The Common Touch scheduled for Documentary Edge Festival
A Kiwi short-film about a Christchurch high school student who made global headlines after his prizegiving speech, will screen at this year's Documentary Edge Film Festival.
Directed by student filmmaker Mason Cade Packer, The Common Touch follows former Christchurch Boys' High School pupil Jake Bailey's quest to inspire others, after his 2015 prizegiving speech, just days after learning of his life-threatening cancer diagnosis, struck a chord with people around the world.
It's one of nine titles announced on Wednesday for the annual celebration of documentary filmmaking, which this year will screen in Wellington from May 10 to 21 and Auckland from May 24 to June 5.
Six years in the making, New Zealand-based filmmaker Harold Monfil's feature-length documentary on British war photographer Jason P Howe, Hoka Hey: A Good Day to Die, will also screen at Documentary Edge. Howe survived 12 years on the frontline of four wars, going to extreme lengths to survive, including embroiling himself in a love affair with an assassin.
Other films announced for the festival so far include:
Last Men in Aleppo
Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary, this sees Syrian film-maker Feras Fayyad teaming up with Danish director Steen Johannessen to tell the story of Aleppo's "White Helmets", first responders to the devastating bombing and terrorist attacks in the city.
The Cinema Travellers
Award-winning Cannes film that looks at the disappearing travelling cinemas of India. Decades after their heyday, a benevolent showman, a shrewd exhibitor and a maverick projector mechanic are the only ones keeping the last remaining touring show alive.
Originally programmed to play at last year's festival, before a court case brought by one of its subjects delayed its release, director Hollie Fifer's film follows a small Papua New Guinean community fighting to retain their land in the face of commercial development.
The Pulitzer at 100
Featuring Carl Bernstein, Nick Kristof, Wynton Marsalis, Tracky Smith, Michael Chabon, and readings by Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, and Liev Schreiber, Kir Simon tells the history of the prestigious prize through the stories of artists that have won it.
For more information, see docedge.nz