Back from DOXA Documentary Film Festival

I'm back from the DOXA Documentary Film Festival. Actually, I didn't have to physically travel far as the festival is on my doorstep here in Vancouver, British Columbia. But it was a complete shift in headspace after being immersed in the editing process, to be talking about it in public and sharing the film with a live audience.

DOXA was the first festival we submitted Running On Climate to. Writing my monthly film column for Common Ground Magazine over the last decade or so, I've been impressed by the selection of films in Vancouver's equivalent of HotDocs and it was up there on my shortlist of festivals to open at. Last year, for example, included screenings of Oscar-nominated Virunga and the excellent Damnation. So we were very excited when we heard that Running On Climate had been selected, especially given our submission was still in a late rough cut stage when we entered it.

I couldn't have asked for a better time and place for the premiere: the first Saturday evening at the salubrious VIFF Vancity Theatre - my favourite cinema in town. There was a full-house for the film and a lively "Justice Forum" Q&A afterwards about climate and politics with two of the key characters in the film climatologist Dr Andrew Weaver and microbiologist Dr Lynne Quarmby. I'm still gauging the response to the film, but initial feedback has been very positive not just from audience members, but we've had some good media coverage as well (even though journos only saw the early rough cut of the film).

I was interviewed on CKNW, News11.30 and CITR radio stations and Running On Climate was featured by Western Canada's film industry magazine Reel West. The Globe & Mail had Running On Climate as one of its 5 DOXA picks, as did local blog Vancouver Presents, while The Vancouver Observer gave us a four-star review (out of five). The Georgia Straight described the film as "an exhilarating portrait of a grassroots political campaign from the moment of its origin".

All in all, a fine start for the film that we hope to build on.