Our Values and Principles

At Doc Edge, we take our responsibility as kaitiaki (guardians) of storytelling seriously. We believe that documentary is essential for giving voice to marginalised communities and promoting dialogue and understanding. As the national documentary organisation, we are committed to safeguarding the fundamental freedoms that are essential to a thriving and democratic society. That is why we have clear values and principles.

We do not believe that restricting freedom of expression is the answer to solving social issues. We remain steadfast in protecting our storytellers from attacks on freedom of expression and any attempts to restrict or censor their work.

We also stand firm in our commitment to not bow to pressure or tolerate any acts of bullying or harassment on our filmmakers, staff, stakeholders, or partners. We believe in promoting a culture of respect and collaboration, and we will not allow anyone to exert undue influence or intimidate our community.

At Doc Edge, we respect individual choices to engage or disengage with certain topics. However, we strongly believe in preserving the freedom of choice and will not allow anyone to take that away from others.

Join us in promoting a culture of openness, respect, and free expression in documentary filmmaking.

“Choose not to engage personally with a topic by all means, but don’t take that decision away from others.” Dr. Charlie Allbright

Curation Principles

Doc Edge Festival showcases the best films from New Zealand and around the world and is committed to selecting the highest quality films that show excellence in storytelling, celebrate diversity, and inspire social change.

The following principles guide us in the curation process:

  • Quality:  Films selected for the festival should meet high standards of artistic and technical excellence.
  • Relevance: Films should address relevant and timely topics that are of interest to the festival audience.
  • Diversity: We strive to showcase a range of voices, perspectives, and styles in our selection of films.
  • Innovation: We prioritise films that take creative risks and push the boundaries of the medium.
  • Authenticity: Films should be authentic and true to the subject matter they explore.
  • Impact: We consider the potential impact of films on audiences and society.
  • Ethics: We consider the ethical implications of films and their production, including issues related to representation, exploitation, and consent.
  • Accessibility: We strive to make films accessible to a broad and diverse audience.
  • Cultural significance: We recognise the cultural significance of films and their potential to promote cross-cultural understanding and dialogue.
  • Independence: We remain independent and reject any pressures from external parties or forces as to our curation.

Policy on accepting support from embassies and foreign governments

At Doc Edge, we believe that access to diverse stories is essential for audiences to make informed decisions and engage in meaningful dialogue.

We are committed to showcasing documentary films that promote cross-cultural understanding, inspire positive change, and challenge existing perspectives.

As a charity, we appreciate any support we receive. This includes embassies and foreign governments. It is at the Board’s discretion to accept such support, and it is impartial in our selection of films and programming.

We retain creative ownership over our film selection and activities. No partner or supporter will be allowed to exert any pressure nor make any demands on nor influence Doc Edge.

Accepting support from an embassy or a foreign government for arts and cultural events does not necessarily mean endorsing or supporting that government’s policies. Festivals and events can accept support from foreign embassies for cultural and artistic purposes while still maintaining their autonomy and political neutrality.

We believe in the importance of protecting the right to curate films and enabling people to view them without fear. This is not just a matter of artistic freedom or political strategy, but a fundamental human right that supports freedom of information and association.

We stand firm in our commitment to ethical and inclusive representation of all voices and perspectives and will not accept support that violates these values and principles.

Join us in celebrating the transformative power of documentary films to empower individuals, foster empathy and understanding, and promote a more just and equitable world.

Last updated: April 2023

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