Schools In Cinema 2024

Curated films for students at Doc Edge Festival

During the annual Doc Edge Festival, we offer our secondary and tertiary students free daytime screenings of selected documentaries, specifically curated for educational purposes. 

This year, Schools In Cinema ran across the following:

  • Christchurch:  20 – 27 June  |  Christchurch Art Gallery, CBD
  • Auckland:  2 – 5 July  |  The Capitol Cinema, Balmoral 
  • Wellington:  2 – 5 July  |  The Roxy Cinema, Miramar

Participating schools will choose the curated film(s) and bring along their classes to watch documentaries in the cinema. Prior to the screening, an educational kit about the film will be provided to prepare the students for the subject matter. Following the screening, there is often a Q&A session with visiting filmmakers, which provides the students the opportunity to engage and gain insights into the backstory of the characters or the filmmaking process.

There is also an annual Student competition for Short Documentary that showcases the amazing talents of our aspiring young filmmakers.  The winner will be announced during the Doc Edge Awards night on Thursday 27 June. 

Beyond the Festival period, we run a Virtual Classroom, an online screening platform, accessible to all schools across the country.  

Thanks to our partner Rei Foundation Limited for supporting both the In-Cinema and Virtual Classroom programmes.  For more information, contact Amber at or call (09) 3600 329 during office hours. 


This specially curated selection includes six feature films and three compilations of short films, each chosen for their compelling educational value and relevance to modern academic discussions. These films not only entertain but also challenge perceptions and encourage critical thinking across various subjects such as social studies, history, and the arts. Prepare for a cinematic adventure around the globe that promises to enrich your curriculum and provide your students with an unforgettable learning experience.

Every Little Thing

Sally Aitken | AUS, NZ | 93 min
Environmental, Global Studies

In the heart of Hollywood’s glitz, Terry Masear embarks on a deeply personal quest as she cares for injured hummingbirds. This visually stunning documentary weaves a touching narrative about love, vulnerability, and recovery.

Habana Shakes

Marcelle Lunam | NZ, AUS | 70 min
Spanish, Social Studies

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?

Ice Maiden

Nathaniel C. T. Jackson, James Blannin-Ferguson | NZ, AUS | 90 min
Physical Education, Environmental Studies

Kiwi director Jackson and Australian director Blannin-Ferguson chart the uncompromising determination of Australian Lisa Blair, who became the first woman in history to sail solo around Antarctica.

Ko au te Awa, ko te Awa ko au – I Am The River, The River Is Me

Petr Lom | Netherlands | 86 min
Māori, Environmental Studies

The Whanganui River, the first river ever to be recognised as a legal person, parked a global ‘rights of nature’ movement. Māori river guardian Ned Tapa takes his friends on a canoe trip, down this iconic river that is the main character of the film.


Maurizio Benazzo, Zaya Benazzo | US | 71 min
Māori, Social Studies

The film is a testament to the radiant beauty and unbreakable resilience of the Māori culture. Mauri unveils the profound ancestral wisdom woven into Māori healing traditions, illuminating a restorative path to mend the wounds inflicted by colonialism.

Resilient Man

Stéphane Carrel | France, UK | 90 min
Dance, Drama Studies

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.

New Zealand Shorts

79 min

Dive into a unique collection of seven short films from New Zealand filmmakers.

1.  The Farm
2.  Son of Samoa
3.  Underbirds: The Fight to Save the Southern New Zealand Dotterel
4.  Looking Up

5.  Diary of a Head Injury
6.  The Custard Square
7.  They Call Me Wazza

International Shorts 1

92 min

Handpicked from around the globe, these shorts pack a punch, offering insightful perspectives on various topics across three international shorts.

1.  Man of Arran
2.  The Only Girl in the Orchestra
3.  The President’s Tailor – From Auschwitz to the White House

International Shorts 2

99 min

Handpicked from around the globe, these shorts pack a punch, offering insightful perspectives on various topics across four international shorts.

1.  Girl of Wind
2.  Losing Blue
3.  Girls Move Mountains

4.  Instruments of a Beating Heart

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