The Doc Edge Festival opens in Wellington on Wednesday before heading up to Auckland a couple of weeks later.
Lilibet Foster’s Be Here Now – The Andy Whitfield Story (pictured, top) opens the festival in both centres, with Foster and Whitfield’s widow Vashti in attendance. They’ll also present the film when it opens the Auckland leg of the festival.
Other international guests include Sonita director Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, who’ll attend screenings and and present masterclasses at the Screen Edge Forum in both centres. Ghaemmaghami arrives following a kerfuffle over the denial of a visa to visit NZ which deemed the Iranian filmmaker a potential overstayer, a decision now reviewed and overturned. Fingers crossed she doesn’t miss her flight out of NZ.
American documentary maker Aaron Biebert will present A Billion Lives, which will have its world premiere at Doc Edge (11 May). Samantha Montgomery, the subject of Ido Haar’s Presenting Princess Shaw will do the rock star fly-in, perform, fly-out as the film closes the Wellington leg of the festival on 15 May.
Mohammed Ali Naqvi will present his and Hemal Trevadi’s Among The Believers, partly shot in Islamabad’s Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) with Muslim leader, cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi. Other directors attending from overseas are the previously-announced Tom Fassaert (A Family Affair), Elisa Paloschi (Driving with Selvi); Ullabritt Horn ( A Man Can Make a Difference); Zviki Eshet (A Kick to Heaven); and producer Corey Tong (Forever, Chinatown and Last Day of Freedom).
The Doc Edge Festival will run 4-15 May at the Roxy, Wellington; and 18-29 May at Q Theatre, Auckland. The Screen Edge Forum will run 13 May at Park Road Post and 18 May at AUT. DOC Pitch will run 19 May at AUT.