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Legend Of Documentary Cinema Comes To New Zealand

Legend Of Documentary Cinema Comes To New Zealand

Documentary Edge Festival presents ground-breaking documentary filmmaker Steve James at a special screening of a newly restored digital master of the film to celebrate the 20th anniversary of James’s movie Hoop Dreams (1994). Steve James will be on hand for an exclusive Q and A at the screening.

The acclaimed documentary about two college basketball players attempting to break into the NBA revolutionized how mainstream audiences viewed documentaries. Hoop Dreams led to widespread debates on how the Oscar voting process works and is regularly cited as the documentary that kick-started a wider appreciation of the art-form.

The Festival announces the first three films for the 2014 programme:

Steve James’s new film (premiered at Sundance) will make its New Zealand premiere at the festival – Life Itself (USA, 2014), based on the memoir of the same name by late Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert. Alongside fellow critic Gene Siskel (TV show Siskel & Ebert), Ebert transformed film criticism and became the most recognized, revered and powerful movie critics in the world.

In 1979, a jet carrying 257 passengers on a sightseeing tour over Antarctica went missing. Eleven police officers were called to duty and undertook an extraordinary operation as they came face to face with one of the world’s worst disasters. Erebus – Operation Overdue, directed by Charlotte Purdy (New Zealand, 2014), tells the story of four New Zealand police officers who went to Antarctica as part of the police operation to recover the victims of the crash. For the first time an Air New Zealand senior staff member provides the inside story of the airline that was accused of one of the largest corporate cover-ups in New Zealand’s history.

After decades abroad, renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine returns to his hometown of Jaffa, Israel, fuelled by his belief in dancing’s power to build self-esteem and social awareness. Bringing his popular Dancing Classrooms program to three diverse, Jaffa-based schools Dulaine selects the most focused dancers to train for a citywide competition, pairing Arabs with Jews, putting many of the children’s and, more pointedly, their families’ beliefs to the test. Dancing in Jaffa, directed by Hilla Medalia(Israel, 2013) shows these historical archenemies forging an innocent but ultimately meaningful relationship that quickly takes on a much larger significance than initially meets the eye.

The Documentary Edge Festival in 2014 once again returns to Auckland’s Q Theatre on Queen Street, turning the space into a documentarian’s one-stop hub with films, Q and A and special events. The Wellington season moves to Miramar – New Zealand’s industrious home of filmmaking, with screenings taking place at The Roxy. The Festival is delighted to partner with this glamorous 1930s deco venue and looks forward to welcoming audiences there in June.

The annual Screen Edge Forum also returns to Auckland’s AUT during the month of May; a two day pan-industry event bringing together local and overseas filmmakers and industry figures to share, network and learn from each other. Confirmed for this year’s Forum are directors Steve James (USA) and Hilla Medalia (Israel), with more to be announced closer to the Forum.

21st May – 2nd June 2014 - Documentary Edge Festival: Auckland –
Q Theatre, Auckland CBD
5th – 15th June 2014 – Documentary Edge Festival: Wellington
The Roxy, Miramar
29th – 30th May 2014 – Screen Edge Forum –
AUT, Auckland CBD

For more information and to keep up to speed with the latest news regarding the 2014 season, visit.


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