Watch: ‘Joe Buffalo’ Short Doc – About an Indigenous Skateboarder
by Alex Billington
October 17, 2022
“I just never thought I was professional enough… I’ve made some mistakes over the years that eventually caught up with me. Jail damaged my spirit.” This outstanding short documentary film is absolutely worth a watch. Joe Buffalo premiered last year via The New Yorker, playing at the SXSW, Tribeca, and DOC NYC Film Festivals. Thanks to a reminder from our friends at Short of the Week, it’s available online. It’s a very humble, honest portrait of a skateboarder. Telling the story of a boarding school survivor who overcomes his past (and inner demons) to become an Indigenous skate legend. Directed by Amar Chebib, and executive produced by Tony Hawk, skater Joe Buffalo talks about how he had to overcome addiction and trauma stemming from his years in Canada’s Church-run school system. It’s quite tragic and sad, but also strangely uplifting and inspiring when he really gets into the ups & downs of his story. Fiercely intimate filmmaking.
Thanks to Short of the Week for the tip on this. Intro via YouTube: “Joe Buffalo is an Indigenous skateboard legend. He’s also a survivor of Canada’s notorious Indian Residential School system. Following a traumatic childhood and decades of addiction, Joe must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro.” Joe Buffalo is directed by a Syrian-Canadian filmmaker in Vancouver named Amar Chebib – see more of his work on his Vimeo or visit his official website or follow him on IG @amarchebib. He also directed the feature-length doc Wajd – Songs of Separation. Produced by Mack Stannard, Hayley Morin, Amar Chebib. Executive produced by Tony Hawk and Mohammad Gorjestani. With cinematography by Liam Mitchell. This was made for + distributed by The New Yorker in 2021. It screened at the SXSW & Tribeca Film Fests. For more info on the short, visit SOTW or New Yorker. To discover more short films, click here. Thoughts?