Guest Curated Programs

DOXA is pleased to feature three guest programs this year, curated by local, Canadian and international guests and highlighting documentaries from across generations and the globe.

Vancouver-based curator, writer and current Director of Artspeak Gallery, Nya Lewis has selected the film Beba (Rebeca Huntt, 2021) for their program, A Radical Pluriverse: Reflections on Black Womanhood on Both Sides of the Lens. In Lewis’s words, “I consider it a privilege to access a spiritual legacy of mothers, sisters and daughters—a lineage or geneology of Black women(hood) that is defined by collective self-awareness, shared political consciousness, love, magic, quests for liberation and futurism.” In Beba, Rebeca “Beba” Huntt undertakes an unflinching exploration of her own identity and crafts a remarkable coming-of-age documentary/cinematic memoir. Reflecting on her childhood and adolescence in New York City as the daughter of a Dominican father and Venezuelan mother, Huntt searches for a way to forge her own creative path amid a landscape of intense racial and political unrest. Poetic, powerful and profound, the film is a courageous self-portrait of an Afro-Latina artist hungry for knowledge and yearning for connection. Beba will screen on Friday, May 5th at 6:15 PM, at The Cinematheque.

Farah Clémentine Dramani-Issifou, whose research and curatorial work focuses on Afro-diasporic cinema and visual arts, has curated a program of short films called I AM A (WO)MAN: Transatlantic Perspectives on Political Struggles in the 1960s–1970s in Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, the USA and France. These short works highlight the cross-cultural and -continental “struggles for the emancipation of colonized peoples,” and display the collaborative work of filmmakers and labour activists in the fight. Films in this program include: Nossa Terra (dir. Mario Marret, Guinea-Bissau, 1966), an urgent film shot during the guerilla warfare surrounding Guinea-Bissau’s struggle for independence in the mid-1960s; Wanted (هارب) (dir. Ali Essafi, Morocco, 2011), in which archival footage is used to tell the story of Aziz, an activist dreaming of freedom and democracy during Morocco’s Years of Lead; And The Dogs Were Quiet (dir. Sarah Maldoror, France, 1974), adapted from a play by Aimé Césaire and focusing on the rebellion of a man against the enslavement of his people, filmed inside the Musée de l’Homme in Paris; I Am Somebody (dir. Madeline Anderson, USA, 1970), which follows a group of Black women hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina who led a strike and were confronted by the state government and National Guard; Mes voisins (My Neighbours) (dir. Med Hondo, France, 1974), exploring the post-colonial realities in France through the lives of the largely African labouring diaspora; and The Devil is a Condition (dir. Carlos de Jesus, USA, 1973) — set to a soundtrack of free jazz and poetry, the destinies of Puerto Rican and Black communities in '60s-'70s New York feel inextricably tied. This program of revolutionary shorts will screen at The Cinematheque on Monday, May 8th at 7:15 PM, and will be preceded by a reception sponsored by the French Consulate in Vancouver.

Finally, Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis’s program titled NORITA: The Mother of All Struggles features Jayson McNamara’s work-in-progress doc, Norita, examining the life and revolutionary work of Nora Cortiñas, the most famous of the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo—Argentina’s movement of women fighting for justice amidst the country’s rampant political oppression. Featuring entirely women participants, the film is a sweeping intergenerational story about the bonds of motherhood and the strength found in joining forces between young and old, offering a deeply moving defense of the right to reproductive freedoms. Norita is still in post-production, and so this will be a work-in-progress screening connected to DOXA’s Industry program. The event will take place at VIFF Centre on Sunday, May 7th at 5:00 PM.


Committed to cultivating curiosity and critical thought, DOXA 2023 delivers some of the very best in contemporary documentary cinema over 11 days. DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs May 4-14, 2023, offering an exceptional selection of films, filmmaker Q+A’s and Industry events. Select films will be available to stream online after festival dates, between May 15 thru 24, unless otherwise specified. Online films are geo-blocked to Canada and virtual tickets will be limited. Select screenings will include live and pre-recorded filmmaker Q+As and extended discussions. Festival tickets and passes are on sale now! For further information, call the DOXA office at 604.646.3200.

DOXA is presented by The Documentary Media Society, a Vancouver-based non-profit, charitable society. DOXA is presented on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territory.


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