As Covid-19 causes festivals and industry events around the globe to postpone or cancel their events for 2020, the 15th edition of New Zealand's Doc Edge Festival will stick to its plans by shifting its activities online.
The Festival and industry-focused Forum will run from late May into June, keeping to their original timeframe. Despite being forced to make some difficult decisions very quickly, organisers are looking on the bright side and the potential this brings.
“Our motto is 'Life Unscripted', so we couldn't shy away from this, even though our country is currently in lockdown,” says Doc Edge Director Alex Lee. “When life throws us lemons, we make gin and tonics.”
Last weekend organisers successfully delivered the first online event in Doc Edge's 2020 programme, a clinic for filmmakers. The full Doc Edge Forum programme will roll out through April. Organisers have already confirmed a keynote address from Tom Oyer, Awards Manager at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“As an Academy Awards-qualifying festival, Doc Edge is honoured to have Tom join us this year,” says Doc Edge Executive Director Dan Shanan. “He's a perfect example of the calibre of international guests we'll be announcing over coming weeks.”
The Forum programme will include Doc Edge Pitch, with a panel of local and international funders, commissioners, sales agents and industry. Covid-19 raises important issues for the screen industry and audiences, including the future of documentary production, co-productions, funding and delivery. Doc Edge will take a lead in tackling these issues, which are vital to ensure the future of documentary.
This year's Doc Edge Festival will also run online, offering as close to a real-world festival experience as possible to build a sense of community while in isolation.
“The current global climate has created a perfect opportunity to re-examine the core of humanity, exploring stories and having conversations about how our world is changing,” says Alex Lee, Doc Edge Executive Director.
“We are ready to meet the challenge and are excited to make Doc Edge Forum available internationally. It will run on Friday and Saturday 29-30 May – at your place.”