Today we spoke to Dan Shanan, Festival Director of the
9th Documentary Edge Festival

DEADLINE • 15 November 2013


Dan Shanan DocEdge

For its 9th edition, Documentary Edge Festival are going to concentrate on films made for youth and children. This is an ongoing interest that we find for our audience for films. Alongside feature and short film categories, we’ll have a new specific section for youth and children: for documentaries both made by youth and children or made for youth and children. As well as this we have a new category for student films. In the past students have submitted their films alongside all other categories, but now they have a specific category for students themselves.

We are developing Documentary Edge to be the largest festival in this part of the hemisphere. We are modeling our festival on what IDFA is in Europe and what Hot Docs is doing for documentaries in North America in Toronto. We are very lucky to have both festival directors of those two festivals giving us advice and reports. It is our goal to become that large a festival in our region.

Obviously we try to have international premieres and world premieres if possible and every year we get a few dozen. But films that have been shown around the world, that’s fine too, as long they haven‘t had their release already in New Zealand, that‘s the minimum requirement for us.

Alongside the festival we run the Screen Edge Forum which is an industry conference event where the filmmakers can attend and have workshops, master classes and a pitching forum for new documentaries to pitch for funding. So, beside the festival for the filmmakers there is this add on of having an industry market event to go with.

Every selected film is also running in the competition; that means there is always the opportunity to win an award. New Zealand is a great country to show your film. It‘s a great country to visit and to travel. We are well known for our Kiwi hospitality and we love our guests coming here.

This is our first time trying FilmFestivalLife and we are excited about this new partnership. I think that the submission process is easy. The fact that you can do everything in one place, have your film updated for us to watch and you don‘t have to be worry about sending a DVD or Screener to us, that makes the whole process much faster and easier. We think this is the future. FilmFestivalLife seems to be taking the whole submission process into a different level than other submission websites. That‘s why we like it. We hope that filmmakers will be aware of this website and start using it!

Dan Shanan, Documentary Edge Festival to FilmFestivalLife, 22 Oktober 2013
22 May – 15 Jun 2014, Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand

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Submit to DocEdge on FilmFestivalLife



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Jana Dietze

Jana Dietze is the Head of Communications at FFL. Her editorial background includes positions as Editor of N24 News channel and Editor of Fulmidas Media Agency. Her film experience is grounded in studying Film Science, Georg-August University, Göttingen. Reach her at jana(at)