About the Documentary Edge Festival


The prestigious Documentary Edge Festival formally known as DOCNZ International Documentary Film Festival was officially launched in 2005 by NZ’s then Prime Minister, Helen Clark in Auckland. In a bid to portray a reflection of the festival’s all encompassing programmes which were a combination of International and New Zealand Documentaries, the festival was in 2010 rebranded as Documentary Edge Festival. Another impact of the Festival is its provision of an important and independent view of the world by celebrating the cutting edge nature of documentaries.

Features & Aims of the Festival

Australasia’s premiere international documentary film festival known as the Documentary Edge Festival is an event held annually between April to June in Wellington and Auckland. The best category of critically acclaimed documentary and award winning films from New Zealand and the rest of the world are being showcased during the Festival.  Some of the features of the event include Question & Answer (Q&A) sessions with outstanding filmmakers, special events and different social functions plus Gala Awards. 

Aims of the Documentary Edge Festival

  • To create documentaries that will boost the visual experience and at the same time securing the works of low-budget, independent and emerging films in order to bring them to the limelight.
  • To collate documentaries that will give a valuable intuition concerning issues and topics accosting the society
  • Create documentaries that will serve as a voice to communities and people struggling to project their yearnings
  • To bring provocative and thought – questioning documentaries to the audience
  • Have a list of documentaries that will encompass all narratives and delivery, style, genre and wholly accept experimental documentary and multi-media films
  • To present documentaries that will close the gap in the understanding bridge 

Documentary Edge Awards

Several awards are being won by artists in every Documentary Edge Festival held annually and they fall into these categories.

International Category 

  • Best International Feature Documentary
  • Best Human Rights Best Culture Vultures
  • Best Generations Best International Short Documentary
  • Best Heroes and Icons
  • Best World Cinema
  • Best International Director
  • And two different spotlight categories every year

New Zealand Category 

  • Best Feature Documentary
  • Best Editing
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Short Documentary
  • Best Director
  • Best Emerging Filmmaker

Some Award Winners of the Documentary Edge Festival

Year 2005

1. Film – Aeon

Award – Best NZ Short Documentary

Director – Richard Sidey

Country – New Zealand

2. Film – Banana in a Nutshell

Award- Best NZ Short Documentary

Director – Roseane Liang 

Country – New Zealand, China

3. Film – Dark Horse

Award – Best NZ Feature Documentary

Director – Jim Marbrook

Country – New Zealand

Year 2006

 International Category

Film – Prostitution behind the veil

Award – Best International Medium Documentary

Director – Nahid Persson Sarvestani

Country – Iran, Sweden


New Zealand Category 

Film – Black & White 

Award – Best NZ Short Documentary

Director – Kirsty McDonald 

Country – New Zealand



Year 2012

International Category 

Film – Vinterlys

Award – Best International Short Documentary

Director – Skule Eriksen

Country – Norway

New Zealand Category

Film – Intersexion 

Award – Best Feature Documentary/ Best Editing

Director – Grant Lahood 

Country – New Zealand 


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