And by its conclusion, this extraordinary work requires us to confront the expectations we have of documentaries and question the demands we make of filmmakers. Impressively, such scrutiny only serves to deepen one's appreciation of what Bourges has accomplished here: employing adroit invention to craft a completely immersive reality that draws us unflinchingly close to those we might otherwise turn a blind eye to.
Congratulations, Antoine. We eagerly wait to see where you take us next.
I am extremely grateful to the jury for awarding my film the NFB Colin Low Award, and deeply touched by their statement. I share this honour with the film crew, our actress Shauna, and each of the participants who collaborated with us in re-telling their everyday experience for the purpose of this film. Their performances is a testament to the generosity and humanity that I have encountered in the Eastside, and I am eternally thankful. Having never shown this film in Vancouver before, I was honoured to find out it would make its debut as part of DOXA. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone at the festival for making this possible.
DOXA Short Documentary Award
Jill Sharpe (announced the award)
David C. Jones
Harry Killas (not pictured)
Although the story of AIDS in Africa has been depicted many times on screen, this film's focus on an abandoned boy and the Sister who cares for him puts an intimate and authentic lens on an oft-told story.
Situated in an orphanage, the film deals with large themes of faith, terminal illness and desperation but always stays centered in the heart. 18 kg is exceptionally well crafted, with understated dignity, verité filmmaking at its best.
While we admired all the nominees, surprisingly, this small and simple film had lasting impact.
What a great news! I'm touched and very honored that jury of DOXA 2013 decided to give the Short Documentary Award to the film "18kg". Francis will be very happy to hear that! Thanks to the good news he is quickly gaining weight! :) I would also like to thank the creators of the festival for showing our film. This is because presenting it to a broad audience Ksisi is gaining many new volunteers and physicians.
All the best for you and your team!!
You create a great festival!
The Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming
Jacob Saltzberg (announced the award)
Alysha Seriani (not pictured)
First of all, we would like to thank all the filmmakers who put forward their films for the Nigel Moore Award this year. We were very privileged to have been able to view such amazing films in the inaugural year of the award. It was a very tough decision for us, and we would like to give an honourable mention to Occupy The Movie by Corey Ogilvie which we believe was an interesting and profound film.
We found Jeanie Finlay’s The Great Hip Hop Hoax to best exemplify the criteria for the Nigel Moore Award. There are two sides to this film: goofy, outrageous, youthful comedic action, and a deeper, compelling side story about friendship, the thirst for fortune and fame, and the search for one’s self. As an avid fan of documentary film, there were two aspects of film that Nigel especially enjoyed; hilarious, absurd comedy, and films that would really make you think, that would inspire you to think deeply about the way things are. Nigel had an excellent sense of humour, with a taste for goofy, absurd comedy such as Monty Python. As well, Nigel was a deep thinker who was always able to provide an intelligent, fresh perspective on the world around him. We believe that The Great Hip Hop Hoax ties these concepts together, and that Nigel would have enjoyed this film. We are honoured to present the Nigel Moore Award for Documentary Film to Jeanie Finlay and the film-making crew behind The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
We would also like to mention Freestyle Life by Adam Palenta. We believe it is important to acknowledge a short film as well as a feature, and Freestyle Life is an artistic, impactful film of this nature.
I am utterly gobsmacked, thrilled and thankful that my film; The Great Hip Hop Hoax has been selected as recipient of the inaugural Nigel Moore award. DOXA is a very special festival and it was wonderful to share my film with the warm Vancouver audience earlier this week. To unexpectedly win this award is the icing on the cake. Thank you so much to everyone involved. Sending all my best from England to a new generation of documentary makers and watchers.