NZ's only Oscar-qualifying documentary film festival heads completely online

  • 08/06/2020
  • Sponsored by - Chorus
Mt Taranaki is the backdrop in A Broken Earth
Mt Taranaki is the backdrop in A Broken Earth Photo credit: Supplied

Roll out the red carpet at your place because New Zealand's leading documentary film festival is skipping theatres and heading straight to you. 

Doc Edge International Documentary Film Festival has teamed up with Chorus to bring this year's event completely online, meaning all 57 feature films and 26 shorts can be accessed across the whole country. Thanks to Chorus, the entire catalogue of short films will be available free of charge.

The festival kicks off Friday, June 12 and runs through to Sunday, July 5. As always the festival features a potent mix of local and international talent but some highlights of the line-up include the global premiere of three feature films by Kiwi directors. 


Screening Times: Thu 18 June, 6 pm | Monday 22 June, 5 pm

Directed by Richard Sidey

NZ's only Oscar-qualifying documentary film festival heads completely online
Photo credit: Supplied

A stunning black-and-white meditation on the majesty of nature, directed by award-winning Wanaka local Richard Sidey. From the vastness of the arctic tundra to the lush rainforest and across the depths of our oceans, Elementa is a mesmerising odyssey with jaw-dropping cinematography. Filmed over five years on seven continents, Elementa completes Sidey's 'Speechless' trilogy and is his second collaboration with composer Boreal Taiga. 

Stevenson: Lost and Found

Screens: Friday 19 June 7 pm | Thursday 2 July, 5 pm

Directed by Sally Williams 

NZ's only Oscar-qualifying documentary film festival heads completely online
Photo credit: Supplied

An intimate profile of one of America's most prolific and beloved cartoonists during his 67-year tenure at The New Yorker. While the magazine is famed for its weighty analysis of global affairs, Stevenson injected wit and warmth through his art and articles. More than just a cartoonist, Stevenson was an author, poet and father of nine children. Now 85 and battling dementia, Lost and Found is a bittersweet lover-letter to a remarkable man. 

Ruahine: Stories in Her Skin 

Screening: Monday 15 June 6 pm | Wednesday 24 June 5 pm

Directed by Hiona Henare 

NZ's only Oscar-qualifying documentary film festival heads completely online
Photo credit: Supplied

This lyrical documentary examines the sacred Māori art form of tatau and takes viewers inside the ceremony where two Muaūpoko wahine receive their traditional moko kauae (chin tattoos).  In Māori tradition, the head is considered the most sacred part of the body making the practice of moko kauae highly prestigious and exclusive to Māori women. While tatau has historically been suppressed, it has seen a resurgence in recent years and is beautifully celebrated in this film. 

Alongside the impressive offering of feature films are 11 New Zealand shorts including the Doc Edge Originals, a collection of three films especially made for our rangatahi aged between 11 – 17 and funded by the Rei Foundation:

● A Broken Earth – When an oil company moves in, a Taranaki couple is forced to deal with the effects of uncontrolled fracking and oil drilling next to their family farm. 

● Rise - An inside look at the largest climate protest in the world and the passionate young activists marching on Wellington to make their voices heard. 

● We Rock We Rock! We Rock! - An empowering backstage pass to Girls Rock Camp Aotearoa – an annual rock'n'roll themed camp for girls, trans, and non-binary rockstars.  

The Doc Edge Awards will be announced on Friday, June 19. There are 10 international and local categories with the winner of the Best NZ Short, NZ Feature, International Short and International Feature automatically qualifying for consideration at next year’s Academy Awards.

With so many films on offer, it's important to ensure your home broadband connection is working well for the best possible viewing experience. A speed test is a quick and easy way to ensure your broadband can stream a high definition film smoothly. If you’re running into issues, it might be worth checking out what other broadband options are available for your household. 

Once your connection is ready and you're keen to check out how the digital box office process works for the festival, head on over to the official Doc Edge website for an easy step by step guide. For more details on every film and the full festival schedule, a full details on the festival are festival calendar is available here.

This article is created for Chorus