Doc Edge is the home for storytelling that changes your world. Our kaupapa (mission) is to celebrate, support and showcase documentary.

Doc Edge is an Academy Awards® qualifying festival for feature and short documentaries held annually in Auckland, Wellington and nationwide virtually. It seeks to select world and international premieres eligible for Academy Awards® contention.

It showcases the best films from New Zealand and around the world and is committed to selecting the highest quality films that show excellence in storytelling, celebrates diversity and inspires social change.

Doc Edge is proud to be one of the leading film festivals within the Pacific and is keen to support filmmakers with Pacific content and subjects.

Doc Edge 2023 will run as a hybrid event both in-person and online. It will include:
• Doc Edge Awards - celebrating excellence in filmmaking
• Doc Edge Schools - an educational programme for students in Year 5 to Tertiary
• Doc Edge Industry - learning and connecting opportunities for media professionals
• Doc Edge XR Exhibition - a showcase of digital interactive storytelling

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

Doc Edge is a competitive festival with various award categories. As an Academy Awards® qualifying festival, the winners of the Best NZ & International Short & Feature categories will receive an Oscar consideration for 2024.

The competition categories are:

New Zealand Awards
• Best Short Film (winner receives a cash prize & an Oscar consideration)
• Best Feature Film (winner receives a cash prize & an Oscar consideration)
• Best Director
• Best Editing
• Best Cinematography
• Best Sound
• Best Emerging Filmmaker - director's debut feature film
•Best Secondary Student Film
• Best Tertiary Student Film

International Awards
• Best Short Film (winner receives a cash prize & an Oscar consideration)
• Best Feature Film (winner receives a cash prize & an Oscar consideration)
• Best Director
• Best Editing
• Best Cinematography
• Best Sound

Other Awards
• Best Festival Category
• Doc Edge Superhero - for outstanding contribution to documentary

A. General Festival Rules

1) Eligibility

All submissions
• Must be completed from 1 January 2022 onward
• Must be at minimum New Zealand Premieres with preference given to World and International 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 in New Zealand

2) Submission Requirements

Doc Edge only accepts documentary films for selection in the following International and New Zealand categories. Please read the qualification for each category carefully, entering the incorrect category will result in disqualification. If in doubt, please contact us.

International Documentaries
• Short (under 40 minutes)
• Feature (over 40 minutes)

New Zealand Documentaries
• Short (under 40 minutes)
• Feature (over 40 minutes)
• Secondary Student Film
• Tertiary Student Film

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.

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 is given to premieres in the following order:
• World
• International
• Asia-Pacific
• Australasia

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

International Films
Early Bird: 15 Sept 2022 Feature $50 | Short: $30
Regular: 15 Dec 2022 Feature $60 | Short: $40
Late: 31 Dec 2022 Feature $70 | Short: $50
Extended: 15 Jan 2023 Feature $80 | Short: $60

New Zealand Films
Early Bird: 15 Sept 2022 Feature $30 | Short: $20
Regular: 15 Dec 2022 Feature $40 | Short: $25
Late: 31 Dec 2022 Feature $50 | Short: $30
Extended: 15 Jan 2023 Feature $60 | Short: $40

XR Projects
Early Bird: 15 Sept 2022 $30
Regular: 15 Dec 2022 $40
Late: 31 Dec 2022 $50
Extended: 15 Jan 2023 $60

New Zealand Student Films (free to submit, must be NZ student film, proof required)
By 15 Jan 2023: New Zealand Secondary Student Film
By 15 Jan 2023: New Zealand Tertiary Student Film

• All submissions must include a secure working online screener link.
• All non-English films must have English subtitles and where available closed captions. Dubbing is not acceptable.
• Incomplete entries will not be accepted.
• Works In Progress may be accepted with prior consent from us.
• 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 15 April 2023. 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 the jury.

Screening Fees
The Submitter acknowledges that the Festival is a not-for-profit charitable organisation. Fees (if any) will be advised once a film is confirmed.

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).

Film Exhibition Format
Complete details will be provided upon selection to the Submitter in due course.

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
  • I had my international premiere at the 2022 Doc Edge Festival. I was impressed by the festival, great forum events, and hospitality and professionalism of the team. Thank you for the great festival experience! I cannot wait to visit New Zealand again soon.

    August 2022
  • Ivan O'Mahoney

    Terrific and really supportive festival. Our first but hopefully not last one!

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Ivan xo

  • 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