Doc Edge Festival is New Zealand’s only and Australasia's premiere international documentary film festival held annually in Wellington & Auckland.

Doc Edge is an Academy Award® qualifying festival for the Short Documentary Subject category.

Since 2005, Doc Edge Festival showcases the very best and edgiest documentary films from New Zealand and around the World.

The Festival includes Awards, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, Doc Talks, Docs 4 Schools and special events. 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.

The 13th annual Doc Edge Festival will be held in May/June 2018.

Please visit the website for the latest news and sign up for News and Events.

Each year, Doc Edge celebrates excellence and achievement with presenting local and international awards in the following categories:

Best International Short Film
Best International Feature Film
Best International Director

Best New Zealand Short Film
Best New Zealand Feature Film
Best New Zealand Director
Best New Zealand Cinematography
Best New Zealand Editing
Best New Zealand Emerging Filmmaker
Best New Zealand Student/s Film

Doc Edge Superhero - for outstanding contribution to documentary

A. General Festival Rules

1) Purpose
Our mission is to showcase the best new documentary films from New Zealand and around the world. We bring local/international filmmakers and industry together to share and celebrate documentary filmmaking. Doc Edge facilitates conversations and shares knowledge among audiences.

2) Eligibility
Films must be completed from 1 January 2017 onward. The submitting party (" the Submitter") must have the authority to submit the film to Doc Edge and the exclusive rights to screen the film in the New Zealand territory.

Films are accepted for selection in the following International and New Zealand categories:

Short (up to 40 minutes)
Feature (41 minutes and over)

New Zealand
Short (up to 40 minutes)*
Feature (41 minutes and over) *
Student (any length)**
* This category is for New Zealand films ONLY. See section (3) for details.
** Films made by NZ students (under 40 minutes). Submissions are grouped into 3 age categories: Primary (up to Year 8), Secondary (Year 9-13), Tertiary

Premiere Policy
Preference will be given to premieres in the following order:
New Zealand

Films previously screened at New Zealand at festivals or released theatrically may be considered at the discretion of Doc Edge.

Films are ineligible if already available online in New Zealand territory.

3) New Zealand Submissions
A New Zealand film is a film with a Director and/or Producer who is a citizen or permanent resident. A film may also qualify if the majority of its funding is from New Zealand. All qualifying New Zealand films are exempt from submission fees. Proof of qualification is required with your submission.

If your feature film is selected to Doc Edge, you may qualify to apply for a feature film finishing grant from the NZ Film Commission. Funding is not guaranteed and is competitive on a case by case basis. See details on the NZFC website.

New Zealand films previously broadcasted or commissioned for broadcast may be considered. Doc Edge’s preference to screen a documentary festival length version.

4) Screening Fees
The Submitter acknowledges:
- 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 each city at its discretion.

5) Submissions
Early Bird: 15 Sept 2017 Feature: $40 | Short: $30
Regular: 15 Dec 2017 Feature: $50 | Short: $40
Late: 15 Jan 2018 Feature: $55 | Short: $45

All submission must include a secured working online screener link. All non-English films must have English subtitles. Incomplete entries will not be accepted.

6) Doc Edge Competition
Doc Edge is a competitive festival with various award categories. Doc Edge will not entertain any requests for review nor consider any complaints.

New Zealand Awards
Best Short Film, Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Emerging Filmmaker, Best Student Film

International Awards
Best Short Film, Best Feature Film, Best Director

7) Exhibition Format
Doc Edge exhibits all films in Apple ProRes format and may elect to screen using other formats including DCP. Complete details will be provided to all selected films.

8) Shipping
Shipping instructions will be sent to the film supplier once the film has been selected. In general, Doc Edge will cover one-way shipping (inbound or outbound) unless agreed otherwise.

Only hard drives of selected films will be returned. Please note that 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.

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

9) Film Withdrawal Policy
Once the film's selection has been confirmed in writing by Doc Edge:
- the film cannot be withdrawn;
- the film will not be made available on the internet and accessible to New Zealand audiences prior to or during Doc Edge;
- the film will not screen at any other festival, cinema or broadcaster in New Zealand prior to or during Doc Edge.
- advice must be given to all sales agents or distributors that the film has been selected. In the event the film has to be withdrawn, this must be done by a request in writing and with Doc Edge consent. Once the print program has been finalized, the film can not be withdrawn.

10) Changes to Film Status
Doc Edge must be informed in writing of any changes:
- which may prevent the film from being selected or
- that may affect the legality of any such screenings or
- that affect the credibility of the film; and
- as to the person responsible for the film

Failure to do so may result in the film being withdrawn at Doc Edge's discretion.

11) Film EPK
Upon selection, all required information about the film must be provided to Doc Edge.

12) Liability and Insurance and Rights Clearances
The Submitter is responsible for insuring the Exhibition Print:
- 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.

The Submitter confirms that all clearances and releases have been obtained for the film and will indemnify Doc Edge from any third party claims for the screening or publication of the film or any materials associated with it.

13) Consent
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 also agree that:

1. I have read the Terms and Conditions above and accept the same.
2. Doc Edge's decision as to the selection of films into its program and the competition finalists is final and binding.
3. Upon written confirmation of selection as detailed above, I will not withdraw the film from Doc Edge program.
4. I will provide the agreed formats noted above to Doc Edge in a timely manner and this should not be any later than four weeks prior to the start of the festival program
5. I will ensure the film will not be available on the internet and accessible to New Zealand audiences prior to or during Doc Edge.
6. I will not screen the film nor allow any other organization/individual to screen the Film in New Zealand in any format whatsoever prior to or during Doc Edge.
7. Doc Edge is a not for profit charitable trust and does not pay any screening fees for the film.
8. I understand and accept that Doc Edge is New Zealand wide festival with screening venues around New Zealand. I authorize Doc Edge to program and publicly exhibit the film at its various venues.
9. If I am or become aware of any matters which may prevent the film from being selected or screened, I will immediately inform Doc Edge in writing. I accept that failure to do so may result in the film being withdrawn at Doc Edge's discretion.
10. I acknowledge and accept that I am responsible for the one-way transportation and shipping of exhibition prints/tapes to Doc Edge.
11. I agree that if the film is selected for screening at Doc Edge, it may utilize publicity materials related to the production (i.e. press kits, posters, stills, etc.) for promotional purposes and to broadcast or screen clips up to a maximum of three minutes.
12. For the purposes of this submission, the Parties agree that any notice will be deemed delivered to the other party at the date and time specified in a fax transmission confirmation, email receipt/delivery confirmation or confirmation of post.
13. I confirm that I have the authority to enter into this Agreement.

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

C. Photo Competition Terms & Conditions
1. The work must be original and the copyright belongs to the entrant. All subjects must consent to their images being submitted to this competition.

2. The competition is open to all NZ citizens and permanent residents age 18 years or older.

3. Photo(s) must not include objectionable material or will be disqualified.

4. Winner of this competition will grant the Documentary NZ Trust a non-exclusive, non-revocable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, reproduce, publish and display across Doc Edge marketing distribution channels, including but not exclusive to media releases, publications, websites, social media, for the purpose of promoting Doc Edge Festival 2018 in perpetuity.

5. The winning entrant also fully grants permission to the Documentary NZ Trust, for the purpose of festival promotion, to edit and alter the photo without being demeaned nor misrepresented in any way. The authorship of the entrant will be clearly acknowledged. The use of image is solely for the purpose outlined unless prior consent of the Entrant.

6. All entrants grant permission to the Documentary NZ Trust, at its discretion, to select some or all of their entries, to use, reproduce, publish and display for the purpose of promotion and exhibition. The winning entry will feature as a festival hero image.

7. All entrants fully indemnify the Documentary NZ Trust against any claims arising from the display or use of photos as described herein and from the infringement of intellectual property rights of any third party.

8. Documentary NZ Trust will not utilise or otherwise deal with any submitted images other than in accordance with the T&C above.

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.