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Doc Edge 2010: what to expect at the Forum – part two

A number of late changes are being made to the Doc Edge Forum programme, as the deadline draws close.

A new session has been added to the programme, provisionally titled Marc and his Amazing Tehnicolour Dreamcoat: Breaking the Colour Bar. The UK’s Marc Boothe will leads a discussion on how to diversify the industry and encourage ethnic storytellers to participate.

How can we ensure that writers and directors are culturally true and sensitive in their writing and directing? New Zealand has taken positive steps to ensuring Maori and Pacific island representation in film and TV. Other minorities, perhaps not so much. Often, Orientals males are Triad related, Oriental women are sex kittenish Geishas, South Asians all own grocery shops, Muslim women have no voices and Muslim men are terrorists …

What can be done to capture their stories and involve them in the decision making processes that lead to their (more accurate) portrayal?

In other new news, a couple of new arrivals have been announced for this weekend’s Lab. AUT Lecturer Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath has been teaching courses on computer games, tangible interaction, and new media for several years at various Universities.

Emmy and Academy Award nominee Frederick Marx is the director of Journey to Zanskar, which will have its world premiere at the Doc Edge Festival.

He co-produced/co-edited/co-wrote Hoop Dreams with cinematographer Peter Gilbert, an attendee at last year’s DOCNZ Summit who has since worked on Annie Goldson’s Brother Number One. Hoop Dreams was voted the No 1 Documentary of all time by the International Documentary Association.

Frederick brings fresh formal ideas, a unique sense of humour, a passion for multi-culturalism and an urgent empathy for the sufferings of the disadvantaged to every subject he tackles.

Frederick and Daniel will mentor participants at this weekend’s Lab.

The Pitch Forum finalists have also been announced: 4:20 Arik Reiss; ARMY WITH NO GUNS William Watson; ASEXUALITY : THE MAKING OF A MOVEMENT Josh Davidow; ELECTRONIC WASTELAND Esmeralda Kasmara; EYE OF THE LAND PROMO Jim Marbrook; HELEN CLARK P.M. Claudia Pond Eyley; INTO THE SLUMS Paula Jones; RINGCON Prue Langbein; WHALE LIKE ME Malcolm Wright; and WHARE MAORI Karen Mackenzie.

In the Forum programme (still possibly subject to minor changes), the main international interest of the opening day will be the country focus on China, with a delegation including Guangzhou Documentary Festival’s (GZDOC) Tina Lei, LIC’s Leland Ling and a number of film and television documentary producers attending.

Roger Horrocks, Dr Peter Zimmerman and Marc Boothe will look forward in a panel discussion, tackling the hard questions such as: What is the future of documentary production? Is the form of documentary changing? Are we meeting the market? What are the new forms of documentary? Cinematic? TV? Cross-platform? And who’s going to foot the bill?

Roger has made documentaries with Point of View Productions as director and writer/researcher. He was the founder and Head of the Department of Film, Television and
Media Studies at Auckland University, a member of NZ On Air for 11 years, chair of Creative NZ’s film fund, and has written widely on film and television history.

An Aussie gets the chance to gloat over the question What Is NZ Content? (Answer: something that screens very cheaply as local content on Aussie TV.) Screen Australia’s Development and Investment Manager Julia Overton will attempt to coral John Barnett, Annie Goldson, NZ On Air’s Glenn Usmar and a TBC speaker from the Film Commission into defining what can or can’t pass through the shrinking eye of the local funding needle.

After some musical chairs that will see Gaylene Preston replace Glenn Usmar, John Barnett and the NZFC’s Marilyn Milgrom will reappear to discuss What Is a Cinematic Documentary?

‘Cinematic’ is a difficult to define term, but a requirement for NZFC documentary funding. Expect three takes – hopefully not too different – and possibly some wriggling as hard-up filmmakers press for some boxes to tick in the search for funding.

Roger Horrocks returns to chair a discussion Made for TV. In light of a recent report Mr Horrocks wrote bemoaning the death of the doco on NZ TV, this should be an interesting session from a local perspective.

Mopping up Mr Horrocks’ tears, and hopefully providing some good news both locally and internationally, will be panelists TV manager Glenn Usmar (NZ on Air), Peter Newman (SBS), producer Fiona Lawson Baker (Al Jazeera), a TBC from Maori Television and Pat Ferns.

Annie Goldson will facilitate a session on Recreating Reality, the cans, can’ts, dos, don’ts and various ways to solve the problem when a recreation is called for. Where is the line between dramatization and documentary? What are the challenges and choices facing the documentary filmmaker?

Media lecturer Geraldine Peters, AUT’s Laurent Antonczak and filmmaker Kirsty MacDonald will tread carefully through the minefield.

The final presentation session in the programme will be Dr Peter Zimmermann on Camcorder Activists: Politically-Committed Documentaries.

The lecture will outline new trends in socially-committed documentary filmmaking. It will also aim to demonstrate the importance for a democratic use of new media, placing it in the historical context of Direct Cinema and politically committed documentaries from the 1960s onwards.

Part One of this article, dealing with the workshop sessions at the three-day Forum, can be found here.

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