A stunning selection of sixty-five international and homegrown films have been confirmed for the 14th annual Doc Edge Festival. Over 270 sessions and events will champion the powerful form that is documentary in Auckland, 30th May – 9th June, and Wellington, 13th – 23rd June. The programme’s must-see, real-life stories wrestle with politics, human rights, culture, crime and fearless individuals who triumph against the odds.
The festival is delighted to announce the Asia-Pacific premiere Assholes: A Theoryfrom acclaimed Canadian director, John Walker. Assholes: A Theory screens as the opening night films in Auckland and Wellington, and Walker will attend both events. With lively commentary from the likes of actor John Cleese, Walker explores the resurgence of rampant narcissism threatening to trash civilisation as we know it and searches for answers on what can be done to stem the tide.
The festival is also delighted to announce the Asia-Pacific premiere of a film which has been described as a crusader for gender equality - Kate Nash: Underestimate The Girl. Amy Goldstein’s high-energy, female-focused rock odyssey follows the story of punk renegade, TV wrestling queen, and DIY leader of an all-girl band, Kate Nash, as she forgoes money and fame to speak out about gender inequality in the music business. Powerful stuff from two incredible women.
This year’s festival has developed an exciting programme of events to run alongside the 49 Feature Films and 16 Short Films on offer. The Doc Edge Exhibition will showcase 14 international award-winning interactive and immersive projects, including two projects from films in the 2019 programme. Nga Taonga Sound and Vision will also present two recently-preserved and digitally-restored documentaries of national historical importance.
And now to the films … this year Doc Edge 2019 offers helpful categories for audiences to easily navigate the full programme. Below is a taster of each category, with the full programme now available at docedge.nz.
BEST OF THE FEST
• Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life (ISR/GER). Director Tomer Heymann follows the world-famous gay porn star through eight years of his unconventional life.
• Midnight Traveler (USA/QATCAN/UK). After the Taliban puts a bounty on his head, filmmaker, Hassan Fazili, uses three mobile phones to capture his dangerous escape from Afghanistan.
• The Silence of Others (SPN/USA). A political thriller about the fight for justice of victims from Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco. Directed by Robert Bahar and Almudena Carracedo.
• Repeat Attenders (AUS/UK/USA/GER). Australian Mark Dooley dives into the psychology of Broadway superfans whose all-consuming obsession means seeing their favourite theatre shows literally hundreds of times.
• Central to the Soul (NZ). Director Bill Morris (The Sound of her Guitar) gets to the heart of the resilient communities of Central Otago and the people who call it home.
• An assignment for David Letterman's Late Show unleashes an unexpected decades-spanning obsession. Bathtubs Over Broadway (USA) is winning awards and praise around the globe for director Dava Whisenant.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 8 FILMS
• American Factory (USA). Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. High-tech China clashes with working-class America when a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, re-hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans.
• Beyond Moving (CAN). Vikram Dasgupta will introduce the World Premiere of his gripping and remarkable Billy Elliot style story about South African ballet dancer, Siphe November.
• Karamea: At The End of the Road (ITA). Italian filmmaker’s Marco Gianstefani World Premiere uncovers a bunch of modern-hippies trying to change the world from one of the most remote places on earth.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
• 306 Hollywood (USA). Siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarin uncover an extraordinary universe in the seemingly ordinary home they inherit from their beloved Grandma.
• China Love (AUS). Olivia Martin-McGuire explores contemporary China through the window of the billion-dollar industry of pre-wedding photography.
• Sunset Over Mullholland Drive (GER). Uli Gaulke meets the residents of a retirement campus, who were once Hollywood’s backbone.
• Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth (UK). Director Jeanie Finlay meets 30-year-old transgender man, Freddy McConnell, as he makes the decision to carry his own baby.
CRIME & CONSPIRACY
• Graves Without a Name (FR/CM). Academy-award nominee, Rithy Panh’s last film in his trilogy about searching for the family he lost to the Cambodian genocide, under the Khymer Rouge.
• Grit (USA). Sasha Friedlander, Tracie Holder and Cynthia Wade. After sixteen villages in Indonesia were buried by a tsunami of mud, teenager Dian fights against the corporate powers accused of one of the largest environmental disasters in recent history.
• Sea of Shadows (AUT). Sea Shepherd versus the Chinese mafia and Mexican Cartel. A film with the intensity of a Hollywood thriller, directed by Richard Ladkani and Executive Producer, Leonardo Di Caprio.
• Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl (USA). Amy Goldstein captures the rise, fall and rise again of the overnight pop-star, punk renegade, TV wrestling queen, and inspirational role-model.
• Advocate (ISL/CAN/SWT). Philippe Bellaiche and Rachel Leah Jones meet Lea Tsemel, a Jewish-Israeli who pushes the boundaries of human rights law to its limit by defending Palestinians.
• The Ghost Fleet (USA). Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron follow Patima and her fearless team who are dedicated to fighting the corruption and slavery that fuels the Thai fishing industry.
• Searching Eva (GER). Director Pia Hellenthal tells the tale of a young woman growing up in the age of the Internet, turning the search for oneself into a public spectacle.
• Call Me Intern (NZ/SWT/USA). Nathalie Berger and Kiwi Leo David Hyde set out to examine the ethics of millennials fighting back against unpaid work.
• General Magic (UK/USA). Directors Sarah Kerruish and Matt Maude expose the side of Silicon Valley you never see, and how a great vision and epic failure changed the world.
• More Human Than Human (BLG/NDL/USA). Directors Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting challenge whether AI will render humanity obsolete as they attempt to build a robot smart enough to direct a film.
AUCKLAND TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW. WELLINGTON TICKETS ON SALE THURSDAY 2nd MAY.
30 May – 9 June 2019, Doc Edge Festival
Auckland – Q Theatre, Ellen Melville Centre and Auckland Art Gallery
13 – 23 June 2019, Doc Edge Festival
Wellington – Roxy Cinema, Te Auaha, Light House Cuba