Doc Edge Festival Announced Documentary Winners This Month

Monday 5 June 2017

Doc Edge Festival Announced Documentary Winners This Month

The 12th Annual Doc Edge International Film Festival award-winners were announced bringing international guests from around the world to join New Zealanders to celebrate all things documentary!

Wellington-based filmmaker Fiona Apanui-Kupenga presented her documentary 'Making Good Men' which scooped up several awards including Best New Zealand Feature Documentary. The film sees two high-profile men, ex-All Black Norm Hewitt and Actor Manu Bennett, reconcile to discuss bullying with unprecedented honesty.

Kevin Double from Whanganui with his film about the restoration of a statue of a Māori soldier 'Set In Stone' is another Kiwi pride. Double was named as the Best New Zealand Emerging Filmmaker.

Doc Edge was selected by the Academy Award as a qualifying festival for short documentaries in early 2016. Excitingly, in the short films category, both 'After Life' winner of Best New Zealand Short and the Polish film 'Close Ties' winner of Best International Short Award are now eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Academy Awards.

The judging panel commended the international filmmakers noting that they were moved by the truth of the films and the way the intimate personal stories reflected real global issues with complexity and heart. However, one film stood out 'Plastic China' for which filmmaker Jiu-Liang Wang won the highly contested Best International Feature Documentary Award.

"Plastic China stood out with its astutely observed characters and singular location. The struggle and heartbreak of the film were particularly poignant because of our relationship to the situation. The wider resonance of the story, the fact that China is recycling plastic waste for much of the western world, was a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of humanity." - Panel

The Festival recognised Leanne Pooley (ONZM) for her immense contribution to the documentary world, presenting her with the 2017 Doc Edge Superhero Award. A Canada-born filmmaker based in Auckland, Pooley’s career spans more than 20 years and she has documented the incredible stories of New Zealanders in award winning films including '25 April', 'Beyond The Edge', 'Topp Twins - Untouchable Girls', 'Hunting Douglas' and 'Shackleton's Captain'.

Full list of Winners Doc Edge Awards 2017:
- New Zealand Competition– Feature Documentary
- Best New Zealand Feature Documentary – Making Good Men
- Special Mention: Set In Stone
- Best New Zealand Director – Fiona Apanui-Kupenga, Making Good Men
- Best New Zealand Editing - Making Good Men
- Best New Zealand Cinematography – On An Unknown Beach

New Zealand Competition - Short Documentary:
- Best New Zealand Short Documentary - After Life - Now eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Academy Awards
- Special Mention: Meet Peter
- Special Mention: Moko: A Film About A Maori Poet
- Special Mention: Stickman

International Competition - Feature Documentary:
- Best International Feature Documentary – Plastic China
- Special Mention: Last Men in Aleppo
- Special Mention: For Ahkeem

Best International Director – Yonatan Nir, My Hero Brother:
- Special Mention: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya - The Cinema Travellers

International Competition – Short Documentary:
- Best International Short Documentary - Close Ties*
- Best New Zealand Emerging Filmmaker - Kevin Double, Set In Stone

Doc Edge Superhero Award - Leanne Pooley

Auckland audiences will now be treated to a stellar season of 69 fascinating documentaries after a successful season in Wellington.