Doc Edge is excited to announce the “Life Unscripted by Doc Edge,” international documentary festival, is coming to Christchurch from 19 to 30 June 2024.

With support by the MBIE Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, Doc Edge aims to elevate the festival to Major Event status in the Asia Pacific region over the next three years.

The 19th edition of this Oscar-qualifying festival will take place in multiple venues across Christchurch offering immersive experiences with screenings, talks, exhibitions, live performances, awards, and screen industry events. Christchurch, known for its vibrant cultural scene, will be the vibrant host city, attracting international guests and audiences from all corners of New Zealand. Doc Edge warmly invites everyone interested in supporting this cultural extravaganza to get involved.

“The move to Christchurch is an exciting opportunity both for the festival to engage a whole new live audience, and for the city to host a burgeoning international event. Doc Edge consistently attracts the world’s leading documentary makers and continues to bravely champion freedom of thought in challenging times. I’m so proud to be a part of the Doc Edge team,” says Ambassador Judy Bailey

“ChristchurchNZ is dedicated to bringing diverse and culturally rich major events to Ōtautahi Christchurch and provide both residents and our visitors an incredible array of experiences across the year,” says Karena Finnie, ChristchurchNZ Major Events manager. “As one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals, we’re incredibly excited to invite the talented filmmakers, storytellers, and documentary enthusiasts from around the world to showcase their works,” says Finnie.

The University of Canterbury (UC) is another valued partner, connecting Doc Edge to its Digital Screen initiative, a programme developed to cultivate the future leaders of creative technologies.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the University’s commitment to and support of the sector, and it’s very exciting for our Bachelor of Digital Screen (Hons) students,” says Sam Witters, Director of UC Digital Screen. “Doc Edge is the first of our key partners to enable the work-integrated learning elements of our specialised degree and expose our students to a critical, international standard of film and documentary production. We look forward to welcoming them to campus in 2024.”

After its Christchurch premiere, the festival will be available in Auckland, Wellington, and across Aotearoa New Zealand through Doc Edge’s Virtual Cinema. Stay tuned for additional festival programme details to be unveiled early in the new year.

Film submissions are open until 22 January 2024, with the opportunity for projects in the concept/development stage to enter the Doc Edge Pitch event.

Important dates

Festival Films/XR Projects: Regular – 22 Dec 2023 | Late – 15 Jan 2024 | Extended – 22 Jan 2024
Pitch Proposals: Early bird – 31 Dec 2023 | Regular – 15 Feb 2024 | Extended28 February 2024

Christchurch 19 – 30 June 2024
Auckland          3 – 14 July 2024
Wellington       3 – 14 July 2024
Virtual              15 – 31 July 2024

For more information

Sign up to the newsletter and follow Doc Edge on Facebook, X, YouTube and Instagram.

For media inquiries, please contact

About Doc Edge

Doc Edge is and charity and New Zealand’s national documentary organisation, dedicated to promoting and showcasing documentary storytelling. Since its establishment in 2004, Doc Edge has been at the forefront of fostering a vibrant documentary culture in New Zealand and beyond.

About MBIE Creative and Cultural Events Incubator

The MBIE Creative and Cultural Events Incubator is a transformative 3-year programme aimed at nurturing and developing creative events, propelling them to Major Event status in the Asia Pacific region.