GAT at DOXA 2020
June 18 – 26
gat.ca/ | @GATPR
Ingrid Hamilton firstname.lastname@example.org – 416-731-3034
Macy Armstrong email@example.com – 289-772-5513
Press notes and images can be found at this link: GAT media site
Admission: $6-10 sliding scale per individual virtual ticket; Festival Passes: $60.
Tickets: www.doxafestival.ca Festival Box Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are thrilled to be representing 5 documentaries for this year’s DOXA.
We look forward to sharing these incredible dynamic stories with you. Below we have listed all the titles with capsule synopses, some even have trailers. And we are ready to set you up with a viewing link for review. Just say the word.
Stay safe and keep watching!
DOPE IS DEATH – Directed by Mia Donovan
In the 1970s, the number of heroin addicts exploded in New York. The Black Panther party saw the epidemic as a form of chemical warfare against the poor and people of colour. The charismatic Dr. Mutulu Shakur (Tupac’s stepfather) heads a core of activists from the Black Panthers and the Puerto Rican Young Lords who occupied an entire hospital in Harlem and gave thousands of people free treatment in the form of acupuncture instead of methadone. Their success was a thorn in the side of Nixon. Mia Donovan weaves fantastic archive footage together with today’s continually inflamed disparity between race and drug abuse in the United States. ‘Dope is Death’ tells a highly up-to-date story about racism, guerilla politics, civil disobedience and an unresolved bank robbery, which may have been a cover-up. The fact that the story is new to most of us is an important part of it. The lines can be drawn all the way down to today, as we begin to realise why we have never heard about it before.
FINDING SALLY – Directed by Tamara Mariam Dawit
Distributor: Cinema Politica
Finding Sally tells the incredible story of a 23-year-old woman from an upper class family who became a communist rebel with the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party. Her romances and ideals entangled her in the country’s revolutionary fever and landed her on the military government’s most wanted list. She went underground and her family never saw her again. Four decades after Sally’s disappearance, Tamara Dawit pieces together the mysterious life of her Aunt Sally and revisits the Ethiopian revolution and the terrible massacre that followed, during which half a million people died. Her quest leads her to question notions of family, identity, belonging, personal convictions, idealism and political engagement, in a time when Ethiopia may be on the brink of another revolution.
INFLUENCE – Directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Lord Tim Bell softened the images of dictators and made the careers of controversial politicians. He helped the old apartheid rulers in South Africa benefit at the end of the regime and beyond (and later tried to foment a race war there.) Bell Pottinger, the company he co-founded, was one of the most powerful PR firms of all time — among other things, they created cynical soap operas and commercials to try to convince Iraqis to embrace “regime change.” A founding executive of the legendary ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the brash young Lord Bell helped usher in an advertising revolution, kicking off a process that would eventually see his company attempting to change the attitudes and even the behaviour of citizens around the world. But his evolution into the godfather of spin began with his stint as the architect of Margaret Thatcher’s ascent to power as British Prime Minister. His three-time success in getting the “Iron Lady” elected allowed him the confidence of world leaders, and earned him a reputation as the world’s greatest PR “fixer.”
SOFTIE – Directed by Sam Soko
Boniface “Softie” Mwangi has long fought injustices in his country as a political activist. Now he’s taking the next step by running for office in a regional Kenyan election. But running a clean campaign against corrupt opponents becomes increasingly harder to combat with idealism alone. And Boniface soon finds that challenging strong political dynasties is putting his family at risk. Director Sam Soko captures a charming idealist’s transformation through his grassroots campaign, while exploring the complexities of balancing Boniface’s deep love of country with the needs of his family. Soko’s film goes beyond politics to reveal what fuels one activist’s need to push for change.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE THIS PLACE, ANYPLACE – Directed by Lulu Wei
The film follows the community of Toronto’s Bloor and Bathurst streets, as it looks at the gentrification told through the stories of people affected by the closure of the iconic discount store, Honest Ed’s. Its recent acquisition and demolition by Vancouver-based Westbank, a high-end developer, meant many in the West end community were concerned about the future of their neighbourhood – including employees, residents of adjacent buildings and artists in the storied cultural hub of Mirvish Village.