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Four NFB docs at DOXA: Opening Night Gala film from Baljit Sangra, a world premiere from Paul Émile d’Entremont, plus BC premieres from Tasha Hubbard and Eric Thiessen.


April 9, 2019 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada

The 2019 DOXA Documentary Film Festival (May 2 to 12, 2019) will feature four powerful National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produced and co-produced documentaries, including major new works by Vancouver filmmakers Baljit Sangra and Paul Émile d’Entremont, as well as BC premieres from Tasha Hubbard and Eric Thiessen.

A powerful tribute to women’s strength in the face of profound trauma, Baljit Sangra’s Because We Are Girls is being featured at the festival’s Opening Night Gala, fresh from its Hot Docs premiere.

An Acadian filmmaker now based in Vancouver, Paul Émile d’Entremont looks at gay athletes working to overcome prejudice in his fifth film to date with the NFB, Standing on the Line, making its world premiere at DOXA.

After opening the Hot Docs festival, Tasha Hubbard’s nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (Downstream Documentary Productions/NFB in association with CBC DOCS and APTN) is at DOXA for its BC debut. nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up is the latest work by the acclaimed director of Two Worlds Colliding and Birth of a Family.

From Saskatchewan, Eric Thiessen’s short documentary Talking at Night is also making its BC premiere, featured in DOXA’s shorts program.

Opening Night Gala film and BC premiere: Baljit Sangra’s Because We Are Girls

Presented Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Playhouse and Tuesday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Vancity Theatre as part of the Justice Forum, this Vancouver-produced NFB feature documentary explores the impact of sexual abuse, as a conservative Indo-Canadian family in small-town British Columbia must come to terms with a devastating secret: three sisters were sexually abused by an older relative in their childhood years. After remaining silent for nearly two and a half decades, the sisters decide to come forward—not only to protect other young relatives, but to set an example for their daughters as well.

Because We Are Girls is produced by Selwyn Jacob and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the NFB’s BC and Yukon Studio.

BC premiere: Tasha Hubbard’s nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up is screening in the Justice Forum Spotlight on Wednesday, May 8 at 6 p.m. at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts and on Thursday, May 9 at noon at the Vancity Theatre as part of the Rated Y for Youth program.

On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a transformative vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up is a co-production of Downstream Documentary Productions and the NFB, produced in association with CBC DOCS and APTN with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Feature Film Production Grant Program of Creative Saskatchewan, Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds through the Theatrical Documentary Program, with the assistance of the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund and is distributed by the NFB. Theatrical release will follow this year.

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up is produced by Tasha Hubbard and George Hupka for Downstream Documentary Productions, and Jon Montes and Bonnie Thompson for the NFB. The executive producers are David Christensen (NFB), Janice Dawe and Kathy Avrich-Johnson (Bizable Media).

World premiere: Paul Émile d’Entremont’s Standing on the Line

Standing on the Line makes its world premiere on Sunday, May 12 at 8 p.m. at The Cinematheque, following a screening for youth on Wednesday, May 8 at noon.

In both amateur and professional sports, being gay remains taboo. Few dare to come out of the closet for fear of being stigmatized, and for many, the pressure to perform is compounded by a further strain: whether or not to affirm their sexual identity. Breaking the code of silence that prevails on the field, on the ice and in the locker room, this film takes a fresh and often moving look at some of our gay athletes, who share their experiences with the camera. They’ve set out to overcome prejudice in the hopes of changing things for the athletes of tomorrow.

Standing on the Line is produced by Christine Aubé, Jac Gautreau and Maryse Chapdelaine, and executive produced by Michèle Bélanger and Dominic Desjardins for the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie.

BC premiere: Eric Thiessen’s Talking at Night

Winner of the Ruth Shaw Award (Best of Saskatchewan) at the Yorkton Film Festival, Talking at Night makes its BC debut as part of the shorts program on Wednesday, May 8, starting at 8:15 p.m. at The Cinematheque.

Saskatoon’s Mobile Crisis Centre provides 24/7 crisis resolution to people in distress. Its workers take calls from individuals in unpredictable and urgent situations and respond in person when help is needed most. Thiessen captures the behind-the-scenes experiences of the crisis centre’s staff, crafting a compelling observational portrait of a critically needed but largely unknown service.

Talking at Night is produced by Jon Montes and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio.


Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopses: Because We Are Girls | nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up | Standing on the Line | Talking at Night

Associated Links

DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Downstream Documentary Productions
Bizable Media

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.