Vancouver's DOXA Documentary Film Festival will open this year with Aim For The Roses – a "musical docudrama" about an amazing Canadian story.
In 1976, Canadian stuntman Ken Carter announced that he would jump a mile over the St. Lawrence Seaway in a rocket-powered Lincoln Continental. In 2010, B.C. musician Mark Haney released a concept album for solo double bass about the event called Aim for the Roses: The Ken Carter Story. The following year, Vancouver filmmaker John Bolton decided to make a film about the two efforts.
Aim For The Roses is one of 85 films from 26 countries screening this year at DOXA, which announced its lineup at an event late Wednesday. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am on the jury for the short documentary award this year.)
Aim For The Roses is part of the festival's Borders and Boundaries program – which looks at the refugee crisis as well as less tangible notions of boundaries. Other films in this program include The Ballad of Oppenheimer Park by Juan Manuel Sepulveda; Jay Cheel's How to Build a Time Machine; and Min Sook Lee's Migrant Dreams, which examines the challenges of migrants who come to Canada for agricultural work.
Other DOXA programs this year include Arab Spring/Arab Fall; Black Life Is, Ain't and Still Rises (including the Canadian premiere of Maya Angelou and Still I Rise co-directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack); and French French, which includes a retrospective of the work of acclaimed filmmaker Claire Simon, who will attend.
The closing-night film is Kirsten Johnson's Cameraperson, a self-described memoir from a veteran cinematographer who has worked with directors such as Michael Moore (Farenheit 9/11) and Laura Poitras (Citizenfour).
DOXA runs May 5 to 15 at various venues around Vancouver.