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Documentary Edge Festival Is Going Online and Nationwide for the First Time in 2020

This year's lineup will focus on ongoing challenges, from crusading journalists to corrupt politicians and UFO cults.
By Stephen Heard
May 05, 2020
By Stephen Heard
May 05, 2020

The Documentary Edge Festival has been bringing the very best documentaries from across the globe to New Zealand since 2005. It annually attracts more than 10,000 people to watch a selection of thought-provoking, feature-length docos and pint-sized flicks.

With cinemas currently shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is moving online and nationwide for the first time in 2020. Doc Edge 2020 will run from 12 June to 5 July screening over 70 films. In a year when everything is out of whack, the festival's program will focus on ongoing challenges, from crusading journalists, unscrupulous spin doctors and corrupt politicians to the struggles of refugees, meatless diets and new religions.

From Sundance comes Influence, a film charting the rise and fall of notorious public relations firm Bell Pottinger. Picture of His Life follows the journey of renowned underwater wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum as he attempts to swim with a polar bear. In This Is Not a Movie, director Yung Chang captures journalist Robert Fisk on the ground in war-torn Syria.

Also on the bill, Kiwi filmmaker Sally Williams celebrates the career of New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson in Stevenson: Lost and Found; award-winning director Yoav Shamir sheds light on the world's biggest UFO religion in The Prophet and the Space Aliens; and German filmmaker Marcus Vetter takes a look behind the scenes of the World Economic Forum.

Doc Edge will realise its online vision by partnering with New Zealand video platform Shift72. Given the current stringent gathering and social distancing limitations, several other film festivals are also heading online. The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has announced its 2020 program will be presented in an online format, while a who's who of the film festival game — including Tribeca, Cannes, Berlinale, Sundance — are joining forces to present a free online festival of features, shorts, documentaries and more via YouTube.

The 15th Documentary Edge Festival 2020 will run from 12 June – 5 July. The full program will be released on Thursday, 14 May. For more information, visit

Published on May 05, 2020 by Stephen Heard


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