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Female Directors Shine

Female Directors Shine in Doc Edge’s Newly Announced Lineup

The Documentary New Zealand Trust presents

The 13th Doc Edge International Film Festival programme is now live. Over half of the feature films are directed or co-directed by women – a reflection of the outstanding female filmmakers working in the documentary form – and completely unrepresentative of wider trends in film. 74 features and short films will screen as part of Doc Edge at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema 9 – 20 May before heading to Auckland’s Q Theatre 23 May – 4 June.

Kim Chambers in Kim Swims

Standing proud with this contingent of female filmmakers are two exceptional women. The Doc Edge Champion is broadcaster extraordinaire Judy Bailey, and the Doc Edge Superhero is Diane Weyermann (USA). Diane has executive produced many award-winning and critically acclaimed documentaries including Doc Edge 2018’s Far From The Tree and Kailash, and Oscar winners Citizenfour and An Inconvenient Truth.

With a huge 74 films announced today, we’ve selected five films showcasing the range of incredible stories on offer. These titles have their World, International, Australasian or New Zealand premiere screenings at Doc Edge 2018.

In the World Premiere of the incredibly beautiful and fun Postcards from India: A Busker’s Adventure (Italy/UK/India), journey from the Rajasthan desert to the big city of Kolkata (previously Calcutta). Follow Hindi singing Italian busker Filippo Masé, aka 'Miserable Man’, and observe contrasting elements of Indian society: contemporary and traditional, East and West, ethics and aesthetics.

In Kim Swims (USA), having conquered a debilitating illness, renowned open-water swimmer Kiwi expat Kim Chambers now chases her biggest dream yet: to become the first woman to complete a solo swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge — a 50-kilometre stretch of water known for frigid temperatures, swirling currents and the world’s largest great white sharks. Many consider it to be the toughest marathon swim in the world, and rightfully so - only four men have completed it.

Believer (USA) goes deep into the world of Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds. A normal Mormon kid, Dan did everything by the book, and his faith in God, family and community held firm — even when he became a giant rock star. When he witnesses fellow members of the Mormon church spurned due to their sexual orientation, he teams with openly gay former Mormon Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees, to encourage dialogue between the church and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

In Big in Japan (Australia/Japan), after hearing about the huge demand for foreign talents in Japan’s entertainment industry, three Aussie filmmakers relocate to Tokyo on an outrageous DIY mission to make one of their number a star. Along the way, they meet an eclectic ensemble of gaijin tarento (foreign talents) at various stages of the celebrity journey.

Whispering Truth to Power (South Africa/Netherlands) sees filmmaker and human rights lawyer Shameela Seedat follow Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s first female Public Protector, as she builds her second case against the country's President, Jacob Zuma. A portrait of a remarkable woman in public office, and the cost of keeping justice alive in an increasingly conflicted country.

The Doc Edge Opening Night film is the previously-announced Anote’s Ark,in which the endearing President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, advocates for his climate change stricken country on the world stage.

The Closing Night film will be a glorious treat for film fans. Director Susan Lacy profiles one of the most successful and influential filmmakers of all time: Steven Spielberg. Spielberg draws on a cast of Hollywood A-listers including directors JJ Abrams, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese, actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Dreyfuss and Tom Hanks, composer John Williams, plus 30 hours of exclusive interviews with Spielberg himself.

9-20 May - Doc Edge Festival: Wellington – Roxy Cinema, Miramar
23 May - 4 June - Doc Edge Festival: Auckland – Q Theatre, CBD
18 May - Screen Edge Forum: Wellington – Park Road Post, Miramar
25-27 May - Screen Edge Forum: Auckland – University of Auckland, CBD

To see the full range of films on offer visit:


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