About Loading Docs

Loading Docs is a unique initiative that produces short (3-minute) documentaries that captivate and inspire audiences locally and internationally, while developing and promoting New Zealand filmmaking talent.

Through a competitive selection process, Loading Docs selects ten short documentary proposals, which are then supported from development through to distribution. Working with local and international mentors, Loading Docs filmmakers expand their skills in a range of areas including story development, outreach, publicity and marketing and distribution.

The documentaries are freely available to view and share online and are available to view and share from this website and on TVNZ.  


Loading Docs first launched in May 2014 with a selection of three-minute documentaries that represent a diverse range of subjects and filmmaking styles. In its first year the groundbreaking initiative succeeded both in delivering high-quality documentary shorts to a wide audience across multiple platforms, and in providing filmmakers with a unique professional development opportunity.

Loading Docs films have been viewed all over the world via the Loading Docs site and on TVNZ and featured on high profile sites such as Short of the Week, The Daily Mail, The Atlantic, Laughing Squid, The World’s Best Ever, Great Big Story, Gather & Hunt, The Spinoff, The Huffington Post Australia, National Geographic online and Film Shortage as well as achieving Staff Picks on Vimeo.

The success extended to broadcast in New Zealand on One News, Seven Sharp, Te Karere, Te Kaea, as well as on the Māori Television Series Iti Pounamu and on the Rialto Channel.

The documentary shorts have also been selected for film festivals such as The New Zealand International Film Festival, Show Me Shorts (NZ), Out Takes (NZ), ImagineNATIVE (Canada), New Zealand Short Film Festival (Aus), the 2015 Banff World Tour (US), FIFO (Tahiti) and screening on Air New Zealand in-flight.

Loading Docs offers filmmakers a unique professional development opportunity. From development through to distribution, filmmakers are challenged to expand their skills and knowledge, and Loading Docs demands a commitment not only to deliver excellent films, but also to develop their skills in identifying, targeting and connecting with audiences and increasing their understanding of marketing and distribution strategies in the current media climate.

Loading Docs is a Notable Pictures initiative, founded by Julia Parnell and Anna Jackson, and funded by NZ On Air’s Digital Media Fund with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.

The Team

Julia Parnell – Co-Founder and Executive Producer
Julia Parnell is an award-winning producer and documentary director. In her eleven-year career Julia has written, produced and directed documentaries and factual series on a range of themes and topics from social justice (Drug Court, Restoring Hope), and ethnic diversity (Both Worlds, The Festival, Arranged) to New Zealand music legends (The Exponents, The Dragon Story, The New Sound Of Country.)

Over the last five years Julia has gained a reputation as a talented producer of short films winning the NZ International Film Festival’s Best NZ Short Film in 2013 with Friday Tigers, Best Short at the Show Me Shorts Festival 2014 and Fantasy Award First place at the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2015 for Dive. Hitch Hike has been in competition at major international film festivals such as Tampere Film Festival, Melbourne International, Bristol Encounters, Hawaii International and Durban International and Heart of Gold International, Australia. And as the Co-creator and Executive Producer of Loading Docs, a documentary initiative that produces short films that have been viewed all over the world, featuring on high profile sites such as Short of the Week, The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, The Atlantic and Great Big Story.

Anna Jackson – Co-Founder and Consulting Producer
Anna is a Project Leader at  Innovate Change, a not-for-profit social enterprise that uses creative and participatory approaches to build social connectedness that enables youth development, positive ageing and whānau. Alongside a career in research and tertiary education, she has worked in communications, film, theatre, and creative technologies and she is a proud supporter of the arts.

Nia Phipps – Project Manager / Producer
Nia has worked in the media industry for 20 years, with skills in strategy and facilitating growth she offers confidence in problem solving and project support. This is her fourth year supporting Loading Docs through to completion. From early days as a video technician in a dark suite at Nga Taonga Sound and Vision, through to providing professional development support for those in the industry who are members of WIFT NZ. She has also worked in diverse roles around the world from researching in London, freelancing in Barcelona (and driving a truck through the USA) to working on media productions for screens large and small with particular experience in post-production and production here in Aotearoa. Nia’s driving motivation is to support people with strategies to achieve success.

Loading Docs Ambassadors

David White

David White is an award-winning Producer and Director of documentaries. His past work includes notable films such as Shihad: Beautiful Machine, I Kill (SXSW, AFI, SilverDocs) Lex (BBC, American Documentary Channel) and The Cleanest Pig (Sundance, Tribeca).

Tui Ruwhiu
Tui Ruwhiu has an extensive background as a writer, director, producer and executive producer in corporate video and television, complemented by a number of years managing a boutique marketing and communications company. Switching to film, Tui acted as an Executive Producer for the New Zealand Film Commission’s Premiere Shorts initiative, then produced his own shorts including Pumanawa: The Gift, which travelled to festivals including imagineNATIVE, Hawaii, Fort Lauderdale and Drama. Tui attended the Rotterdam Producers Lab and trained as a script developer through Script Factory, the First Feature Film Lab and the Script to Screen FilmUp Mentorship Programme. As an independent producer he has a slate of feature films in development with the support of NZFC and the APSA/MPA Film Academy Fund. He is currently the Executive Director of the Directors & Editors Guild of NZ.

Bevan Crothers
Bevan has worked in the Film and Television industry as a Cinematographer and camera operator for 18 years. His career has taken him all over the world. He began his career at South Pacific Pictures ‘Shortland Street’ in both camera and lighting then moved to TVNZ Camera Production department. In 2004 he made the leap into the Industry as a freelance cameraman with the goal to expand his knowledge and experience in Cinematography. Since then he has passionately continued to work on a large range of series and genres including his first Feature Documentary ‘The Hip Hoperation’ which awarded him ‘2014 film award Best Documentary Cinematographer, Netflix hit ‘Short Poppies’ with Rhys Darby, ‘Dreams lie Deeper’ Pike River mine Documentary, Intrepid Journeys and ‘Rivers’ with Craig Potton.

Guest Mentors

Irene Gardiner

Irene Gardiner is a long-time television producer and executive producer, with a particular interest in documentary production.  She is a former TVNZ Head of Commissioning and currently works part-time as the Content Director for the NZ On Screen website.  Gardiner also continues to work as a freelance executive producer, with recent credits including the six-part documentary series Keeping it Pure, and the music documentaries Dragon and Rock Chicks.  Gardiner is also a regular contributor to radio and television as a media commentator and television reviewer.

Kay Ellmers ( Te reo mentor)

Kay Ellmers (Ngāti Tamateraa/Ngāti Raukawa) is the managing director of Tūmanako Productions – an Auckland based production company that delivers high quality multi-media programmes in English and te reo Māori. Kay has more than twenty years of experience as a producer and director of award-winning documentaries – often focusing on social and political issues with a strong Māori perspective. In 2014 Kay received the Women in Film and Television “Mana Wahine Award and in 2011 her company was acknowledged for its contribution to the revitalisation of te reo Māori by the Te Taura Whiri Māori Language Broadcasting Award.

Simon Coldrick

Simon Coldrick is an experienced multi-award winning editor and owner-operator of The Bigger Picture Ltd. He has been involved in a variety of local and International documentaries for both Television and cinema. These projects include Emmy Nominated ‘The Golden Hour’, The Sundance 2016 sleeper hit ‘Tickled’’ and he recently completed the highly controversial ‘Kim Dotcom-Caught in the web’, which has it’s worldwide premiere at the 2017 SXSW film festival in Texas.

Our supporters

Loading Docs is a Notable Pictures initiative made primarily with support from NZ On Air’s Digital Media Fund, along with The New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.
Our Media Partner TVNZ
Toybox and Post Production Sound for making our films look and sound their best.
Our crowdfunding platform of choice, Boosted. 
Julie Warmington, our Publicist.
Social + Media, our web platform.