Winners revealed for Documentary Edge International Film Festival

It’s been a momentous year for the 11th Documentary Edge International Film Festival (Doc Edge) with a smorgasbord of film screenings, the introduction of Docs 4 Schools, and a bevy of international guests coming to NZ for the Festival and Screen Edge Forum.

Ahead of Wellington’s final weekend and before the Festival opens in Auckland on the 18th May, the Festival Judges announced the 2016 award winners on May 12th.

Miners Shot Down was declared overall winner of Best International Feature Documentary, jurors calling it “an extraordinarily nuanced microcosm of post-Apartheid South Africa.” Filmed over seven days in August 2012, Miners Shot Down focuses on workers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines as they strike for better wages. The International documentaries this year packed a powerful punch with incredible footage illuminating our world, and the real-life struggles and successes people are facing. This made it an incredibly tough choice for the judges to pick a winner. A special mention was given to Among The Believers with jurors noting that the “access and balancing of the tensions between two such extreme worlds is a remarkable achievement”, and Sonita, a “striking” film with a “phenomenal teenager” as the main subject.

The Best New Zealand Feature Documentary was taken out by Loving in Limbo, with director Susan Parker winning Best New Zealand Director as well. The global love story follows Kiwi Hap Cameron and his American love, Mandy Tod, over seven years and several continents as they battle to stay together whilst facing long distance separation, immigration bans and family issues. Awards were also handed out across the NZ feature films for excellent editing, cinematography and to highlight emerging filmmaker, Lisa Burdfor her film Monterey.

Mohammed Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi, co-directors of Among The Believers, won the award for Best International Director. Jurors were impressed by the filmmakers’ ability to give the audience a deeper and more insightful look into radical Islam, commenting that “[Among The Believers] takes us way beyond the news bites and daily news stories that populate our main stream media and provides an intimate view of this volatile world providing rare and surprisingly sympathetic insight into both the radical and the moderates.”

The short films ranging from 6 minutes to 40 minutes impressed the judges too. The 2016 Academy Award® Documentary (Short Subject) winner A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, won Best International Short Documentary at the Doc Edge Awards, judges hailing it as “an example of activist filmmaking at its best.” From NZ On the Backs of Women won Best New Zealand Short Documentary, with humorous short film An Animated Guy receiving a special mention.

Marti Friedlander is one of New Zealand's most acclaimed photographers, with a career spanning over 50 years. This year Friedlander was awarded the Doc Edge Superhero Award for her dedication and skill in documenting Aotearoa through still images. A set of black and white images, taken by Friedlander in the 70s, were chosen to grace the covers of the programme and website. Forty years on and Friedlander is keen to find the grinning kids from the images, which were taken in Grey Lynn, Auckland.

Full list of Winners Doc Edge Awards 2016:

Best International Feature - Miners Shot Down

                         -  Special Mention – Sonita

                         -  Special Mention – Among the Believers

Best New Zealand Feature – Loving in Limbo

Best International Short – A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Best New Zealand Short – On the Backs of Women

                          - Special Mention – An Animated Guy

Best International Feature Director - Mohammed Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi, Among The Believers

Best New Zealand Director – Susan Parker, Loving in Limbo

Best New Zealand Editing – The Sound of Her Guitar

Best New Zealand Cinematography - A Kick to Heaven

Best New Zealand Emerging Filmmaker - Lisa Burd, Monterey

Doc Edge Superhero Award - Marti Friedlander


Best TV Documentary or Series  - Target Zero,  Producer/Director: Kathleen Mantel

Best NZ Online Documentary or Web Series  - Loading Docs - Notable Pictures - Julia Parnell


4-15 May 2016 - Doc Edge Festival: Wellington – The Roxy, Miramar

18-29 May 2016 - Doc Edge Festival: Auckland – Q Theatre, Auckland CBD

13 May 2016 Screen Edge Forum: Wellington – Park Road Post, Miramar

18 May 2016 Screen Edge Forum: Auckland – AUT, Auckland CBD