Doc Edge 2020 online and super cool

Clayton's Doc Edge 2020 Picks

If you’ve been suffering from lockdown brain like me, a dose of excellent docos is just the ticket. Thanks to Covid-19 the Doc Edge Film Festival you can get that ticket right from the comfort of your couch, with all 83 films available online from June 12 to July 5.

This virtual fest has some fantastic films - stories of unique individuals, raw nature, political power, and those brilliantly eclectic docos that will warm your post-bubble heart. Check out the entire line-up here, otherwise check out my picks below!

Picture of His Life

If you love wildlife photography this is a gorgeous eye-opener, following the extreme lengths world-renowned photographer Amos Nachoum takes to realise a life-long dream.

The Israeli native has travelled the world taking stunning pictures of orcas, sea leopards, great white sharks and crocodiles at great risk to his own life. But the one that has eluded him is an underwater picture of a swimming Polar Bear.

It’s a compelling journey as he and a group of eclectic characters head into the unforgiving Arctic, as we learn about his turbulent past and the personal sacrifices he’s made to achieve success.


First We Eat

Lockdown life might have been tough without takeaways but have a thought for filmmaker Suzanne Crocker’s family. Living in Yukon, Northern Canada, she decides her and her family will spend a year only eating food locally hunted and grown.   

Written, directed shot and produced by Crocker, it’s a fascinating watch as she drags her three teenage kids and her reluctant husband through this journey, made even harder with the frozen north. Your taste buds will surely be tested as you see them consume halibut liver, fresh lynx, birch tree water, moose nose and moose tongue pastrami!

Even though most of it endearing home video, there’s some beautiful cinematography of the rugged landscape, and you just can’t help but have a smile on your face as you watch the tiny trials and great victories this family achieve. Kiwis with a taste to change to a more ethically sourced diet will lap this up.


The Forum

If you have the slightest interest in how the world operates and where it’s going, this is a must watch. Director Marcus Vetter is the first filmmaker allowed behind the scenes of the World Economic Forum, the brainchild of 81 year-old Klaus Schwab.

WEF is where private enterprise mingles with government office, to improve the state of the world in Schwab’s eyes. But to the likes of Greenpeace’s Jennifer Morgan, Al Gore and Greta Thunberg (who will take your breath away here), it’s just for the rich elite to get richer. Fascinating, scary and inspiring at the same time, this doco peels back the layers of how things are really run in the world. But at what cost?



Similar to The Forum, Influence is another peak into the powers that really run the world, this time about the highly influential public relations firm Bell Pottinger and it’s head Lord Tim Bell. Long before ‘fake news’ Bell was masterminding campaigns for a rogues gallery of leaders including Margaret Thatcher, Pinochet and FW De Klerk.

This is an impressive look at a man who practically invented the word spin-doctor, using archival footage and slickly shot interviews to take you down a litany of lies that has undermined true democracy.

It is mind-boggling the terrible impact of this man and his company has had on the modern world, and will have you questioning the powers that be for years to come.


My Rembrandt

I do love a bit of art history and this doco is a must-see for art lovers, as well as fans of those thrilling docos with great plot twists. 350 years after his death Rembrandt still holds people in awe, and the passion on show here is palpable.

Some questions do get unanswered, and a key player un-interviewed, but seeing some of art’s greatest works get restored is worth admission alone. The clamour for his paintings cause a person to do strange things - like wunderkind art dealer Jan Six – which make this look into the knives-out art-collecting world gripping stuff.


Who Let The Dogs Out

My absolute favourite of this year’s festival is this brilliant down-the-rabbit-hole trip behind one of the great earworms of our times. Ben Sisto delivers what has been dubbed “the TEDtalk you never knew you needed” about the Baha Men’s – or so it seems - 2000 smash Who Let the Dogs Out.

 From what began as a curious inquiry on a Wikipedia entry on the song, comes this hilarious deep dive that’ll soon have you scratching your head at who actually did let them out. Sisto moves things along brilliantly with great candour with a variety of potential dog-releasers, and the slick graphics help keep the song’s twisted history in check.

 You’ll be picking your jaw off the floor again and again in this short and sharp one-hour doco.


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