Guest Curated + Retrospective Programs

DOXA is pleased to feature both a guest curated program and an exciting retrospective at this year’s festival, highlighting documentaries from across generations and the globe.


New York-based film curator and writer Dennis Lim has selected the film Anna (Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli, 1975), a film virtually unseen outside Italy until its restoration in 2011. It is a nearly four-hour film that takes its name from its central character: an 8-months pregnant 16-year-old, homeless and on drugs, whom filmmakers Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli discovered in Rome’s Piazza Navona and resolve to include in their film. The ensuing footage is at times discomfiting in its persistence, and does not always showcase the filmmakers in an altruistic light; Anna is undeniably an exploited figure, an object of study and a guinea pig, but also a magnetic screen presence and the film’s star. In Lim’s words: “The film is an extraordinarily precise record of a particular time and place: the mythical tinder box of militancy, rage, repression, paranoia, and nihilism that was Italy in the 1970s. It’s also a movie that overflows its bounds at every turn… Anna seems to hold all the possibilities of cinema—even as it acknowledges its limits.” Anna will screen on Saturday, May 4th at 6:30 PM, at The Cinematheque. Dennis Lim’s accompanying essay can be read in full in the festival program book and on the DOXA website.


The festival program also features a retrospective of the work of Cédric Dupire and Gaspard Kuentz, whose documentaries are intensely sensorial, diving deep into music, performance, ritual and art. Their films are singular journeys: to spirit lands; otherworldly festivals and rituals; exorcisms, possessions and celebrations. The films in this retrospective are: The Real Superstar (2023), a quasi-narrative about the unrivaled celebrity of Bollywood movie star Amitabh Bachchan and a vibrant homage to the rich tapestry of Indian cinema; Prends, Seigneur, Prends (2017), a portrait of the temple of Panchwa in India, which is overtaken by crowds from the Kalbeliya tribe of Rajasthan every year in celebration filled with blood, flesh and flames; Journal Afghan (2015), a short film constructed from mid-century travel footage of the Near and Middle East; Kings of the Wind & Electric Queens (2014) which chronicles the Sonepur Cattle Fair in India and its carnival activities as they draw spectators from across the country; and We Don’t Care About Music Anyway… (2009), a captivating exploration of Tokyo’s avant-garde underground music scene, delving into the noise music, digital innovation and incomprehensible instrumentation from musicians at the fringes of sound. Cédric Dupire will be in attendance at the festival, and will be giving a talk as part of our Industry program on Sunday, May 5th at 3:00 PM, at SFU World Art Centre.




To view the full program of screenings and events, and to reserve your tickets, click here.