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Documentary Edge Festival 2020

This year's festival focuses on ongoing challenges, from crusading journalists to unstable politicians and UFO cults.
By Stephen Heard
June 08, 2020
By Stephen Heard
June 08, 2020

The Documentary Edge Festival has been bringing the very best documentaries from across the globe to New Zealand since 2005. Due to gathering and physical distancing restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is moving online and nationwide for the first time in 2020.

With seven titles already released, including a flick about swimming with polar bears and an eye-opening look into war-torn Syria, the festival has now unveiled its full program for 2020. In a year when everything is out of whack, the festival's 83-film lineup will focus on ongoing challenges, from crusading journalists, unscrupulous spin doctors and corrupt politicians to the struggles of refugees, meatless diets and new religions.

Newly announced unscripted features include the opening night film A Thousand Cuts, which explores the way Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte uses social media to spread disinformation. The film follows journalist Maria Ressa as she puts her freedom on the line in defence of truth and democracy. A live-stream pōwhiri and welcome address from the Festival Directors will open the screening followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.

Elsewhere on the bill, #UNFIT: A Psychological Thriller presents an eye-opening analysis of the behaviour, psyche, condition and stability of President Donald J. Trump; Elementa is a cinematic experience filmed over five years on seven continents from award-winning Kiwi filmmaker, Richard Sidey; Maddy the Model follows supermodel Madeleine Stuart as she challenges the fickle face of fashion to change public perceptions of identity, disability, and beauty; and award-winning director Yoav Shamir sheds light on the world's biggest UFO religion in The Prophet and the Space Aliens.

Closing the festival is the winner of Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival, The Cordillera of Dreams. Directed by Patricio Guzmán, the film explores the cultural impact of Chile's snow-capped mountain spine.

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