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About :

As one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals worldwide, we invite talented filmmakers, storytellers, and documentary enthusiasts from around the globe to showcase their works.

Doc Edge is the home for storytelling that changes your world. Our kaupapa (mission) is to celebrate, support, and showcase groundbreaking documentaries. As an Academy Awards® qualifying festival for feature and short documentaries, held annually across New Zealand, we strive to select world and international premieres that are eligible for Academy Awards® contention.

The festival is committed to curating a selection of the highest-quality films that demonstrate excellence in storytelling, celebrate diversity, and inspire social change. We take pride in being one of the leading film festivals in the Pacific and are particularly interested in supporting filmmakers with Pacific content and subjects.

Doc Edge 2024 will be a hybrid event, with screenings in cinemas and online. It will include the following exciting components:

Doc Edge Awards: Celebrating excellence in filmmaking.
Doc Edge Schools: An educational program for students from Year 5 to Tertiary.
Doc Edge Industry: Learning and networking opportunities for media professionals.
Doc Edge XR Exhibition: A showcase of digital interactive storytelling.

For the latest information and updates, please visit docedge.nz and sign up for News and Events.

We look forward to receiving your documentary submissions for Doc Edge Festival 2024!

Awards & Prizes:

Doc Edge is a highly competitive festival with various award categories. As an Academy Awards® qualifying festival, the winners of the Best NZ & International Short and Feature categories will receive consideration for an Oscar in 2025.

Competition Categories

New Zealand Awards:
Best Short Film (cash prize & Oscar consideration)
Best Feature Film (cash prize & Oscar consideration)
Best Director
Best Editing
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Best Emerging Filmmaker (director's debut feature film)
Best Secondary Student Film
Best Tertiary Student Film
Best XR Impact Project

International Awards:

Best Short Film (cash prize & Oscar consideration)
Best Feature Film (cash prize & Oscar consideration)
Best Director
Best Editing
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Best XR Impact Project

Other Awards:
Best Festival Category
Doc Edge Superhero: For outstanding contribution to documentary

Rules & Terms:

A. General Festival Rules:

1) Eligibility:
All submissions must be completed from January 1, 2023, onward.

Submissions must be minimum New Zealand Premieres, with preference given to World and International Premieres.

The submitting party ("the Submitter") must have the authority to submit the film to Doc Edge and exclusive rights (including music clearance rights) for theatrical screening in New Zealand.

2) Submission Requirements:
Doc Edge accepts documentary films in the following International and New Zealand categories. Please carefully review the qualifications for each category to avoid disqualification. Contact us if you have any doubts.

International Documentaries:
Short (under 40 minutes)
Feature (over 40 minutes)

New Zealand Documentaries:
To qualify as a New Zealand documentary, a film must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have at least one key crew member (director or producer) who is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
- Have more than 50% of its funding from New Zealand.
Proof of qualification is required with your submission.

Short (under 40 minutes)
Feature (over 40 minutes)
Secondary Student Film
Tertiary Student Film

Premiere Policy:
All qualifying films must be minimum New Zealand Premieres, meaning they should not have been publicly screened in New Zealand at other festivals, theatrically, on broadcast, available on VOD/online, or any other public platform.

Preference is given to premieres in the following order:

Deadlines and Fees (in USD):
Note: We do not offer fee waivers.

International Films:
Early Bird: September 15, 2023 - Feature $50 | Short: $30
Regular: December 22, 2023 - Feature $60 | Short: $40
Late: January 15, 2024 - Feature $70 | Short: $50
Extended: January 15, 2024 - Feature $80 | Short: $60

New Zealand Films:
Early Bird: September 15, 2023 - Feature $30 | Short: $20
Regular: December 22, 2023 - Feature $40 | Short: $25
Late: January 15, 2024 - Feature $50 | Short: $30
Extended: January 22, 2024 - Feature $60 | Short: $40

XR Impact Projects:
Early Bird: September 15, 2023 - $30
Regular: December 15, 2023 - $40
Late: December 31, 2023 - $50
Extended: January 15, 2024 - $60

New Zealand Student Films (free to submit, must be NZ student, proof required):
By January 22, 2024: New Zealand Secondary Student Film
By January 22, 2024: New Zealand Tertiary Student Film

All submissions must include a secure working online screener link.

Non-English films must have English subtitles, and closed captions should be available where possible. Dubbing is not acceptable.

Incomplete entries will not be accepted.

Works in Progress (WIP) may be submitted if the following conditions are met:
- The film must be at least at picture-lock stage.
- The submission is made during the Late Submissions period only.
- The Submitter accepts that the rough cut is the ONLY VERSION that can be submitted. No further cuts of the film will be considered.

If you have any queries regarding WIPs, or if you have a WIP XR experience you want to submit, please contact us.

Doc Edge is not obligated to provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted film.

The applicant is solely responsible for securing clearance from all copyright holders of materials and music included in the film.

The Submitter warrants to keep the festival indemnified against all claims for the unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted materials or music.

Doc Edge reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized copyrighted materials or music.

Programming decisions will be communicated to Submitters by April 15, 2024. The decision is final.

Please do not submit a film that has already been screened or is available in New Zealand in any form. This will result in immediate disqualification, and submission fees will not be refunded.
Only documentaries are eligible for entry. No refunds will be offered for films that do not meet the eligibility criteria.

3) Selected Films

Screener Link:
Upon confirmation of selection, the Submitter must provide Doc Edge with a screener and password. This screener link will remain valid until the end of the festival. The Submitter acknowledges that the screener link will be used for reviews, ratings, promotional purposes, and by the jury.

Screening Fees:
Doc Edge, being a not-for-profit charitable organization, may advise the Submitter of any applicable fees once the film is confirmed.

At its discretion, Doc Edge has the right to schedule up to three festival screenings in each city. The film will also be screened as part of the Virtual Cinema during the agreed festival period. Additionally, the Festival may schedule screenings as part of the Doc Edge Schools and/or encore season, which can be both physical and/or online.

Film Exhibition Format:
Complete details regarding the film's exhibition format will be provided to the Submitter in due course after selection.

Film Withdrawal Policy:
Once the Festival confirms the film's selection in writing:
- The Submitter cannot withdraw the Film from the Festival without mutual agreement in writing.
- The Submitter must communicate this policy to the film's sales agent(s) and/or distributor(s) during negotiations for the film's sales or distribution, ensuring that all parties comply with this policy.
- The Submitter acknowledges that any withdrawal of the film after selection may cause the festival to incur losses, and the festival reserves the right to seek compensation and restitution for such losses.

Changes to Film Status:
The Submitter must notify Doc Edge in writing of any changes that may affect the selection or legality of the film's screenings. Failure to do so may result in the film being removed at Doc Edge’s discretion.

Upon selection, Doc Edge is authorized to use the publicity materials related to the film, such as press kits, posters, trailers, stills, and/or clips, either in their entirety or as part of edited montages, to promote the film, the festival, and/or its events.

B. Agreement:
I, the Submitter, confirm that I hold the sole and exclusive ownership of all rights related to the submitted production or have the full authority to submit the production to the festival on behalf of all other interested parties (director, producer, sales agent, or film distributor).

Furthermore, I confirm that all necessary rights and clearances have been obtained, and I agree to indemnify the festival in case of any disputes arising from the public screening of the film during the festival, as per these rules and regulations.

I certify that the information provided in this Entry is complete and accurate. By submitting the film, I acknowledge, accept, and agree to comply with this Agreement.

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