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Screen Edge Forum teases out programme

The previously-announced American director Steve James remains the biggest name on the list of speakers and presenters, but is now backed by some international speakers of note.

As one would expect, Screen Edge is making good use of international filmmakers attending screenings of their films in the Doc Edge festival.

James is attending the festival with two films, a 20th anniversary remastered version of Hoop Dreams and his Sundance-premiered study of film critic Roger Ebert, Life Itself. At the Forum he’ll present a masterclass on storytelling.

Steve James presents Life Itself at Sundance. (c)  Jason Bailey/Flavorwire

Steve James presents Life Itself at Sundance. (c) Jason Bailey/Flavorwire

Also presenting at the Forum will be Grammy nominated music producer Martin Shore (Saw I, Saw II, Rize, Rock School) and director ofTake Me To The River. Shore recently founded Mobile Digital Network, a mobile content provider.

From the digital arts to the dark arts, Screen Edge presents Cannes Lion-winning commercial director Keva Rosenfeld, who 30 years ago made award-winning documentaryAll American High. Earlier this year, hisAll American High: Revisited premiered at SXSW and will screen in the Doc Edge Festival.

Also premiered at SXSW and scrrening in NZ is Doc of the Dead, from Alexandre Philippe, the highly entertaining director of highly entertaining 2011 Doc Edge festival opener The People vs. George Lucas.

NZ-Canadian filmmaker Brent Hodge ( The Cockumentary, Winning America, The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions) attends with Tribeca-premiered A Brony Tale.

Forum sessions will include Radio Docs – A Public Broadcasting Alternative, Sustainability in Television, Pop Culture Docs, Investigative Documentary-making and the obligatory co-production session.

Screen Edge’s will focus on China-NZ co-productions, a reasonably topical subject given an under-used treaty but other activity including Mili Pictures’ involvement in animated Dragon Nest and announcements earlier this week that Auckland will get some see some pretty nifty wire work in the Weinstein Company-produced prequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

The tighter ship of a two-day Forum this year means there’ll be plenty to do.

Strangely, the interest inDOC Pitch increased massively last year – almost in direct proportion to the value of the prize on offer. This year’s model has a similarly valuable prize package, and applications for the pitch competition close on Monday (28 April).

Would-be pitchers must register for the Forum, a process made a little sweeter this year by the inclusion of Festival passes with two-day registrations. DOC Pitch panelists this year include representatives of Madman Films, Maori TV, NZ Film Commission, NZ On Air, Prime TV, Rialto Distribution, TV3, TVNZ and Vendetta Films.

Screen Edge Forum will update the Forum programme and speaker details through its website. The Screen Edge Forum runs 29 – 30 May at AUT, Auckland.

The Doc Edge Festival runs 21 May – 2 June at Q Theatre, Queen Street, Auckland; 5 – 15 June at the Roxy, Miramar, Wellington. The festival programme and information is here and tickets are now on sale.

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