Pancouver-Logo

Become a Cultural Navigator

Become a Cultural Navigator

DOXA Festival 2024: Juries honour Bye Bye Tiberias, Red Fever, and director of La Laguna del Soldado

DOXA awards
Bye Bye Tiberias was honoured as DOXA's top documentary. Image from the collection of Lina Soualem.

A film about Palestinian exile and return, Bye Bye Tiberias, has captured this year’s DOXA Feature Documentary Award. French-Palestinian filmmaker Lina Soualem recalls how her mother, Hiam Abbass, left her village of Deir Hanna in Galilee while in her early 20s. Abbass settled in Paris with dreams of becoming an actor.

After Soualem discovers videotapes of a family summer holiday to their homeland, the director decides to return to the village to learn more about why her mother moved away. In the process, Soualem discovers a great deal about the lives of family members whom she left behind.

“This urgent personal documentary of longing, displacement and connection illuminates Palestinian family archives at a time when these documents and stories are being erased in the ongoing genocide,” jurors Liz Marshall Sara Wylie, and Hejer Charf said in a statement. “Cinematically weaving generations of matrilineal history with that of her motherland, we honour filmmaker Lina Soualem for her courage and artistry.”

Watch the trailer for Bye Bye Tiberias.

In addition, jury members granted special mentions to two other films. One of them, the Neurocultures Collective and Steven Eastwood’s The Stimming Pool, is a hybrid feature sharing perspectives on neurodiversity. Autistic people drive the production, setting it apart from almost every other film on this topic.

Watch the trailer for The Stimming Pool.

Another special mention went to Kamay by Ilyas Yourish and Shahrokh Bikaran. It focuses on a Hazara family’s search for justice after their daughter dies at Kabul University. The family, part of a persecuted minority in Afghanistan, live in a rural part of the country.

Watch the trailer for Kamay.

DOXA celebrates film about South America

Meanwhile, the Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director went to Pablo Avarez-Mesa. In La Laguna del Soldado, he retraces El Libertador Simón Bolívar’s journey to liberate Colombia from Spanish occupation more than 200 years ago. The Caracas-born military and political leader played a pivotal role in Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Bolivia also securing their independence.

La Laguna del Soldado focuses tremendous attention on the landscape. In fact, the DOXA website describes the film as “a cinematic tapestry of sound and light that ascends the mountains, delves into the depths, burbles along streams, and ventures into the enigmatic darknesses of the paramo”. It’s the second in a series of three films, with the first being Bicentenario in 2021.

“A film that is as sensitive as it is critical, La Laguna del Soldado probes a lineage of colonial violence even as it continues into the present,” jurors Florence Lamonthe, Ryan Ermacora, and Hind Saïh said in a statement.

Watch the trailer for La Laguna del Soldado.

One of the special jury mentions in this category went to Jennifer Wickham, Brenda Michell, and Michael Toledano, who co-directed Yintah. Filmed over 10 years, it documents Wet’suwet’en resistance to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Director Lisa Jackson received the second special jury mention for Wilfred Buck, which charts how colonization has tried to crush Indigenous ways of knowing. It revolves around Buck, who became an ININIW (Cree) astronomer after living through difficult times in northern Manitoba in the 1960s.

DOXA Awards
Red Fever won the Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming. Image courtesy of Rezolution Pictures.

Indigenous film wins the youth prize

This year’s Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming winner went to another documentary with an Indigenous theme. Neil Diamond and Catherine Bainbridge’s Red Fever “is a witty and dynamic film that highlights the deep and profound roots of Indigenous influence on western media, culture, and identity”, according to jurors Olivia Moore, Anna Hetherington, Emily Ask Cutajar, and Darius Darabi.

Special mention in this category went to Tasha Hubbard’s Singing Back the Buffalo. It chronicles efforts by Indigenous people to revive buffalo populations across the Great Plains.

In the short documentary category, jurors Gianluca Matarrese, Éléonore Goldberg and Kimberly Ho awarded Hao Zhou’s “Wouldn’t Make It Any Other Way”. Special mention went to Ibrahim Handal’s “A Short Film About a Chair”.

The DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs until May 12. For more information, visit the website. Follow Pancouver on X (formerly Twitter) @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

Take Action Now

Pancouver fuels creativity and promotes a more inclusive society. You can contribute to support our mission of shining a spotlight on diverse artists. Donations from within Canada qualify for a tax receipt.

Share this article

Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

Subscribe

Tags

Related Articles

The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.

The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

© 2023 The Society of We Are Canadians Too Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.