DOXA Documentary Film Festival’s Motion Pictures Film Series is very happy to present Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack’s Maya Angelou And Still I Rise. The screening will be preceded by a spoken word performance by local poet and activist, Jillian Christmas.
The life and times, and most importantly the art, of Maya Angelou is given expansive coverage in Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack’s film biography. Made over the course of four years, before her death in 2014, Still I Rise traces the writer-performer’s life from the time she and her brother Bailey were sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandparents. From early stints as a singer, dancer, and actress, Angelou found her true calling through a chance meeting with Random House publishers Jules and Judy Feiffer, who convinced her to put her stories down on paper. The result was I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, a book that vaulted her into the first rank of American writers.
Ms. Angelou’s work in the civil rights movement and ties to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and fellow writer James Baldwin, made her work and politics inseparable. But throughout her remarkable life, whether she was on Sesame Street or delivering a poem during a presidential inauguration, she remained defiantly herself, a strong, proud artist with a voice that would not be silenced.
“Through a rich selection of archival material, directors Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace the traumas and triumphs of an extraordinary life, a trajectory that Angelou explored in seven autobiographies, beginning with the career-making I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The filmmakers illuminate Angelou’s political engagement, including her work with Martin Luther King and years as a journalist in Ghana...” – The LA Times
“ . . a nuanced portrait of a woman who owned both the joy and pain of her life and poured all of it into her writing in an effort to liberate herself and others. This is a revelatory exploration of Angelou, a rebel who relished defying those who wanted to confine her in a box.” – Winston-Salem Journal
“What Coburn Whack and Hercules do so well is capture Angelou’s power and elegance, which seems to have increased as she got older. An important figure throughout the 60s, in the 70s and 80s she developed into a maternal figure for black America, ushering in the period of Oprah and black female empowerment. It’s that longevity and creative drive that the film celebrates. No hagiography, it paints a portrait of a life lived to the full and dedicated to being true to oneself.” – The Guardian
To buy tickets and learn more about our special guest Jillian Christmas, click here.
In honour of Black History Month, DOXA Documentary Film Festival and The Cinematheque are very proud to offer this encore screening for Vancouver audiences of Do Not Resist on February 10, 2017.
The most shocking sequence in Craig Atkinson’s incendiary new film doesn’t take place on the streets of Ferguson, or in the middle of a SWAT raid — it happens in a hotel conference room during a presentation to police officers. “What do you fight violence with? Superior violence. Righteous violence. Violence is your tool ... You are men and women of violence.”
Superior violence increasingly means 48,000-pound armoured vehicles, assault rifles, and rocket launchers, employed in poor or marginalized communities where civilians are termed “the enemy” in the rhetoric of war. Do Not Resist exposes the political machinations that led U.S. police forces to resemble paramilitary organizations. Expertly-chosen court and news footage show the cause-and-effect relationship between bureaucratic decisions and street-level reality. But the most deeply troubling ideas examined are the shifts in attitude, as police become something akin to an occupying army. As the U.S. slides further into a fascist mentality, Do Not Resist is a necessary and critical film.
“A quietly seething look at present-day policing in America ... An experience best had in the cinema.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Gratitude goes to those documentarians who shine a broader light, which is what Craig Atkinson does in Do Not Resist ... Maybe it takes a documentary to generate the kind of anger necessary to galvanize the public.” – Variety
“Even without the guidance of narration or a single story arc, it becomes clearer and clearer that the war on terror has unwittingly spawned another war: between police officers trained to fight like soldiers and the people they’ve sworn to protect. Not every cop has it out for the little guy, of course, but the guiding attitudes at the departments featured in the film leave no room for compassion...the movie, which won the award for best documentary feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, calls attention to a trend that has led to some startling societal changes. – The Washington Post
Winner of Best Documentary Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2016
In honour of Black History Month, DOXA Documentary Film Festival and The Cinematheque are very proud to offer this encore screening for Vancouver audiences of Do Not Resist.
DOXA's own director of programming, Dorothy Woodend, has curated a series of documentaries to complement the themes and ideas present at this year's PuSh Festival. Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs. These FREE screenings take place on January 18, 25 and February 1st. Mark your calendars!
All screenings will take place at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. More information here.
January 18th, 2017 | 5:30pm
Whether it’s tear gas in your eyes or genuine tears, sometimes you just gotta dance it out! This collection of short films celebrates the cathartic power of the most fundamental of human art forms, from a girl learning a traditional Norwegian folk dance to students remembering the founder of Cuba’s modern dance school. The language of movement can transcend time, unite people across cultures, and sometimes even spark a revolution in the streets.
January 25th, 2017 | 5:30pm
directed by Christian Sønderby Jespen (Denmark)
When comedian Jacob Nossell sets out to write a play on disability, he spares no one, least of all himself, from the most difficult questions. Jacob has cerebral palsy, and has struggled his entire life with how people perceive him. The project starts with asking unsuspecting people if they’re normal. But what exactly does “normal” mean? As Jacob brings his play to completion, he must contend not only with his need for acceptance, but his desire for wild applause and rapturous acclaim.
February 1st, 2017 | 5:30pm
directed by Lisa Nicol (Australia)
In small towns dotted across New South Wales, classical music doesn’t have much of a place. Michelle Leonard is determined to change that. Every year, she drives across the outback to audition singers for the Moorambilla Voices Choir. This deeply affectionate, and often funny, film follows a group of choir finalists including Aboriginal kids Taylah and Khynan. More than an ode to musical education, this film demonstrates music’s ability to foster empathy and break down cultural differences.
We are seeking dynamic individuals who are interested in working in a busy, energetic, film-loving environment to fill the positions of Communications Assistant and Program Outreach and Volunteer Assistant. All applicants must have excellent computer (preferably Mac) and internet skills and the ability to work independently within a team setting.
*Please note the employment criteria at the bottom of the posting.
Contract: Up to 27 weeks, starting as early as February 6, 2017 until August 26, 2017.
(JCP/ Work BC project: Audience Development)
- Assist with digital communications for the 2017 DOXA Documentary Film Festival.
- Work with DOXA staff to develop strategies for audience engagement using visual media.
- Work with DOXA staff to create print and web materials.
- Work with DOXA staff to foster and maintain DOXA’s presence online including website content and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube).
- Coordinate DOXA’s e-newsletter leading up to and during the Festival.
- Track, collect, and file media clippings from various sources, including print and online.
- Work with the Community Engagement Committee on outreach and communication initiatives.
- Work with DOXA staff to edit festival film trailers.
- Assist with photo and video documentation of DOXA screenings and events.
Successful applicants will have or acquire in the position:
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Interest in marketing and social media
- Experience with, or a willingness to learn, various communications and design software, including Constant Contact, Tweetdeck, Photoshop and InDesign.
- Experience with, or a willingness to learn, photo editing software (eg. Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) and video editing software (eg. Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc.) an asset.
- Photography and videography experience an asset.
- Ability to work independently and in a team setting.
- Interest in documentary film and the film industry.
Program Outreach and Volunteer Assistant
(JCP/ Work BC project: Audience Development)
- Work with DOXA senior management team to research and implement outreach strategies for the films leading up and during the 2017 Festival.
- Work toward the successful operation of expanded community outreach through coordinating committee.
- Outreach efforts would include phone, in-person and web-based engagement, catered to each community.
- Outreach to schools for the Rated Y for Youth program.
- Coordinate the festival volunteers and program distribution before and during the festival.
- Provide support to the Audience Services and Operations Manager.
- Assist in general office duties, as required, including answering phones and organizing mailouts.
- Work on outreach and assisting with volunteer coordination for the summer outdoor screenings
Successful applicants will have or acquire in the position:
- Excellent communication, community development, and people skills.
- Project management, event planning and organizational skills.
- Data entry, record keeping and report-writing experience.
- Ability to create and manage Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
- Interest in documentary film and working within a team.
- Experience with front of house operations for a major festival.
- Ability to work with diverse groups of people, students, and volunteers.
If you possess a passion for the arts, a sense of humour, the ability to work as a member of a enthusiastic team, and you thrive working in a flexible and creative environment, we want to hear from you!
*Candidates are only eligible if they are currently unemployed and have a current EI claim; OR have had an established EI claim within the past 36 months; OR have been paid special EI benefits (i.e., maternity/parental) in the past 60 months and are returning to work for the first time since that benefit began. All applicants have to be registered with a Work BC office.
Please send your resume and a cover letter to email@example.com. Application Deadline: January 13, 2017.
“Inspirational”, “empowering”, and “life-changing” -- these are just a few of the many positive comments we received from our audience survey handed out at the 2016 DOXA Documentary Film Festival.
This has been a year of significant change. DOXA said goodbye to former Executive Director Kenji Maeda, and welcomed myself as the new Executive Director. As someone who is new to the Festival, I have been learning about the importance of the organization, not only to filmmakers, students, volunteers, and sponsors, but most importantly to audience members and documentary lovers. At different cultural and social events across the Lower Mainland, I’ve met people who have attended DOXA screenings, panel discussions and industry events.
Part of what we do at DOXA is to present filmmakers and invited speakers in discussion after screenings, so that audience members have the opportunity not only to ask filmmakers about their work, but to engage deeply with the films presented, and the ideas they encompass. Cinema is a social act, and nothing makes this more evident than a theatre filled with people in active and impassioned conversation and exchange. This aspect is especially critical for younger audiences.
In recent years, we have experienced some challenges at DOXA including the rising cost of venues, increasing screening fees, and additional expenses for filmmaker travel. In 2017, DOXA needs your support to expand our capacity. We do a lot with very little. We put together an 11-day festival and year-round programming with two full-time staff, three part-time staff and contractors. A financial contribution to DOXA will allow us to continue to make bold programming choices, and support the documentary genre.
I really hope that you will be willing to make a special year-end donation of $25, $50, $100, $1000, $5000, $10,000. Any amount will help DOXA meet its goals and bring more filmmakers, students, and audience members to the festival. Your donation today will allow us to:
- Continue to present some of the challenging and innovative documentaries from around the world to DOXA audiences.
- Move toward more stability and greater organizational capacity.
- Bring in more guests and filmmakers to engage our audiences.
- Subsidize and offer discount tickets for students and seniors.
- Support programs like Rated Y for Youth, the Justice Forum, and our annual Spotlight.
Documentary cinema can transport you, challenge your assumptions, and foster a profound and ongoing empathy for people a world away. I know first-hand the power of film, both as an art form and as a tool for social change. I have seen the effect that documentaries can bring to the world we live in and the power they have to initiate change. I invite you to support DOXA 2017 as we move forward into a new year.
Executive Director, DOXA Documentary Film Festival
If you didn't have a chance to attend DOXA's FLIPSIDE: Disco vs. Punk fundraiser on December 1st, you can still support DOXA while getting your hands on some great certificates, trips, concert tickets, and much more. We will have more than 40 items available online through eBay. Auction items end in batches between Thursday, December 15th and Sunday, December 18th.
Click here to see the current list of items.
In the summer of 1964, the murder of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner transfixed the US. But alongside these historic events, another story was taking place. Two different groups, comprised of record collectors, college students and musicians set out for Mississippi, determined to track down a pair of legendary bluesmen - Son House and Skip James. DOXA Motion Pictures series and the Kay Meek Centre are very pleased to present Sam Pollard's film Two Trains Runnin'.
Two Trains Runnin’ follows a remarkable series of coincidences, serendipity and, for lack of a better word, destiny. Both Son House and Skip James had recorded the bulk of their music some thirty years earlier and then, for all intents and purposes, vanished. One of the men describes the beginning of the expedition to find Son House as “Three Jews in a VW Bug with New York plates,” pointing their car south. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, musician John Fahey led another expedition to find Skip James. Unbeknownst to each other, both groups ended up discovering the object of their respective searches on exactly the same day -- June 21, 1964.
Director Sam Pollard masterfully combines archival footage, animated sequences and contemporary performances from some of the most exciting blues performers including Valerie June, Chris Thomas King, Gary Clark Jr, Lucinda Williams, North Mississippi Allstars, and Buddy Guy. But it is the final stunning performance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival that is truly the stuff of legend.
"Pollard's film is an excellent intermingling of two completely unrelated non-fiction threads which converge in the state of Mississippi on June 21, 1964, the day Freedom Riders Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were murdered by the KKK. That trio's quest for justice is juxtaposed with a set of music fans' journey to find the old Delta bluesmen whose records they adored. When the storylines converge, Two Trains Runnin' becomes a powerful meditation on the musical origins of an African-American musical genre and the painful reasons for its existence." -- Roger Ebert.com
This remarkable film captures the way in which music holds and carries the truths we are not yet ready to recognize in full, and the confluence of forces that came together at that time in our history through the voices of black Americans and birthed social action that we still desperately need today.” -- The Portland Observer
“Two Trains Runnin’ documents these two social milestones – the Civil Rights movement and the resurrection of the overlooked bluesmen – and the uncanny way in which both trains aligned on June 21, 1964…Pollard, a longtime editor and producer of such films as 4 Little Girls and When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, is at the top of his field when it comes to the visual presentation of historical matter. Animated sequences fill in some of the blanks where no footage exists. Two Trains Runnin’ also intersects nicely with the current examination of race relations in America with a coda that reminds us that the struggle never ends.” – The Austin Chronicle
You are invited to join DOXA's board and staff at this year's Annual General Meeting on Monday, November 28, 2016 at 7 PM.
We will review highlights of the previous year, enjoy some refreshments and welcome our returning and new board members. If you purchased a membership at the 2016 DOXA Documentary Film Festival, you are a voting member. The AGM will take place at The Post at 750.
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 28, 2016 | 7:00PM
LOCATION: The Post at 750, #110-750 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC (buzz #110, 110 Arts Cooperative)
RSVP to Tara Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: still frame taken from DOXA 2016 festival trailers
DOXA returns to the Vancouver streets of old with Flipside: Disco vs Punk, a good old-fashioned dance battle and dueling DJ showdown. The evening will feature a live acoustic performance from legendary punk progenitor-turned-city-father Joe Keithley, leader of D.O.A (whose infamous album Disco Sucks may have started the conflagration). BUY TICKETS HERE.
Beledrone + Modulus at the Movies
Live Performance: Beledrone
Witness the first complete procession performance of Michael O'Neill's Beledrone, an ambitious and exciting project comprised of seven intercultural works. Combining the earthy and ethereal sounds of Balinese gamelan beleganjur drums, bagpipes, gongs, cymbals, viola, and Ukrainian bilij holos singing, the series has been in development for the last five years. The music is rooted in the cultural connection between beleganjur and bagpipes, both prominently used in traditional rituals, also incorporating poetry by Gerry Gilbert.
Film Screening: Lou Harrison: A World of Music
Lou Harrison is widely considered to be one of the great American composers. During his expansive and encompassing career, Harrison moved in the highest circles of art and culture with luminaries such as Arnold Schoenberg, Charles Ives, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage. But despite this rarified company, Harrison was forced to take on other jobs (variously working as a florist, animal nurse, and forest firefighter) to support his composing career. Outspoken, joyful and proudly gay, Harrison's sexuality and candour were a huge part of his work. His collaboration with choreographer Mark Morris, featured prominently in the film, is a testimonial to his dedication to "delight over duty." Eva Soltes's film portrait features many of Harrison's most influential works including Symphony On G, operas Rapunzel and Young Caesar, an opera based on a love affair between Julius Caesar and Nicomedes, King of Bithynea that incorporated same-sex passion, as well as elements from Chinese opera.
"[Lou Harrison: A World of Music] engagingly pays homage to a composer who remains perhaps the most warmly accessible figure in the American musical avant-garde...The delight he imparted as composer and person is amply felt." -Variety