Acclaimed Tina Turner documentary headlines this year’s Doc Edge festival


Doc Edge Festival returns next month with over 80 feature-length and short documentaries.

The legendary Tina Turner farewells her fans and bows out of public life with the acclaimed documentary TINA. Billed as an intimate portrait of a woman overcoming adversity, the film celebrates the musical icon and also sees Turner open up about her troubled past and living with PTSD. TINA is one of the crown jewels of this year’s Doc Edge Festival, which screens in Auckland and Wellington cinemas, and online nationwide between June 4 and July 11.

Among the more than 80 docos on offer that have gotten our attention is A Glitch in The Matrix, from director Rodney Ascher  (who previously explored outlandish theories about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in Room 237 and sleep paralysis in The Nightmare). In his latest doco, which premiered at Sundance this year, Ascher examines a hypothesis that has been contemplated for millennia and taken on more adherents in the modern era—what if we are we living in a simulation?

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Other documentaries of note in the recently-announced programme include The Wonderful: Stories From the Space Station, celebrating the remarkable orbiting achievement of technology; Under the Volcano, charting the history of George Martin’s AIR Studios in the Caribbean and the massive artists who recorded there; and MLK/FBI, which explores the FBI’s investigation and harassment of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

More information is available from the Doc Edge website, and in their media release below:

Doc Edge Festival in association with RNZ has just launched its 2021 programme, presenting a jam-packed festival of over 80 feature length and short documentaries. The festival is excited to confirm the highly-anticipated doco – TINA – as part of their selection. The HBO film is the ultimate celebration of global superstar, Tina Turner, and an intimate portrait of the woman who overcame extreme adversity to define her career and legacy on her own terms. From Oscar-winning filmmakers T.J. Martin and Daniel Lindsay (Undefeated).

The Wonderful: Stories From The Space Station is a breath-taking cinematic celebration of a remarkable achievement of technology, international collaboration, scientific endeavour and human bravery. Director Claire Lewins draws together personal stories from people who have been part of the extraordinary endeavour that is the International Space Station to provide a fascinating insight into human nature and our relationship with planet Earth and space. Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Having made its premiere at Sundance, A Glitch In The Matrix tackles the question “are we living in a simulation?” Using contemporary cultural touchstones like The Matrix, a noted speech from science fiction writer Philip K. Dick and a wide array of voices, expert and amateur alike, acclaimed filmmaker Rodney Asher dives down the rabbit hole of science, philosophy and conspiracy theory, leaving no stone unturned in exploring the unprovable. 

Amongst the massive line-up of films is an impressive selection of 31 local and international short films, including Doc Edge Originals, films commissioned by Doc Edge and the Rei Foundation to support titles made specifically for rangitahi. This year three films funded in 2020 will have their world premieres at the festival:

  • Make It 16 (Director Jess Feast)Teenagers are ready to make history as they challenge the current voting age in New Zealand.
  • Paper Dolls (Director Andrea Kahukiwa): Kiwi teens share their fashion foraging skills, hunting in op-shops and surplus stores to find sustainable style and the freedom to be who they want to be.
  • Sea Within A Sea (Director Danech San): Along Cambodia’s coast, seahorses are under threat. The film explores the factors that impact seahorse populations and conservation planning.

Who said size matters? These thought-provoking bite-sized documentaries will knock your socks off.

This year Doc Edge will screen at four venues: in Auckland at SkyCity Theatre from 3 – 7 June and The Civic from 10 – 13 June; Online from 4 June – 11 July; in Wellington at The Roxy 17 – 27 June. Now in its 16th year, it’s the Festival’s biggest edition yet, serving up a full month of films for Kiwis across the country to feast their eyes and minds on.

Tickets for Auckland and online are on sale now, and Wellington tickets will go on sale from Monday 3 May.