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Opening And Closing Night Films Announced!

The Documentary New Zealand Trust presents


Opening And Closing Night Films Announced!

As print programmes for the 9th Annual Documentary Edge Festival start to populate throughout Auckland and Wellington, and the website is now live with all 59 films on offer, organizers of this year’s festival have announced their opening and closing night films for Auckland and Wellington – with some of their own picks for the 2014 season.

This year’s opening night film is the eagerly anticipated film Erebus: Operation Overdue (NZ, 2014) - a TVNZ premiere. 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. This is their story. Jude Callen, TVNZ Documentary Commissioner, has stated TVNZ is very proud of the documentary: “This is without doubt a powerfully emotional account of one of the darkest moments in New Zealand history. We are sure that all New Zealanders will be utterly engaged by their extraordinary story.”

The opening night festivities will also see the Documentary Edge Festival Film Awards – with 4 awards for local and international “Best Feature” and “Best Short” gongs awarded thus setting the pace for the festival, ensuring audiences know the Jury’s favourites of this year’s festival selections.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (Music by Prudence, 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary- Short Subject) explores the role of the American Evangelical movement in fuelling Uganda’s terrifying turn towards the proposed death penalty for homosexuality. God Loves Uganda, closing the 2014 festival, follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow Biblical law – and has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and screened at over 50 American and international film festivals, winning numerous awards.

Co-directed by V/H/S and You’re Next cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos, Rich Hill (USA, 2014) is a town in Missouri situated seventy miles south of Kansas City. Once a thriving mining town, time has been cruel to the Rich Hill as deep potholes line the gravel roads, the town is littered with piles of pricks and crumbling buildings are all that remains of the original bank and pharmacy. Yet there is still the dream of transformation on the horizon: if only the citizens could attract more business and Rich Hill could be home to an industry once again. Winner of the 2014 Sundance Grand Jury Doc Prize, Rich Hill examines the challenges, hopes and dreams of the young residents of a rural American town.

His documentary about George Lucas and the Star Wars saga was a popular pick during the 2011 Festival, Alexandre O Philippe returns as a guest of the festival with another slice of popular culture – this time, the living dead. Shot and edited in a cinematically edgy, high-octane style, Doc of the Dead (USA, 2014) recently premiered at South by South West (SXSW), is blazing through the festival circuit. The film hosts a rich pop culture dialogue with zombie experts and celebrities, YouTubers and indie filmmakers, and investigating the possibility and ramifications of an actual zombie outbreak.

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 – Screen Edge Forum – AUT, Auckland CBD


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