DOXA Festival Awards


PLEASE NOTE: The full DOXA 2020 lineup will be announced Wednesday, April 15. Stay tuned! 

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 is very happy to welcome an outstanding group of filmmakers, film critics, and industry professionals to the Award Juries this year. Jury members meet during the course of the festival to choose the winning films, as well as award honourable mentions to selected films.

DOXA Feature Documentary Award

Films In Competition

  • A Bright Light: Karen and the Process (Directed by Emmanuelle Antille)
  • City of the Dead (Directed by Miguel Eek)
  • Corleone (Directed by Mosco Levi Boucault)
  • Greeting From Free Forests (Directed by Ian Soroka)
  • Los Reyes (Directed by Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff )
  • Midnight Traveler (Directed by Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian)
  • One Child Nation (Directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang)
  • Pomelo (Directed by Phuong Thao Tran and Swann Dubus) 
  • Young Solitude (Directed by Claire Simon)

DOXA Feature Documentary Award Jurors

Gregory Coyes

Gregory Coyes has worked in the Indigenous media community over the last three decades as an award- winning documentary film-maker, and as an educator and writer. He has produced and directed with the National Film Board, and consulted and written for the Smithsonian at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

A graduate of Yale University, Greg is currently teaching, and coordinating the Independent Indigenous Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano University in North Vancouver. His Masters thesis focused on the SLOW MEDIA Community, which creates and promotes decolonized media, and an Indigenous sense of cinematic time and space. Greg is Metis/Cree from St. Albert, Alberta.

Sean Farnel

Sean Farnel provides creative, marketing and distribution services to documentary producers, companies and institutions. He was the first Director of Programming for Hot Docs, which tripled its audience during his six-year tenure. Prior to joining Hot Docs, Sean created the popular screening series Doc Soup and founded the documentary programme at the Toronto International Film Festival. As well, he developed and launched tiff's initial strategic plan for Learning programmes. Sean has done research and strategic consulting for the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm Canada, the Documentary Organization of Canada, FilmFreeway and other media companies in the private and public sectors. Along with writing for numerous publications, Sean has served as a mentor, facilitator, panelist and juror at hundreds of film events.

Michèle Smolkin

Michèle Smolkin was born in Paris, where she became an architect. In 1983 she moved to Vancouver and became a freelance cultural journalist for radio and the written press, a translator/voice over talent, a radio host, a TV and radio shows producer, as well as a radio drama writer. In 2003, she became a director and writer for Radio-Canada, then Head of the French TV department in BC and later Programming Executive Producer. Currently she works as a documentary independent director and writer. In 2017, she wrote and directed If You’re Hungry, Sing…  a documentary mixing archival footage and animation to tell an essential story of resilience and resistance. If You’re Hungry, Sing… was featured at many festivals including DOXA, Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, Salt Spring Island Film Festival. 

Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary

Films In Competition

  • Because We Are Girls (Directed by Baljit Sangra)
  • Candice (Directed by Sheona McDonald)
  • City Dreamers (Directed by Joseph Hillel)
  • Dark Suns (Directed by Julien Elie)
  • The Hottest August (Directed by Brett Story)
  • Illusions of Control (Directed by Shannon Walsh)
  • nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (Directed by Tasha Hubbard)
  • Xalko (Directed by Sami Mermer and Hind Bencher)

Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary Jurors

Leon Lee

Leon Lee is an award-winning filmmaker. His debut documentary Human Harvest exposed China’s illegal organ trade. It has been viewed by millions worldwide and received a coveted Peabody Award. Lee’s documentary Avenues of Escape (2016) was the recipient of four Leo Awards including Best Feature Documentary. His recent documentary Letter from Masanjia premiered at Hot Docs 2018 and has since won awards from festivals around the world. His goal as a filmmaker is to shine a light on personal true stories that resonate beyond language and culture, giving a voice to the voiceless.

John Bolton

Acclaimed for his eclecticism and vision, and for his emotionally rich and formally uncompromising work, John Bolton is an award-winning filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada with a keen interest in collaborating with and adapting the works of authors and musicians and other artists.  As passionate about creating smaller films as he is about making larger movies, John produces and writes and directs comedies, dramas, documentaries and performing arts pieces through his production company OPUS 59 FILMS. He also writes and directs for other producers, and produces for other writers and directors. He produced and wrote and directed the feature documentary AIM FOR THE ROSES, which opened DOXA in 2016, and he also produced Teresa Alfeld's feature documentary THE RANKIN FILE, which opened DOXA in 2018.

Peg Campbell

Peg Campbell is a documentary and narrative fllmmaker, whose work has received international acclaim. She has won awards from the Genie's (now Canadian Screen Awards), Banff International Television Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Women in Film, and Reel2Real International Film Festival for Youth. Peg’s films have been broadcast on CBC, Knowledge Network, PBS, WTN, A&E, and The Movie Channel. Her social activist films seek to rebalance power and unsettle societal assumptions.

Peg has taught film at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, since 1986, winning the Ian Wallace Teaching Award. She is ABD on her PhD in Philosophy (Media and Communications) from the European Graduate School and has an MFA in Creative Writing and Film Production from the University of BC. SFU awarded her the Outstanding Alumni Award for service to the community. She is a founding member of Cineworks Film Co-op, Women in Film Vancouver, and Women in the Director’s Chair and currently sits on the Board of the Powell River Film Society and programming committee for PR Film Festival

Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming

Nigel Moore

DOXA is extremely proud to announce the sixth edition of the Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming. Named in memory of Nigel Moore, a young man whose passion for knowledge, exploration, and advocacy found a home in his love for documentary film. For younger audiences, documentary has particular relevance. The world in which they’re growing up is an increasingly complex place. Documentary not only captures this complexity, but also has the capacity to act as a catalyst for social change, and fundamentally alter people’s behaviour.

The award will be adjudicated by a youth jury, who will choose the film that best exemplifies the qualities of compassion, social engagement, and spirit in which Nigel lived.

Films In Competition

  • Call Me Intern (Directed by Nathalie Berger and Leo David Hyde)
  • nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (Directed by Tasha Hubbard)
  • Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies (Directed by Larry Weinstein)
  • Standing on the Line (Directed by Paul Émile D’Entremont)
  • Toxic Beauty (Directed by Phyllis Ellis)

Nigel Moore Award Jurors

Anna Hetherington

Anna recently graduated from the SFU Beedie School of Business and is now an Assurance Associate at PwC Vancouver where she works with a variety of clients in the Financial Services industry. Anna is known as a creative and outgoing individual who loves to volunteer in the community. She and Nigel grew up together from the time they were born. Anna’s most vivid memories of their time together include art classes, body painting, and losing to Nigel at every game they played. Anna continues to be inspired by her memories of Nigel’s thirst for knowledge and his constant exploration of the world around him.

Jacob Saltzberg

Jacob Saltzberg has been a juror for DOXA for the past five years. He is a musician from Vancouver who has been involved with the Vancouver music scene for the past two years under the name Traffik. He is also a UBC student in his third year of studies.

Steven Hawkins

Steven is a 21 year old business student at UVic, and has adjudicated the Nigel Moore Award since its inception in 2013. He is an avid musician, and plays in the Victoria-based rock band, Salt Water Soul. 

Teagan Dobson

Teagan Dobson has lived in Vancouver for 16 years. She is currently a student at BCIT studying communications. She has a passion for writing, the outdoors, mental health, and social issues.

Maya Biderman

Maya is completing her Masters of Science in Psychiatry Research at Dalhousie University where she focuses on Indigenous health research.  She is an advocate for social justice, and works with the organization Heart to Heart to foster dialogue for shared society with Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel. She is a rower, a hiker, a photographer, and a singer.  

DOXA Short Documentary Award

Films In Competition

  • A Radiant Sphere (Directed by Sara Wylie)
  • Crannog (Directed by Isa Rao)
  • Enforcement Hours (Directed by Paloma Martinez)
  • Enhior’hén:ne [Tomorrow] (Directed by Roxann Whitebean)
  • Haven (Directed by Colin Askey)
  • It's Going to Be Beautiful (Directed by Luis Gutiérrez Arias and John Henry Theisen)
  • Ka Ussi-Tshishkutamashuht (Directed by Béatrice Mark, Rachel Mark, Gisèle Mark)
  • Mare Amarum (Directed by Philippe Fontana)
  • Norman Norman (Directed by Sophy Romvari)
  • Time is Out of Joint (Directed by Victor Arroyo)
  • The Violence of a Civilization Without Secrets (Directed by Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, Jackson Polys)


DOXA Short Documentary Awards Jurors

Aaron Zeghers

Aaron Zeghers is a Winnipeg-based filmmaker and film programmer. He is the founder of the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival and the current Festival Director for the Gimli Film Festival, Manitoba’s largest film festival. Zeghers works primarily as an experimental and documentary filmmaker, utilizing analog formats and obsolete technologies, in-camera effects, various types of animation and other experimental techniques to create his films and expanded cinema performances. Zeghers’ films have screened at festivals and venues around the world including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Festival du nouveau cinéma, DOXA Film Festival, and New York’s Mono No Aware. Zeghers has also toured widely with his expanded cinema work, performing in Rotterdam, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Vancouver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Toronto and more.

Joella Cabalu

Joella Cabalu is an award-winning Filipino-Canadian Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker. Her first credit as a producer and director was for her own personal family documentary It Runs in the Family (2015), which won Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival and an honourable mention for the Loni Ding Award for Social Justice Documentary at CAAMFest. Since then, she has developed a track record as a creative and collaborative producer working with emerging women directors on compelling short documentaries, including the uplifting environmental film FIXED! (DOXA '17) and Do I Have Boobs Now? (2017) a fascinating portrait of a trans activist which screened in festivals worldwide, including Slamdance, BFI Flare, and OUTFest LA. She recently produced a CBC Docs short Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure (2019), about a community of strangers coming together after discovering a message in a bottle containing human ashes. 

Ananya Ohri

Ananya is interested in exploring how the creation of inclusive and just communities is supported through the arts. She is the Artistic Director of the project Home Made Visible at the Regent Park Film Festival, where she was the Executive Director for the last 7 years. Ananya is also a part-time filmmaker and a full-time mom! Most recently, she was a fellow of the Toronto Art Council’s Cultural Leaders Lab.