*COVID-19 Update*
Doc Edge 2021 will run as a fusion event with both physical and online events.

Doc Edge is an Academy Awards® qualifying festival for feature and short documentaries (“The Festival”). It is committed to including and selecting the highest quality films that show excellence in storytelling, celebrates diversity and inspires social change.

Doc Edge showcases and celebrates the best New Zealand and international documentary films. In particular, we are keen to select world and international premieres eligible for Academy Awards® contention.

It is proud to be the leading film festival within the Pacific and keen to support filmmakers with Pacific content and subjects.

In addition, the Festival continues its work in screening films suitable for youth aged 10 -17 years.

The Festival includes Film Awards, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, Schools programme, Exhibition of interactive documentary projects and special events.

Doc Edge Forum brings together local and overseas filmmakers/industry to share, network and learn from each other. It also includes the annual Doc Edge Pitch, a pitching forum for feature-length, short and TV series documentary projects as well as a rough-cut session.

Note: we do not give fee waivers, so please don’t ask.

Visit docedge.nz for the latest information and sign up for News and Events.

Doc Edge is a competitive festival with various award categories. Films already qualified for consideration for the Academy Awards® short and feature documentary categories are not eligible for Doc Edge Best NZ/International Short/Feature competitions.

New Zealand Awards
• Best Short Film (winner is eligible to submit for Oscar consideration)
• Best Feature Film (winner is eligible to submit for Oscar consideration)
• Best Director
• Best Editing
• Best Cinematography
• Best Emerging Filmmaker - director's debut feature film

International Awards
• Best Short Film (winner is eligible to submit for Oscar consideration)
• Best Feature Film (winner is eligible to submit for Oscar consideration)
• Best Director

Doc Edge Superhero - for outstanding contribution to documentary

A. General Festival Rules

1) Eligibility:

All submissions:
• Must be completed from 1 January 2020 onward
• Must be at minimum New Zealand Premieres with preference is given to World Premieres (see below)
• The submitting party ("the Submitter") must have the authority to submit the film to Doc Edge and the exclusive rights (including all music clearance rights) to screen theatrically the film in New Zealand

2) Submission Requirements

Documentary films are accepted for selection in the following International and New Zealand categories. Please read the qualification for each category carefully, entering into the incorrect category will result in disqualification. If in doubt, please contact us.

International Documentaries
• Short (40 minutes or less)
• Feature (more than 40 minutes)

New Zealand Documentaries*
• Short (40 minutes or less)
• Feature (more than 40 minutes)
A film can only qualify as a New Zealand documentary provided it has:
- at least one key crew member (director or producer) who is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and/or
- more than 50% of its funding is from New Zealand
* Proof of qualification is required with your submission.

AR/VR/Interactive Documentaries for Doc Edge Exhibition
• Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality/ Interactive projects
• Virtual Reality projects are to be delivered on Oculus Go
• Interactive projects are to be delivered on both Windows and Mac Operating Systems
• All projects must be capable of being delivered remotely to audiences using their own devices

Premiere Policy
All qualifying films MUST BE minimum New Zealand Premieres (i.e. cannot have been screened publicly in New Zealand at other festivals, theatrically, on broadcast, available on VOD/online, and/or any other public platform).
Preference given to premieres in the following order:
• World
• International
• Asia-Pacific
• Australasia

Deadlines and Fees
Note: we do not give fee waivers, so please don’t ask.

International Films
Early Bird: 15 Sept 2020 Feature $40 | Short: $25
Regular: 15 Dec 2020 Feature $50 | Short: $35
Late: 15 Jan 2021 Feature $60 | Short: $45
LExtended: 31 Jan 2021 Feature $70 | Short: $55

New Zealand Films
Regular: 15 Dec 2020 Feature $30 | Short: $20
Late: 15 Jan 2021 Feature $40 | Short: $30
Extended: 31 Jan 2021 Feature $50 | Short: $40

AR/VR/Interactive: 31 Jan 2021 Fee: $20

• All submissions must include a secure working online screener link.
• All non-English films must have English subtitles and were available closed captions. Dubbing is not acceptable.
• Incomplete entries will not be accepted.
• Works In Progress may be accepted with prior consent from the Festival organisers.
• The Festival is under no obligation to provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted film to the applicant or any other representative of the submitted film.
• It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to secure clearance from all copyright holders of materials and music included in the submitted film.
• The Submitter warrants to keep the Festival indemnified against all claims for the unauthorised inclusion of copyrighted materials or music within or relating to the submitted films.
• The Festival reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized copyrighted materials or music.
• Submitters will be notified of programming decisions by 31 March 2021. The Festival’s decision is final.

3) Selected Films

Screener Link
The Submitter must supply the Festival with a screener and password one week after selection is confirmed and valid until the end of the Festival. The Submitter acknowledges that the screener link will be used for reviews, ratings, promotional purposes and for Awards judging.

Screening Fees
The Submitter acknowledges that the Festival is a not-for-profit charitable organization and does not pay screening fees.

The Festival is entitled to at its discretion schedule:
• up to three festival screenings in each city (physical venue)
• screen the film as part of a Festival Premiere on-demand selection during the agreed festival period
In addition, the Festival may schedule screenings as part of the Doc Edge Schools and/or encore season (being physical and/or online).

Exhibition Format
Complete details will be provided upon selection to the Submitter.

Film Withdrawal Policy
Once the Festival confirms in writing the film's selection:
• The Submitter can no longer withdraw the Film from the Festival without mutual agreement in writing
• The Submitter must communicate this policy to the film's sales agent/s and/or distributor/s when negotiating the sales or distribution of the film and ensure that all parties comply with this policy
• The Submitter acknowledges that any withdrawal of the film after it has been selected may cause the Festival to suffer resulting losses. The Festival may seek compensation and restitution for any such losses

Changes to Film Status
The Submitter must give Doc Edge prior notice in writing of any changes that may affect the selection or legality of any such screenings of the film. Failure to do so may result in the film being removed at the Festival's discretion.

Upon selection, the Festival is authorised to use the publicity materials related to the film (i.e. press kits, posters, trailer, stills and/or clips from the film) in full, or as part of edited montages to promote the film, the Festival and/or its events.

B. Agreement

I, the Submitter, have the sole and exclusive ownership of all rights related to the submitted production and/or have the full authority to submit the production to the Festival and bind all other third parties with an interest in the film (director, producer, sales agent or film distributor) to this Agreement.

I also confirm that all rights and clearances have been obtained and we will indemnify the Festival should any dispute arise as a result of the public screening of the film by the Festival pursuant to these rules and regulations.

I undertake that the information provided in this Entry is complete and correct. By submitting the film, I understand, accept and agree to comply with this Agreement.

Overall Rating
  • Mohammed Naqvi

    Third time at festival! Love this gem of a festival and the people.

    July 2020
  • Grateful to have been selected for this festival, awesome team to deal with!

    July 2020
  • Laurence Topham

    I had a wonderful [virtual] experience at the Doc Edge Festival 2020. The festival staff were incredibly attentive and thoughtful and made the whole experience a delight. A highly-regarded and lovely festival for any documentary filmmaker to be a part of.

    July 2020
  • Lisette Flanary

    The DocEdge Team were amazing to work with for the 2020 edition of their festival and were able to pivot to a virtual festival experience given the challenges of the pandemic. Everything from the Forum to the press and publicity leading up to the screenings was great. Even though I was incredibly bummed not to be able to travel with the film to New Zealand, I thought the screenings went well and loved to be able to connect with audiences via a live interview after the screening. I would highly recommend this festival to other doc filmmakers!

    July 2020
  • Torsten Hoffmann

    My film "Cryptopia" was selected for the 2020 Doc Edge Festival and I couldn't be more happy about how it all went. The team was super responsive, very professional and did a great job helping to market and promote the screenings (which due to Corona were all online this year). I can recommend this festival to any and all documentary filmmakers 100%.

    July 2020