Posted Monday 08 Jun 2015

Documentary Edge Festival announced the successful award winners of this year's festival at the 2015 Festival Awards last month. Among the successful winners, the clear stand out in the New Zealand award categories was Christopher Dudman's The Day That Changed My Life, documenting the Christchurch earthquake which was produced by WIFT member Polly Fryer. 

Best International Feature was awarded to Hannah Polak's Something Better To Come, a film which follows the lives of Russian teenagers living in the world's largest garbage dump, as they navigate growing up and their aspirations for the future. Something Better To Come was praised for its insightful and mammoth ten year filming effort. Jurors said, "The film opened an intimate window into a world that we rarely know about.  The story does not flinch from exposing the protagonist family in all their human frailty, which is ultimately uplifting."

Each year the Festival honours an international leader in the documentary industry for his or her work. Chris McDonald, President of Hot Docs Toronto, joins previous honorees including acclaimed filmmaker Steve James and Ally Derks of International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, the largest international documentary festival in the world. 

Full winners from the ceremony as below:

Best International Feature - Something Better to Come
Best International Short - Tashi and the Monk
- Special Mention - The Queen
Best International Director - Ben Patterson (Sweet Micky For President)
- Special Mention - Lyric Cabral and David Sutcliffe ((T)error))
Best New Zealand Feature - The Day That Changed My Life
- Special Mention - A Place to Call Home
Best New Zealand Short - Our Hope
- Special Mention - The Secret World of Tim
Best New Zealand Director - Christopher Dudman (The Day That Changed My Life)
Best New Zealand Cinematography - Speechless: A Polar Realm
Best New Zealand Editing - The Day That Changed My Life
Best New Zealand Emerging Filmmaker - Tony Forester (An Accidental Berliner)
Documentary Edge International Superhero Award - Chris McDonald (Hot Docs, Toronto)

For Images of the Winning Films see:

For more information and to keep up to speed with the latest news regarding the 2015 season, visit