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8 Of The Best Documentaries You Can’t Afford To Miss At This Year’s Doc Edge Festival

By Urban List Writers
26th May 2021

The Wonderful - Woman in Spaceship

This June get cosy at home or in a cinema and enjoy a film because New Zealand’s international documentary festival Doc Edge is back with a huge selection of the best local and global docos, sharing stories of drag queens, music that has touched the world, heartfelt and personal stories of family and so much more.

There’s screenings in Auckland from 3 to 7 June at SkyCity Theatre and 10 to 13 June at The Civic, in Wellington from 17 to 27 June at The Roxy as well as online for film buffs across the country to enjoy from 4 June to 11 July.

With over 80 feature length and short films to sink your teeth into, we’ve pulled out our must-see picks of this year’s Doc Edge festival to make sure you don’t miss out.


The highly anticipated HBO doco TINA is the ultimate celebration of global superstar, Tina Turner, and an intimate portrait of the woman who overcame extreme adversity to define her career and legacy on her own terms. From Oscar-winning filmmakers T.J. Martin and Daniel Lindsay (Undefeated).

Drag-queen with baby

Workhorse Queen

Exploring the complexities of mainstream television’s impact on queer performance culture, welcome along to the world of drag queen Mrs. Kasha Davis in Workhorse Queen, as she traverses the complex world of fame after starring on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Man standing at the backdrop of the carribean

Under The Volcano

On a remote Caribbean Island, in the shadow of a volcano, the world’s biggest recording artists made music and myth, from Elton John, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney. This is a story of memories and the music that shaped an era from director Gracie Otto.

NZ teenagers fighting climate change at the beach

High Tide Don't Hide

In High Tide Don't Hide, New Zealand teenagers who are determined to provoke real action, join the global School Strike for Climate. But planning a movement and building momentum are the easy parts as they face political indifference, their own white privilege, and the ongoing struggle to be heard. Meanwhile, the tides continue to rise. 

Girl lifting weights

Lift Like A Girl

In Lift Like A Girl, travel to a busy, noisy street corner in Alexandria with filmmaker Mayye Zayed. A seemingly vacant corner lot surrounded by chain-link fencing is the training site of Egypt’s most elite champions—female weightlifters.

Astronaut at the theatre

The Wonderful

Director Claire Lewins draws together personal stories from people who have been part of the extraordinary endeavour that is the International Space Station to provide a fascinating insight into human nature and our relationship with planet Earth and space in The Wonderful: Stories From The Space Station.

Lukas Graham staring out of window

7 Years Of Lukas Graham

In 2016 Danish pop band, Lukas Graham, and lead singer Lukas Forchhammer skyrocketed to worldwide fame with their song 7 Years. Director René Sascha Johannsen had full access to Europe’s biggest export star as he wrestled with stardom at a young age and the notion of “having it all“.

Man with shark

Playing With Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story

Having made its premiere at Sundance this year, Playing with Sharks is an illuminating and captivating documentary by Emmy-nominated writer and director Sally Aitken detailing the extraordinary true story of shark fanatic and Australian icon Valerie Taylor. As Steve Irwin was to crocs and Jane Goodall is to chimps, so is Valerie Taylor to sharks.

For the full Doc Edge programme and more information on the 2021 festival, visit docedge.nz

If Netflix and chill is more your thing, then check out 20 of the best netflix docos that will blow your mind.
Image credit: DocEdge Festival

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