What's On

Your Guide To The New Zealand International Documentary Film Festival

By Marilynn McLachlan
18th May 2016

what to see at the 2016 EDGE film doc festival

This May is your chance to view top-notch docos from New Zealand and around the world in the Doc Edge Film Festival. Covering a wide range of topics, it recently finished in Wellington and moves to Auckland today. It showcases the best quality docos to inspire, educate and delve into topics that are moving and sometimes chilling.

With a mixture of both long and short films, there is a smorgasbord of topics to choose from. So, in order to make things a little bit easier for you, here are our top picks of which docos to see at this year’s Doc Edge Film Festival.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

A moving and insightful insight into a true Renaissance woman, Maya Angelou. A writer, poet, performer and activist, this doco tells the story of her difficult early years—parental abandonment, racism in the deep South of America and how she silenced herself for five years as a young girl. With insights from Hillary and Bill Clinton, Oprah and other famous artists, this is an inspirational film about a woman who yes, even after death, continues to rise. 

A Billion Lives

Smoking. It is one topic that is guaranteed to bring a reaction to almost everyone—ex-smokers, those who know someone who smokes and of course, smokers themselves. It is estimated that some 70 per cent of smokers want to quit. A Billion Lives (there will be 1.6 billion smokers in the world in 20 years’ time) travels the world and explores how the cigarette industry is dominated by government regulators and health charities funded by the powerful pharmaceutical industry. It also interestingly explores the discovery of the vapour technology that gave smokers a successful way to quit, but was quickly overpowered and even banned in some countries.

Hello, I Am David!

While many have heard of David Helfgott through the award-winning film, Shine, Hello, I Am David! is the first documentary about this extraordinarily talented concert pianist and his life. It tells the story of how his career seemed at an end when he suffered from a nervous breakdown and how he managed to build his life up again. This is a heart-warming love story of marriage, life and music that is not to be missed.

Sergio Herman, Fucking Perfect

This doco tells the story of 3 Michelin-star chef Sergio Herman who is a man in transition. After spending 25 years in the industry, he decides to sell his famous restaurant, Oud Sluis, in order to spend more time with his wife and family. But he doesn’t relax for long and starts another project and meanwhile his wife embarks on her own career. This is an interesting insight for those who are driven by ambition who will sacrifice anything for perfection. 

Seven Songs For A Long Life

This British documentary is an intimate view of six hospice patients who are facing death.  Instead of wallowing, it tells their stories through songs that reflect their dreams, passions and lives. Tender and funny at the same time, it is wholly inspirational.

Sugar Coated

If smoking wasn’t bad enough, Sugar Coated explores the multi-billion-dollar sugar empire that has been sweetening our food for the last forty years. With rising rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, paediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Robert Lustig is on a mission to expose the damage sugar causes to the body. It also reveals internal documents of an old sugar company that used tobacco-style tactics to dismiss health claims against their products.  

The Deets:

What: The New Zealand International Documentary Film Festival
When: 18th-29th May
Where: Q Theatre
Tickets: Here 
More Info: Visit the Doc Edge website. 


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