The 2013 edition of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival wrapped up on May 12 with a closing gala and awards presentation at the Rio Theatre at a screening of Good Ol' Freda.
Dylan Mohan Gray’s Fire in the Blood won the Feature Documentary Award. The film takes a look at how a coalition of activists, doctors, and politicians fought against pharmaceutical companies to make AIDS drugs available and affordable in Africa in order to save lives. Jury members said they chose the film for its strength as a piece of cinematic art as well as a call to action.
Gray responded with the following statement: “I have been deeply moved by the messages and feedback I have received from numerous friends and strangers in Vancouver, even before winning this prize, and it is an absolutely thrill to know that our film has touched such a nerve there...The characters of Fire in the Blood are living proof that it is possible to do the unthinkable, to take on the most powerful governments and corporations on the planet, and—if the cause is just—to change the world.”
Meanwhile, another pharmaceutical-related documentary, Antoine Bourges’ East Hastings Pharmacy about the routine of methadone dispensing, won the Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary. The jury stated that "this extraordinary work requires us to confront the expectations we have of documentaries and question the demands we make of filmmakers.”
Poland's Kacper Czubak won the short documentary award for "18 kg", about a boy in a Zambian orphanage who is fighting HIV with the help of nuns. The jury stated that although many films have depicted issues of AIDS in Africa, they chose this film because it "deals with large themes of faith, terminal illness and desperation but always stays centered in the heart.”
Youth Jury members awarded the inaugural Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming to Jeanie Finlay’s film The Great Hip Hop Hoax, about two Scottish rappers who fake their way into the music industry. Director Jeanie Finlay, reached in England, said “I am utterly gobsmacked, thrilled and thankful... DOXA is a very special festival and it was wonderful to share my film with the warm Vancouver audience earlier this week. To unexpectedly win this award is the icing on the cake.”