Big pharma, Google crimes, and the Beatles among the subjects at this year's DOXA

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       The future is uncertain and the past is fab this year at DOXA.

      The 13th edition of Vancouver's documentary festival opens on May 3 with Occupy the Movie, a film described by local director Cory Ogilvie at a media launch today as “an attempt to investigate how banks impact our economic destiny.” Ogilvie said he was prompted to make the film—which includes interviews with Chris Hedges, Cornel West, and Kalle Lasn—when a YouTube short he made scored over a million hits in its first month.

      Meanwhile, our larger destiny comes into focus with one of this year’s special programs. Among the eight movies falling under the Spotlight on the Future series is Google and the World Brain, which confronts in eye-opening detail Google’s efforts to build a digital world library. What seems at first like a noble idea very quickly runs into copyright and intellectual property issues, but these are nothing compared to what may or may not be a far more sinister goal.

      DOXA also continues its annual Justice Forum series with a slate of films examining, among other issues,  the evils of big pharma (Fire in the Blood), cultural imperialism (God Loves Uganda), and the unraveling of society in the world’s economic dead zones (Sofia’s Last Ambulance).

      It’s not all bad news, of course. The festival ends on May 12 with Good Ol’ Freda, in which Freda Kelly dishes for the very first time on her 11 years as secretary to a foursome known as Messrs. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr. “Just when you thought there were no more Beatles stories to be told,” as DOXA programmer Dorothy Woodend put it.

      Also coming to DOXA for the first time is the Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming. “A young man who whose passion for knowledge, exploration, and advocacy found a home in his love for documentary film,” is how DOXA describes Nigel, who passed away last year at the age of 16.

      Included in the Rated Y for Youth Program is Jeanie (Sound it Out) Finlay’s new film, The Great Hip Hop Hoax, about a couple of guys from Scotland who posed as rappers from California and made asses of the entire recording industry.

      Check the DOXA website later this evening for the full schedule.