Doc Edge is an Academy Awards qualifying Festival for feature and short documentaries.

Based in the Pacific Island Nation of New Zealand, it showcases and celebrates the best local and international documentary films.

The Festival includes Gala Film Awards, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, Doc Talks, Docs 4 Schools, special events and Story Edge World Exhibition - a showcase of documentary interactive digital projects.

Screen Edge Forum, an industry conference, is held during the Festival. The Forum brings together local and overseas filmmakers/industry to share, network and learn from each other. It also includes the annual Doc Pitch, a pitching forum for feature-length, short and TV series documentary projects.

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Doc Edge is a competitive festival with various award categories. Films that have already qualified for consideration for the Academy Awards short and/or feature documentary categories are not eligible for Doc Edge Best NZ/International Short/Feature competitions. Films selected for the Best of Fests programme are eligible to compete for the Audience Award.

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
• Best Student Short Films

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

Best of Fests Audience Award (TBC)

A. General Festival Rules

1) Eligibility:
All submissions:
• Must be completed from 1 January 2018 onward,
• Must be at 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) with a preference towards World Premieres,
• 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 documentary 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
New Zealand films ONLY:
- Must have a key crew member who is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
- A film may also qualify if more than 50% of its funding is from New Zealand.
- Proof of qualification is required with your submission.

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

NZ Student Short Documentaries Competition
• Primary/Intermediate - up to Year 8 (15 minutes or less)
• Secondary - Year 9-13 (15 minutes or less)
• Tertiary (40 minutes or less)

Kids/Family Documentaries
• Any length
• Open to NZ and International submissions
• Films with themes and subjects suitable for and of interest to children aged 10-18 years
• Selected films may be used for Docs 4 Schools

Maori/Pacific Documentaries
• Any length
• Open to NZ and International submissions
• Films with Maori/Pacific themes and subjects

AR/VR/Interactive Documentaries
• Calls for Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality/ Interactive projects for curating in Story Edge World Exhibition held during Doc Edge Festival

Premiere Policy
All qualifying films MUST BE at minimum New Zealand premieres with preference given to premieres in the following order:
• World
• International
• Asia-Pacific
• Australasia

Fees and Deadlines
Early Bird: 15 Sept 2018 Feature $40 | Short: $25
Regular: 15 Dec 2018 Feature $50 | Short: $35
Late: 15 Jan 2019 Feature $60 | Short: $45

NZ Films: 15 Jan 2019 Feature $25 | Short: $15
Kids/Family: 15 Jan 2019 Flat Fee: $15
Maori/Pacific: 15 Jan 2019 Flat Fee: $15
AR/VR/Interactive: 15 Jan 2019 | Free
NZ Student Films: 31 Dec 2018 | Free

• All submissions must include a secure working online screener link.
• All non-English films must have English subtitles. Dubbing is not acceptable.
• Incomplete entries will not be accepted. Works In Progress may be accepted with prior consent from the Festival organisers.
• Doc Edge 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 Doc Edge indemnified against all claims for the unauthorised inclusion of copyrighted materials or music within or relating to the submitted films.
• Doc Edge reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized copyrighted materials or music.
• Submitters will be notified of programming decisions by 20 March 2019. Doc Edge's decision is final.

3) Selected Films
Screener Link
It is your responsibility to ensure that Doc Edge is supplied with a valid password until the end of the festival.

Screening Fees
The Submitter acknowledges that:
• Doc Edge is a not-for-profit charitable organization and does not pay any screening fees
• Doc Edge may schedule up to three screenings in Auckland and Wellington respectively at its discretion.

Additional Screenings
With consent from the Submitter, Doc Edge may include selected films in the following programmes:
• Docs 4 Schools
• Regional screenings outside Auckland and Wellington
• Doc Edge VOD platform

Exhibition Format
The Submitter will provide Doc Edge with the following required formats:
• ProRes
• Blu-ray
Complete details will be provided upon selection to the Submitter.

Required Materials
Upon selection, all required information about the film must be provided to Doc Edge.
• At least 3 film stills (jpeg, high resolution, at least 300dpi or 2Mb each)
• Separate electronic press kit (EPK) if available
• One high quality (1080) video file of the trailer (up to 3 minutes)
• One high quality (1080) 15-30s promo video to be used on social media

Shipping & Insurance
• Shipping instructions will be sent to the film supplier once the film has been selected.
• Doc Edge will cover one-way shipping (inbound or outbound) unless agreed otherwise.
• Only hard drives of selected films will be returned.
• If the film is being shown at another festival/venue immediately following Doc Edge, the other festival/venue will be responsible for the costs of shipping from Doc Edge.
• Customs declarations must be properly marked as follows: "For Festival Purposes Only. No Commercial Value."
• The dollar value should not exceed $100 (NZD).
• The shipper will be responsible for any duties payable as a result of an incorrect customs declaration.
• Doc Edge is only responsible for serious loss or damage caused to the Exhibition Print through the fault of Doc Edge. It is not responsible for any loss or damage through force majeure, natural elements, theft and loss caused while in transit or when the Exhibition Print is under the control of a third party.
• In the event of loss or serious damage, Doc Edge's obligation is limited to compensating the producer or distributor for the cost of making a new print from another master.

Physical Shipping address (for couriers only):
Doc Edge Festival 2019
ATTN: John Lau
Suite 2-3, 72 Dominion Road
Mount Eden, Auckland 1024, New Zealand
Tel: +64 9 3600329

Film Withdrawal Policy
Once the film's selection has been confirmed in writing by Doc Edge:
• The film cannot be withdrawn;
• The film's sales agents and/or distributors must be notified and comply with this policy.
• If the film is not made available to the Festival after confirmation, the Submitter will be responsible for any resulting losses.

Changes to Film Status
Doc Edge must be given 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 withdrawn at Doc Edge's discretion.

Upon selection, Doc Edge is authorized to use the publicity materials related to the film (i.e. press kits, posters, stills, etc.) for promotional purposes and to broadcast or screen clips up to a maximum of three minutes.

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 Doc Edge and bind all other third parties with an interest in the film (director, producer, sales agent or film distributor) to this Agreement.

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
  • John Davies

    DocEdge is a vitally important festival to New Zealand. It offers depth of range that other festivals can not in terms of documentary viewing. They have work to do as they grow on making sure communications work well, but it's a great festival to be part of. Well done!

    June 2018
  • J Yi

    Thank you so much, DOC Edge and staff. Well done! See you next year.

    June 2018
  • Melita Farley

    Everyone involved with Doc Edge NZ is fanatical about documentary, film, and the industry. Right from the enthusiasm of the volunteers, all the way to the directors and managers. Every year the festival grows and defines itself further. Doc Edge has become a unique, very popular, and powerful voice to champion New Zealand made, and international world class, documentary. Being able to socialise with dozens of, often renowned but always interesting, fellow filmmakers from around the globe in the comfort of 'home' is priceless - or at least definitely worth the submission fee!

    I first attended Doc Edge as an audience member back in 2007. The line up of films was impressive and the organisation and attention to detail equally so. I made a promise to myself that one day I'd submit a film to the festival, and indeed I was encouraged to do so at the time by one of the directors who I happened to bump into on a stairwell between film screenings.

    6 years later the festival accepted my first submission, Set In Stone, and it was a humbling and exciting experience from that first phone call, through to the final screening in Auckland. The care and value that the organisers and volunteers gave each film was lovely to witness and be part of. Set In Stone went on to win an award and nomination, but believe me I would have written exactly the same review even if it didn't.

    Beyond just amazing films, the festival offers so much for those able to attend either Auckland or Wellington, or both, especially if you have a featured film. Directors receive free passes to almost everything - screenings, parties, events, forums, industry talks. Both in Auckland and Wellington. They even added the finishing flare of personal chauffeur transfers between the venue and airport - plus red carpet events and great national press coverage.

    If you are passionate about documentary film, and by that I mean traditional or the very latest approaches, but always in the cinematic form and style, with interesting content that does not condescend to an audience, but intrigues and stimulates it. If you appreciate storytelling in long form documentary, and you want to meet others just like you, then absolutely submit and attend Doc Edge in New Zealand!

    August 2017
  • Gemma Duncan

    One of the most supportive festivals for documentary filmmakers. The team work hard to provide one of the most memorable experiences for filmmakers and audiences within Australasia

    June 2017
  • Fiona APanui-Kupenga

    We were very honoured to be a part of the festival and very humbled to come away with best feature doco. Nga mihi

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Fiona and congrats for the well-deserved awards.