Top International Directors descend on NZ

The 11th Documentary Edge International Film Festival (Doc Edge) opens this Wednesday 4th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema, bringing with it directors and documentary subjects from around the globe.
Be Here Now – The Andy Whitfield Story
Academy-award® nominated director Lilibet Foster and inspiring subject Vashti Whitfield will attend the international premiere of Be Here Now – The Andy Whitfield Story (only screened in U.S.) on Wed 4th May at 8pm. The momentous occasion will see New Zealand honouring the late Spartacus star Andy Whitfield and his family through a traditional welcome and opening screening. The film is sure to resonate with NZ audiences and the people who worked alongside Andy. Q+A’s with Lilibet and Vashti will follow the first screening in each city.
Following the successful campaign to have a visa granted to Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, she will arrive in Wellington on 12th May, in time to see her multiple award-winning film Sonita screen at 9pm on Fri 13th May. Rokhsareh captures the daring motivational story of Afghani teenager, Sonita, as she challenges the life of arranged marriage preordained customary life for herself and other young women, through powerful rap lyrics. She will also run a master-class at Screen Edge Forum on 13th May in Wellington and 18th May in Auckland. Sonita is supported by Amnesty International.
A Billion Lives
Aaron Biebert is thrilled to have the World Premiere of his first theatrical feature film A Billion Lives at 8.30pm on Wed 11th May at The Roxy. The American documentary maker travelled across four continents interviewing doctors and scientists to save a billion lives from the overwhelming effects of cigarettes. His screenings are supported by NZ advocacy groups End Smoking NZ, and Vape2Save and all sessions are followed by Q+A sessions.
Presenting Princess Shaw
YouTube sensation Samantha Montgomery, A.K.A. film subject Princess Shaw, will fly in from New Orleans to treat NZ to her soulful singing and a one-off Q+A at Wellington’s closing night film Presenting Princess Shaw on May 15th at 8.30pm. This feel-good documentary crosses borders telling the fairy tale story of a star-crossed singer-songwriter catapulted to instant fame when Israeli DJ Kutiman remixed and released her songs to the world without her knowledge.
The Opposition                                                                                                
Doc Edge Festival is pleased to be able to screen this film in spite of a lawsuit launched by one of the film subjects, Dame Carol Kidu, to stop the screening. The film, by director Hollie Fifer, presents a battle over the most sought after piece of land in the centre of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Joe Moses, leader of the Paga Hill Settlement, wants to save his 3,000 people before they are evicted. Shots featuring the plaintiff Dame Carol Kidu will be blacked with text and a narration.
Among The Believers
Attending the festival is Mohammed Ali Naqvi who, along with co-director Hemal Trevadi, was allowed beyond the secure walls of the Red Mosque to hold interviews with highly controversial Muslim leader, cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi. Among the Believers is an intimate and frightening look into the microcosm of terrorism in Pakistan. Q+As will follow each screening.
More directors attending the Festival from overseas are A Family Affair's Tom Fassaert; Driving with Selvi's Elisa Paloschi; A Man Can Make a Difference's Ullabritt Horn; A Kick to Heaven's Zviki Eshet; and Executive Producer Corey Tong (Forever, Chinatown and Last Day of Freedom), along with many local filmmakers.
Alongside the screenings, filmmakers will join local and international industry members at the 10th Screen Edge Forum on 13th May at Park Road Post and 18th May at AUT. The Forum features masterclasses and workshops on current screen issues and developments. Members of the public are welcome to register and attend.
For the full programme and the latest news regarding the 2016 season visit