Special Programs

Special Programs

DOXA highlights the following Special Programs in the 2018 DOXA Documentary Film Festival.

Justice Forum

For nine years, the Justice Forum has been one of DOXA’s cornerstone programs; showcasing films that facilitate active and critical engagement, create space for dialogue, and sow the seeds for social change. Each Justice Forum screening is paired with a panel of speakers including filmmakers, experts in the field, academics, and community activists. The 2018 Justice Forum films foster crucial conversations around a broad range of social issues, offering necessary perspectives for change and progress.

Rated Y for Youth

Now in its tenth year, Rated Y for Youth was founded upon the idea of facilitating media literacy through thought-provoking documentaries. DOXA selects programming for high school students and youth to foster an appreciation for cinema while giving young audiences an opportunity to engage in open dialogue on a broad range of social issues. Each Rated Y for Youth screening is followed by a post-screening discussion with filmmakers and community members. This year’s selection includes films about Indigenous and environmental activism, anti-bullying and body positivity, migrant and economic justice issues, and truth and reconciliation.


French philosopher Simone Weil once wrote, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” With this ethos in mind, our Spotlight on Quietude is a collection of films that pay close and generous attention. Layered observations, rich cinematography and careful editing define these films, encouraging deep listening, reflection, and empathy. Wonderfully idiosyncratic, individual and even sometimes a bit odd, they are a reminder that stillness contains multitudes.

Press Play

Arguably one of the most powerful art forms, music has a unique way of elevating the senses and imagination. This group of high-energy films take us around the world, exploring different cultures and social movements, and celebrating the many ways that music brings people together to challenge the status quo.

Embedded with Extremists

From an armed right-wing militia in Oregon, to leaders of a neo-Nazi political party in Greece or a radical Islamist family in Syria, this curated program highlights the work of documentary filmmakers who risk everything to uncover the truth about extremist movements. Curated by Geoff Dembicki. 

From Our Eyes

For decades, most films about Tibet have been produced by filmmakers from other parts of the world. Far fewer films have actually been made by the Tibetan people themselves. From Our Eyes is a collection of films made by Tibetan herdsman and youth that subvert twentieth century ethnographic conventions, and offer an intimate look into the daily life of their communities. Curated by Yi Cui.

French French 

DOXA is very proud to offer our fourth edition of French French with five new extraordinary films, and a special program dedicated to the work of Alain Cavalier. Cavalier, awarded Maître du Réel (Master of the Real) at Visions du Réel Film Festival last year, and a renowned member of the Nouvelle Vague, authored a new style of film portrait more than thirty years ago. These beautifully observed capsules (13-minutes each) are encounters of the rarest kind—intimate, elegant and filled with a profound sense of humility. French French will include six of these original portraits, paired with Cavalier’s latest Six Portraits XL, created from material he filmed of six different friends over the course of many years.

Although all of the work presented in French French is informed by the idea of portraiture, each individual film deals very differently with this approach. Whether it is a vérité profile, like Marie Dumora’s Belinda, or the illustrated memories of 102-year-old man in Michèle Smolkin’s If You’re Hungry, Sing. If You Ache, Laugh (Si tu as faim, chante. Si tu as mal, ris)—the intent is to fully illuminate the reality of human experience in all of its complexity, pain and joy.