Mermaids, falcons and Link Wray – six picks at this year’s DOXA

DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2017

Vancouver: No Fixed Address looks at Vancouver’s volatile housing market.

It’s DOXA time again, meaning that you can get your fill of nutritious and delicious documentaries in a ten-day feast. This year, the DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs May 4-14 and features 87 films, including two world premieres (For Dear Life and Butterfly).

Special programming includes a retrospective of seven rarely screened works by Chris Marker. Long considered the inventor of the film essay, Marker is a master of editing and narration. La Jetée/The Jetty, which is probably his most famous work, ranked third in Sight & Sound’s poll of the greatest documentaries ever made.

Here are six other docs we think might be worth checking out.

The Road Forward (opening night gala screening) – Through filmed music sequences featuring aboriginal artists, The Road Forward connects the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s to the First Nations activism of today.

The Road Forward.

Vancouver: No Fixed Address – Charles Wilkinson’s doc looks at the number one top among the city’s chattering classes: housing. Vancouver: No Fixed Address gives us multiple perspectives on the subject.

Limit is the Sky.

Limit is the Sky – Julia Ivanova’s documentary follows six young Canadians, including refugees from the Middle East and Africa, as they pursue employment in oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta.


Mermaids – Mermaids follows the stories of five women who are part of a growing “mermaiding” subculture. Mermaid theme parks, conventions, tail-making studios, and the ocean are part of the journey.

Rocker Link Wray from the documentary Rumble, part of this year’s DOXA festival.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World – From Tony Bennett to Link Wray to the Band’s Robbie Robertson (whose mother was a Mohawk raised on Canada’s Six Nations Reserve), First Nations artists played a pivotal role in the development of blues, rock and funk. Rumble gives us portraits of 10 of these seminal musicians.

A Qatari sheikh and his pet cheetah on the road in The Challenge.

The Challenge – The ancient sport of falconry attracts devotees from the Qatari hyper-rich who compete at auction for the best birds (in televised auctions, falcon sell for up to tens of thousands of dollars), train them in the desert, and assemble them in stadiums for tournaments.

Participating theatres include the Vogue, VIFF’s Vancity Theatre, the Cinematheque, The Orpheum Annex, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, and the Museum of Vancouver. For ticket and screening info, visit or Community Box Office (April 22, 23, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at DOXA office (#110–750 Hamilton Street). For info call 604-646-3200.

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