Doc Edge is the home for storytelling that changes your world. Our kaupapa is to celebrate, support and showcase documentary.


Doc Edge Festival
An Academy Awards® qualifying international documentary film festival held annually in Auckland, Wellington and online. It showcases the best films from New Zealand and around the world and includes Doc Edge Awards, celebrating excellence in filmmaking and Doc Edge Exhibition, a showcase of digital interactive storytelling featuring top international and local VR, AR, installations, and digital stories.

Doc Edge Schools
An educational programme for students Year 5 to Tertiary that connects school students with documentaries from NZ and around the world. Doc Edge Schools offers free screenings during Doc Edge Festival and a VOD platform for schools across the country.

Doc Edge Industry 
Learning and connecting opportunities for media professionals. Including Doc Edge Forum, an industry event that brings together local and international film, TV and other media professionals. It offers seminars, panels, masterclasses, networking opportunities, Doc Edge Pitch, a documentary pitching forum for short and feature films and TV series, and Doc Edge Clinics, a professional development programme for filmmakers.


Sod you coronavirus, we went digital!

In partnership with Chorus and with the support from our family of partners, Doc Edge took COVID-19 head on and moved our entire Industry and Festival programmes online. From March 2020, the global filmmaking community was able to come together to share their knowledge, experiences and phone numbers, during the beginning of the pandemic.

Doc Edge Festival increased the size of the programme and went nationwide, with 83 films (57 features and 26 shorts), 138 scheduled screenings over 24 days, Doc Edge Schools, an Opening Ceremony, the Doc Edge Awards, an extended on-demand season and audience numbers of over 70,000.

Three workshops were held online to introduce the new impact producing programme Good Pitch Aotearoa New Zealand.


Name Association Partnership formed with RNZ.

Doc Edge Awards becomes a separate event held at The Wintergarden in Auckland.

Jenny Gao awarded first Singapore Internship by Doc Edge, Beach House Pictures and Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Doc Edge and Rei Foundation launch Rangatahi Film Fund to support filmmakers creating documentaries for children.

First Doc Edge Goldies programme offers free screenings to seniors thanks to Kelliher Charitable Trust.

Doc Edge Schools post-festival screenings in Mangere, Northland & Wanaka.


Doc Edge selected as an Oscar-qualifying festival for the Documentary Feature category.

Agreement signed with Doc Society to run Good Pitch Pasifika.

Doc Edge Directors, Alex Lee and Dan Shanan, selected as Edmund Hillary Fellows.


Pilot In-Schools VOD Docs 4 Schools programme.

The first Story Edge World Exhibition held in Auckland.


Doc Edge selected as an Oscar-qualifying Festival for the Documentary – Short Subject category.

With support from Wellington City Council, Wellington is selected as the launching pad for Doc Edge events.

The first Sandbox is held as part of Story Edge. 

MOU signed creating the Pacific Documentary and Interactive Storytelling Alliance (PADISA).


Docs 4 Schools is launched with the support of the Rei Foundation.

Screen Edge Forum is held in Wellington for the first time at Park Road Post.

The Festival’s 10th anniversary is held at Q Theatre and audiences grow by 18%. In Wellington, the Festival returns to Roxy Cinema and audiences grow by 20%.

Story Edge expands to replace Doc Lab.


2012 – Start of Doc Edge Presents, a season of monthly screenings in Auckland.

2012 – Documentary Edge Forum renamed Screen Edge Forum.

2013 – The Documentary Edge Festival moves to Q Theatre in Auckland and audience numbers grow by 25%.

2014 – The Auckland Festival audiences grow by 20%. In Wellington, the Festival moved to Roxy Cinema, Miramar, and audiences grow by 40%.

2014 – Story Edge starts with support from the NZ Film Commission for an interactive digital storytelling programme. Story Edge also receives support from NZ On Air in 2015.

2014 – The Docs for School programme is piloted with schools attending day-time sessions during the Festival.

2011 - 2014

DOCNZ rebrands as Documentary Edge, the Documentary Edge Festival and the Documentary Edge Forum.

The Documentary Edge Campus begins as a resource centre and library to make documentary materials available to the wider community (closed in 2013).

Doc Edge Lab is launched to help develop transmedia documentary projects (2010-2014).


2004 – The New Zealand Documentary Trust is established.

2005 – The inaugural DOCNZ Film Festival is held in Auckland and Wellington.

2006 – The inaugural industry events, DOCNZ Summit and Doc Pitch, are held in Auckland.

2006 – The DOCNZ Festival is introduced to Christchurch and Dunedin (2006-2009).

2009 – MOU signed with Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (GZ DOCS).

2004 - 2009

Prior to 2004, there was no national documentary body to support and promote the documentary industry. Unlike other countries around the world, New Zealand did not have a festival dedicated to documentary.
This motivated the creative entrepreneurs, Dan Shanan and Alex Lee, to form the Documentary New Zealand Trust, a not-for-profit charitable organisation to promote and celebrate documentary.


Annual Returns
The Documentary New Zealand Trust and Screen Edge Ltd. Annual Returns at the Charities Register.

Annual Reports
The Documentary New Zealand Trust Annual Reports are available upon request.