The Documentary New Zealand Trust proudly presents DOC EDGE FESTIVAL 2024, running from 19 June to 31 July 2024. As an Academy Awards® qualifying international documentary festival, Doc Edge is poised to become a major cultural event in the Asia Pacific region, positioning Ōtautahi Christchurch as the epicentre for all things documentary. In an exciting, bold, and strategic move, the festival solidifies its global reputation as a crucial destination for films to debut their world and international premieres.

Excitement mounts as Doc Edge unveils the lineup for its 19th edition, set to captivate audiences across various venues in Christchurch, including HOYTS, Lumiere Cinemas, Alice Cinemas, Christchurch Art Gallery, the Town Hall, Tūranga (Central Library), and other locations (19 – 30 June) turning the Garden City into a “Life Unscripted” documentary destination with screenings, an Awards Ceremony, Immersive Exhibition, Schools Programme, Live Events, Industry Forum, Pitching Competition, Market and Networking Opportunities.

Following the Christchurch leg, the festival will extend its reach with simultaneous screenings and immersive experiences in Wellington’s The Roxy Cinema and Te Auaha Gallery (3 – 14 July), as well as in Auckland’s The Capitol Cinema and Auckland Central Library (3 – 14 July). For those unable to attend in person, the festival will offer an online Virtual Cinema experience (15 – 31 July).

Known for its bold and diverse curation, Doc Edge brings together a compelling selection of films and immersive projects that delve into themes such as social justice, environmental challenges, human rights, and the arts.

The festival is proud to announce the following first ten films (listed by alphabetical order) to premiere in June:

First Nine Films

The festival is proud to announce the following first ten films (listed by alphabetical order) to premiere in June: 

Dir. Stephane Carrel | France | 2024 | 90 min | Asia Pacific Premiere
Famous dancer Steven McRae’s struggle at the pinnacle of his career to return to the stage after suffering a severe injury which could put an end to his position within the Royal Ballet of London.

Dir. Subina Shrestha | Nepal | 2024 | 80 min | International Premiere
Nepal’s Civil War ended in 2006, but not for Devi; rebel warrior, mother and sexual violence survivor. As those in power try to erase rape from the history of the war, Devi has to battle her own demons before she can begin to build a movement to fight for justice.

Dir. Marcelle Lunam | New Zealand, Australia | 2024 | 70 min | International Premiere
Kiwi director Lunam follows five young Cubans; a skater, tattoo artist, actor, ballerina and an electronica DJ over ten days in Havana. What is it that they want in their Cuba and in their futures?

Dir. Petr Lom | Netherlands | 2024 | 86 min | Asia Pacific Premiere
The Whanganui River, the first river ever to be recognised as a legal person, sparked a global ‘rights of nature’ movement. Māori river guardian Ned Tapa takes his friends from around the world on a canoe trip, down this iconic river that is the main character of the film.

Dirs. Nathaniel C. T. Jackson, James Blannin-Ferguson| New Zealand, Australia | 2024 | 90 min | World Premiere
Kiwi director Jackson Australian director Blannin-Ferguson chart the uncompromising determination of Australian Lisa Blair, who became the first woman in history to sail solo around Antarctica.

Dirs. Yasha Levine, Rowan Wernham | New Zealand, USA | 2024 | 75 min | World Premiere
Kiwi director Wernham and American Journalist Levine follow a lead on a water sale between a farmer and a small desert town—and discover a hidden side to California’s healthy snack industry.

Dir. Tal Barda | Canada, France | 2024 | 95 min | International Premiere
A Canadian-Palestinian doctor’s mission of tolerance and forgiveness is put to the ultimate test when he loses his three daughters. Meet a Nobel-nominated bestselling author from Gaza whose greatest adversary is hate itself.

Dir. Vanessa Hope | Taiwan, USA | 2023 | 85 min | New Zealand Premiere
With unprecedented access to Taiwan’s sitting head of state, director Hope investigates the election and tenure of Tsai Ing-wen, the first female president of Taiwan.

Dir. Lixin Fan | China | 2024 | 88 min | World Premiere
By climbing Mt. Everest as the first blind Asian mountaineer, a visually impaired man wants to prove that even though he can’t see the world, one deserves to be seen as long as one strides through life with strength and courage.

Immersive Projects

In addition to the exciting film lineup, Doc Edge is proud to announce the first four immersive projects that promise to engage and inspire festival attendees: 

Dir. Jean-Michel Jarre, Hsin-Chien Huang | France, Taiwan | 2024 | Australasian Premiere
Journey through the evolution of surveillance, from religious supervision to today’s digital omnipresence and control. Through 12 cells set in a panopticon, visitors explore the influence of surveillance in art, family, politics, social organisation, and technology.

Dirs. Alex Topaller, Daniel Shapiro | Ukraine, USA | 2023 | Asia Pacific Premiere
This immersive visual experience uses cutting-edge 3D scanning to place viewers face-to-face with the war devastation in Ukraine. The not-for-profit art project captures Banksy’s artwork left on the rubble of people’s homes, schools, and infrastructure.

Dir. Troy Innocent| New Zealand, Ecuador | 2024 | World Premiere
An urban art experience that brings Ōtautahi Christchurch’s lanes, streets, parks, and river to life via audio stories and augmented reality to create a conversation with the city about its past, present, and future.

Dir. Ellie Adams | New Zealand | 2024 | World Premiere
Navigating the challenging terrain of dementia, Maggie, a pākeha woman in her mid-60s, spends her days in front of an old TV set, occasionally visited by her granddaughter, Maia. As Maggie’s memories fade, Maia guides viewers to interact with key objects from Maggie’s life.

Full Programme

The complete lineup of films and immersive projects premiering at ‘Life Unscripted by Doc Edge 2024’ will be unveiled in Christchurch at the Programme Launch on 9 May. 

Tickets for the festival will be available for purchase starting from 9 May via the festival’s website. Stay updated with the latest news and announcements by visiting and following Doc Edge on Facebook, X, Instagram, and YouTube. 

Film stills are available here. 

2024 Key Dates & Venues

Tickets on Sale: 9 May  

Christchurch: 19 – 30 June, HOYTS, Lumiere Cinemas, Alice Cinemas,  Christchurch Art Gallery, Town Hall, Tūranga (Central Library), and other locations 

Auckland: 3 – 14 July, The Capitol Cinema, Auckland Central Library
Wellington: 3 – 14 July, The Roxy Cinema, Te Auaha Gallery 

Nationwide: 15 – 31 July, The Virtual Cinema  

 Stay tuned for more updates and announcements as we approach the festival’s launch.  

Media Contact

For media inquiries and further information, please contact: 

Ali Nicol van Leeuwen | Elephant Publicity | +64 27 428 5080