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Statement In Support of Doc Edge Film Festival, New Zealand

By Simon Kilmurry

The International Documentary Association (IDA) believes that documentary storytelling expands our understanding of shared human experience, fostering an informed, compassionate, and connected world. We are a non-profit organization committed to freedom of expression, the representation of diversity, and the presentation of multiple points of view.  In this spirit, we express our support for the right of the Doc Edge International Documentary Film Festival of New Zealand, a highly respected festival and voice for documentary filmmakers, to develop a festival program as it sees fit, including programming Ben Gurion Epilogue by Yariv Mozer. Our support for Doc Edge’s right to program this film is based on the belief that censorship and the restriction of freedom of expression lead to greater polarization around complex issues.

The film in question is an important documentary that reveals previously unseen footage and lost audio of a 6-hour interview with Israeli statesman, Ben Gurion. It has been screened in festivals around the world, including in Santa Barbara, Toronto, Melbourne and the Gold Coast of Australia, Athens, Stockholm, Washington DC, Montreal, Sao Paulo, Paris, Brussels, and Madrid. It has received critical acclaim in the New York Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. The film was commissioned as a co-production by broadcasters in France, Canada, Germany, and Israel and is a valuable contribution to our understanding of a complex and controversial history that continues to resonate today.

At the IDA, we are advocates for documentary filmmakers and organizations and believe that film festivals should have the freedom to curate a range of films from diverse points of view.  The Doc Edge International Documentary Film Festival is a vital and important film festival whose program has showcased documentaries from many filmmakers, countries and points of view. We support its activities and defend its choice to screen this important documentary.