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Doc Edge names first visitors

Ahead of the full programme to be announced in March, the festival is offering a sneak peak of the first five feature length films, filmmakers for four of which are confirmed to attend. Zviki Eshet, Tom Fassaert, Ghaem Maghami and Academy nominee Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will present their titles at this year’s Doc Edge Festival.

Zviki Eshet’s A Kick To Heaven is the closest to a NZ connection, centring on a family vacation to New Zealand, which turns into a life changing decade long stay.

Tom Fassaert’s A Family Affair takes the Dutch filmmaker to South Africa to meet his 95 year old grandmother Marianne Hertz (and former fashion model) for the first time since childhood. The film won top honours at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2015. Director Fassaert will be a Festival guest.

Ghaem Maghami’s Sundance winner Sonita (pictured, top) follows its eponymous Afghani teen rapper and a soon-to-be child bride. Coincidentally the African Film Festival, which also announced progamme details this week, also has a child-bride tale in its line up,

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken’s Song of Lahore looks at a small but dedicated group of traditional musicians trying to reclaim and reinvigorate a fading art form in a Pakistan torn apart by ethnic divisions, religious extremism, war and corruption.

Also announced is last year’s International Emmys’ Best Documentary winner, Rehad Desai’s Miners Shot Down. The full festival programme will be announced late next month.

Earlier, Doc Edge announced new local awards supported by NZ On Air, and a shot at international glory with the festival now an Oscar-qualifying festival for short documentary films. Winners of the Doc Edge Best New Zealand Short and Best International Short Awards will be eligible for consideration.

The first short film announced by the festival is from Song of Lahore’s Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. The rather long short (at 40 minutes), A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, is a nominee for this year’s Academy Awards, which will be presented on Monday NZ time.

The 11th edition of the Documentary Edge International Film Festival will run at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema 4 – 15 May, and at Auckland’s Q Theatre 18 – 29 May. The Screen Edge Forum will run in Wellington 13 May and in Auckland 18 May.

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