Anna Roussillon’s Je suis le peuple (pictured) and Kevin Nikkel’s On the Trail of the Far Fur Country took home feature doc and Canadian doc prizes, respectively, at the 2015 DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.
The festival ran from April 30 to May 10, and closed with an awards ceremony that took place alongside a closing gala presentation of Albert Maysles’s Iris at the Vancouver Playhouse.
The festival’s feature documentary award went to Roussillon’s Je suis le peuple (I Am the People), which focuses on a South Egyptian farmer struggling to keep up with the country’s political and social changes. The feature documentary jury consisted of Roger Evan Larry, Randy Lee Cutler and Adam Cook.
“The jury was united in their admiration for this remarkable debut feature,” read the jury statement. “Intimate, funny, and immersive, the film allows us to witness the unfolding events of the Arab Spring and its aftermath through the eyes of a peasant farming family living in a small village near Luxor. It is documentary storytelling at its most compelling and empathic, truly a triumph.”
An honorable mention for the feature doc category went to Marcell Gerő’s Cain’s Children, which examines the topic of juvenile murderers.
Meanwhile, Kevin Nikkel’s On the Trail of the Far Fur Country - which details Canada’s early cinematic history and its representation of First Nations people – was awarded The Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary, while Cliff Caines’s A Rock and a Hard Place, on a northern Canadian town built atop a gold mine, received an honorable mention. The jury for the award included Brishkay Ahmed, Nik Sheehan and Lisa g Nielsen.
“The film evokes a nostalgia for the time while reflecting on our complicated past in a well-paced and technically accomplished film. This is a sensitive and optimistic exploration of two cultures, First Nation and European, then and now,” read the jury statement.
Elsewhere, the short documentary award went to Dan Popa’s film Island and Flight, which explores the process of flight between 16 airports around the world, while an honorable mention was given to Charlie Tyrell’s I Thought I Told You to Shut Up!!, on graphic novelist David Boswell.
Finally, The Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming went to Victoria Lean for her debut documentary After the Last River, on an indigenous community struggling with development on their land, while Jerry Rothwell’s Greenpeace doc How to Change the World was given an honorable mention.