Loading Docs short film depicts friendship that transcends gender transition


In some ways, it was just another adventure.

Neil and Byron, mountaineering mates for 25 years, were parked up in Arthur’s Pass. Bantering in the autumn light, they readied their gear to the sound of music – a tradition to pump them up before heading into the wilderness.

In other ways, the friends were breaking new ground. It was the first time they’d tramped together since Byron, a father of three, came out as a woman.

 The pair are the subjects of a three-minute film, which explores how it feels when your best friend transitions genders. It is one of 10 short documentaries at Loading Docs 2016.

Byron Skinner, a 51-year-old orderly at Christchurch Public Hospital, had felt she was a female since childhood. It took her 43 years to articulate this to those around her.

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From riches to rags: NZ’s most flamboyant shoe-shiner



Larry Woods, Mister Sunshine has to be New Zealand’s most famous and flamboyant shoe-shiner.

Big, little, smart or casual, he shines them all for free so it’s not exactly making him a rich man.

He earns money from his beeswax which he sells for $50.

But this hasn’t always been Mr Woods’ life — he was a multi-millionaire once mingling with big names among high fashion.

But despite all the money and perks, he wasn’t happy and after a few bad deals and a couple of divorces, he lost it all.

Now his riches to rag story has been made in to a short film which premieres tonight in Auckland.

Watch the video for the full Story report.

You can now watch the short film on www.loadingdocs.net

via Story (Watch it here)

Loading Docs Launches Tomorrow

SCREENZ_FooterLogoThe third edition of Loading Docs will release all 10 of its 2016 titles tomorrow.

The 2016 films, which were announced earlier in the year, are Robert George’s Aka’ōu: Tātatau in the Cook Islands, Joe Hitchcock’s Blood Sugar, Ryan Heron & Andy Deere’s Bludgeon, Greg Wood & Peter Alsop’sThe Colourist, Felicity Morgan-Rhind’s How Mr and Mrs Gock Saved the Kumara, Doug Dillaman & Brendan Withy’s Imagine the World is Ending, Eldon Booth’s Mister Sunshine (fka The Impeccable Larry Woods), Louise Leitch’s Same but Different, Leigh Minarapa’s Street Smart and Rose Archer’s Water for Gold.

Two of the titles, How Mr and Mrs Gock Saved the Kumara and Water for Gold, have accompanied features in this year’s NZIFF. For the remaining eight, the release is effectively the premiere.

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1452135303.tearaway-magazine.mHave you ever wondered how the world would change in the face of an apocalypse? Would the issues we face today still matter as much if the world was coming to an end?

These are some of the questions that two Mt. Albert Grammar students believe could change the way we live.

Sixteen-year-old students Jahmal Nightingale and Joseph McNamara are the writers and performers ofImagine the World is Ending. It has been selected by Loading Docs as one of ten short documentaries and films, all revolving around this year’s theme of ‘change’.

Imagine the World is Ending began as a piece for a slam poetry contest.

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Regina Tito: from sleeping rough to helping the homeless

Portrait of Regina Tito standing against a wall

Regina Tito Photo: Supplied

Regina Tito has bravely put her life’s story on show in a short documentary talking about wellington’s homeless community. She works with the Downtown Community Ministry in the capital, helping some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. And she knows what they’re going through. Regina has first-hand experience living on the streets after periods of, as a very young teen, walking out of a violent household to fend for herself. She slept rough and she’s had some stints in prison, but she has turned her life around, she’s got herself an education and she is now helping the community she knows well. She has also raised a family and is a grandmother.

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Louise Leitch and Byron Skinner: transition and friendship


Louise Leitch is a Christchurch director whose short film Same But Different features the true story of her husband’s best friend Byron Skinner who transitioned from a man to a woman at age 50 after a marriage and three children.

Byron Skinner (right) tramping with his best friend, Neil.

Byron Skinner (right) tramping with his best friend, Neil. Photo: Kirk Pflaum

Same But Different features in Loading Docs, the annual short film initiative which funds ten filmmakers (this year working on the subject of ‘change’). The series launches online on 4 August, and will also be broadcast on TVNZ ON Demand.

via Radio New Zealand

Uncertainty, fear and hunger: what it is like to sleep rough on Wellington’s streets

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 3.24.22 pm
Regina Tito now works with DCM a homelessness service in central Wellington.

Regina Tito now works with DCM a homelessness service in central Wellington.

For some people, sleeping on the streets is safer than being at home.

Wellington woman Regina Tito can still recall the night that family violence forced her out of her house and on to the streets aged 11.

That night she made the roof of Epuni railway station in Lower Hutt her home.

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Hearts and eyeballs

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 10.04.04 amAs audiences fracture across screens and platforms, Loading Docs are thinking outside the box to create and distribute NZ short documentaries. Julia Parnell tells us more.
Loading Docs was created to inject some innovative thinking into the creation and distribution of New Zealand documentaries. With backing from NZ On Air and NZ Film Commission they have taken short docos to screens around the world including film festivals, TVNZ OnDemand, mainstream media and in-flight entertainment.


Each year Loading Docs selects 10 short documentary proposals, which are then supported from development through to distribution. As they get ready to release the 2016 shorts, executive producer Julia Parnell shares her top tips for connecting with media and audiences.

“Think about your audience as a community and have meaningful engagement with them, you want hearts not eyeballs.”

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It is Getting Hot in Here!


It might be cold outside but it is heating up in the LD office!

The filmmakers are busily buffing, shining and putting the finishing touches on their short docs and we are getting ready to launch with a bang. The launch party is set for the 4th of August at The Academy and then all our hard work will be up to view online and OnDemand from that night.

We owe a huge thanks to our post production facilities Toy Box and Sale Street Studios for their expertise with grading and sound, working their magic on the shorts and making a tough job fun.

You will love the true stories of transformation, growth, adversity and hope we have in store for you so set your alerts to view the collection and choose your favourite one.

Don’t forget that two of our shorts are playing in the NZIFF, How Mr and Mrs Gock Saved the Kumara is showing in Auckland before The Music of Strangers. See more here.

Water for Gold is showing before When Two Worlds Collide. Check it out here.

Whatever your choice for viewing, staying in by the fire or going out to the cinema – we have got something for everyone!

In the meantime here’s a behind the scenes peek from Water For Gold (premiering in the NZIFF) – Director Rose Archer interviewing Professor Jane Kelsey.

Interview with Professer Jane Kelsey(1)