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LOADING DOCS, New Zealand’s leading platform for high-quality short documentaries, is once again seeking proposals from New Zealand filmmakers for creative and original three-minute documentary shorts.

The 2018 collection of documentaries will be united by the theme of IMPACT. As in previous years, ten shorts will be created and distributed with the support of principal funder NZ On Air, along with The New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.

Since launching in 2014, Loading Docs has established itself as the powerhouse of New Zealand’s best short docs, boasting over 5 million views for the documentaries created to date. Loading Docs have played at prestigious film festivals such as SXSW and on platforms as diverse as UpworthyNational Geographic and The Guardian. Locals are loving Loading Docs too, with the collection hosted by TVNZ OnDemand, popular screenings held at The New Zealand International Film Festival and broadcasts on prime time television.

Telling a compelling three-minute story is a test of creativity, and ingenuity. Now it’s the turn of a new crop of filmmakers to be part of a movement that is transforming the way we make and view documentary shorts in Aotearoa.

Every year Loading Docs asks filmmakers to explore a theme such as Home (2014), Connection (2015), Change (2016) and Diversity (2017). This year’s theme, IMPACT, is one that should inspire stories that ignite change, spark debate and challenge the status quo, exciting audiences with the power of New Zealand stories.

In 2018 the theme will be taken one step further, speaking not only to the content of the documentaries but also to the process; Loading Docs filmmakers will team up with an ‘Impact Partner’ – an influential group or individual in support of their short – to open further funding, audience and distribution pathways.

Loading Docs looks forward to receiving applications from a range of filmmakers who are as diverse as the stories they will tell. In particular, proposals are requested that speak to Māori, Pasifika and Asian perspectives. There is also provision for a documentary in te reo Māori to complete the collection.

“Impact is a powerful word; it has influence and weight. Impact clearly states its intentions and demands outcomes, and I am incredibly excited to be on the verge of embarking on another journey into miniature but mighty storytelling with a new group of imaginative filmmakers.”

Julia Parnell, Executive Producer

Watch our call our teaser here: https://vimeo.com/259278379

10 documentaries will be selected with each team receiving extensive support and opportunities for growth: 

  • $4,450 production funding.
  • Support to run a crowdfunding campaign through Boosted that must raise a minimum of $2,000.
  • A colour grade and sound-mix package delivered by Department of Post.
  • Professional development opportunities, story and creative treatment, outreach and distribution strategies, access to local and international experts, hands on support to develop new work and assistance to find suitable impact partners.

This is an opportunity for the best emerging filmmaking voices in New Zealand to take up the challenge and be part of this cutting edge short documentary initiative.

For more information about Loading Docs and to watch the documentaries produced for Loading Docs since 2014, visit www.loadingdocs.net/shorts

Important dates

  • 3 April 2018 at 9am – Deadline for proposals.
  • 11 April – Successful applicants notified.
  • 21 & 22 April – Loading Docs workshop.
  • 16 May till 15 June – Crowdfunding campaign.
  • June – Production commences.

Visit www.loadingdocs.net/submit to submit a proposal.

SEND YOUR SUBMISSIONS TO: submissions@loadingdocs.net
no later than 9am Tuesday 3rd of April 2018.


Nia Phipps – Producer/Project Manager
Ph. 021 1577 075

Website: www.loadingdocs.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/loadingdocs

Loading Docs is funded by NZ On Air 

and made with the support of The New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho

The Coffin Club is accepted into SXSW!

Quirky Kiwi short film The Coffin Club has been accepted to screen at South By South West in Austin, Texas, one of America’s most popular film festivals.

Created by filmmakers Briar March and Kim Harrop, the comedic documentary musical features a group of free-spirited seniors from Rotorua who formed the community group to construct and customise their own low-cost coffins.

“We’re so excited and honoured to screen at South By South West,” Harrop said.

“The festival celebrates the offbeat and the innovative, so it’s a great home for our crazy little film.”

The Coffin Club. Photo/Supplied
The Coffin Club. Photo/Supplied

Katie Williams, who started the Rotorua Coffin Club in 2010, said interest in people getting together to build their own DIY coffins – with the aim of helping people feel in control to the end – had seen many other clubs pop up around New Zealand and she had had inquiries from all over the world.

Part of the Loading Docs collection, and funded by NZ on Air, the Film Commission and Te Mangai Paho, The Coffin Club brought home a Silver gong at the NZCS Cinematography Awards last year and has gained widespread international attention since it’s release in July 2017.

Members of the Rotorua Coffin Club were shown the film at an Oscars-style red carpet premier event in Rotorua last year.

“We saw it, it’s absolutely fabulous, we were all blown away,” Williams said.

“All of our stars were there for the red carpet do. It was a magical night for a whole bunch of oldies.

One of the stars of the film, Jean McGaffin, died in December.

South by Southwest is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas. It began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year.


See article here. 

Loading Docs takes out Best Web Series at the 2017 New Zealand TV Awards

Loading Docs was thrilled to be awarded Best Web Series at the 2017 New Zealand TV Awards, sharing the nomination with the incredible women from Amy Street (Bella Pacific Media) and Friday Night Bites, (Flat3 Productions).

Hosted by Oliver Driver, the ceremony featured 25 awards which were presented by a variety of New Zealand’s most celebrated television performers, presenters and personalities including: actress Teuila Blakely, The Crowd Goes Wild’s Andrew Mulligan and James McOnie, actress Jennifer Ward-Lealand and entertainer Anika Moa, 800 Words’ Erik Thomson and Anna Jullienne, Newshub’s Samantha Hayes and Mike McRoberts, actress Tandi Wright, The Brokenwood Mysteries’ Neill Rea and Fern Sutherland, presenters John and Kate Hawkesby, The Real Housewives of Auckland’s Gilda Kirkpatrick and Louise Wallace, actors Robbie and Pua Magasiva, Sara Wiseman and Craig Hall, Kimberley Crossman and Anna Hutchison, reality star Matilda Rice and Westside’s Antonia Prebble, who presented the TV Legend award to long-time producer and local screen industry champion John Barnett ONZM.

In the drama categories, the Jean Batten biopic Jean was honoured with four awards, including Images and Sound Best Feature Drama. The telefeature’s lead, Kate Elliott, was named Godfrey Hirst Best Actress while Robert Sarkies won Best Director: Drama and Paula Boock and Donna Malane won Best Script: Drama. Earlier this month, Jean also won eight New Zealand Television Craft Awards. The other drama award winners tonight were 800 Words 2, which was named New Zealand On Air Best Drama Series, and Dean O’Gorman, who won the Selaks Taste Collection Best Actor award for his portrayal of George Lowe in Hillary.

Three’s Newshub received the trophy for Best News Coverage for the team’s reporting of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and Newshub’s Mike McRoberts, who arrived back from Syria earlier today, was named Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs. Newsroom.co.nz’s Melanie Reid, Mark Jennings, Paul Enticott and Tim Murphy received the award for Best Current Affairs Programme for their investigation into the clandestine taping of an employee by Government MP Todd Barclay and subsequent payout, titled The Politician, The Police and The Payout, 20 June 2017.

Three’s 7 Days was named Best Comedy Programme while Millen Baird and John Argall won the award for Best Script: Comedy for the TVNZ On Demand series Darryl. An Outward Bound Story.

In the factual and documentary programme categories, Why Am I? – The Science of Us, the documentary which shed light on the internationally renowned ‘Dunedin study’, won New Zealand on Air Best Factual Series; Making Good Men, the Prime TV programme which followed former All Black Norm Hewitt and actor Manu Bennett’s personal journey from violence, was named New Zealand on Air Best Documentary; and Mitchell Hawkes was named Best Director: Documentary or Factual for Born This Way: Awa’s Story which previously won two New Zealand Television Craft Awards. Hawkes also won the award for Best Director: Multi Camera for his direction of the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2016 television broadcast.

The Hui won the award for Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Programme; #TalesOfTime – The Coconet TV was named Best Pasifika Programme; online short documentary series Loading Docs took out the honours for New Zealand on Air Best Web Series; Terry Teo won the Planet Fun Best Children’s Programme; while SKY’s Shaun Johnson: Across The Mekong was named Best Sports Programme and the network’s coverage of International Rugby: All Blacks vs British & Irish Lions 1st Test was awarded Best Live Event Coverage.

In the reality, lifestyle, entertainment and personality categories, Maori Television’s Songs from the Inside III Christchurch was named Best Reality Series; Karena and Kasey’s Kitchen Diplomacy won Best Lifestyle Programme; The Topp Twins received the SKYCITY Best Presenter: Entertainment award; and TVNZ’s Toni Street was named Woman’s Day Television Personality of the Year, as voted by the magazine’s readers.

The winners of the 2017 New Zealand Television Awards are:
New Zealand On Air Best Drama Series
800 Words 2
Chris Bailey, Kelly Martin, James Griffin, John Holmes & Julie McGauran
South Pacific Pictures & Seven Productions (TVNZ1)

Images & Sound Best Feature Drama
Paula Boock & Donna Malane
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

New Zealand On Air Best Factual Series
Why Am I? – The Science of Us
Paul Casserly, Mark McNeill & Irena Dol
Razor Films (TVNZ1)

New Zealand On Air Best Documentary
Making Good Men
Te Amokura Productions (Prime)

Best Reality Series
Songs from the Inside III Christchurch
Julian Arahanga & Maramena Roderick
Awa Films (Maori Television)

Best Lifestyle Programme
Karena & Kasey’s Kitchen Diplomacy
Darryl McEwen
Imagination Television (TVNZ1)

Best Current Affairs Programme
The Politician, The Police and The Payout, 20 June 2017
Melanie Reid, Mark Jennings, Paul Enticott & Tim Murphy

New Zealand On Air Best Web Series
Loading Docs
Notable Pictures (loadingdocs.net, TVNZ On Demand, Vimeo)

Planet Fun Best Children’s Programme
Terry Teo
Luke Sharpe & Gerard Johnstone
Semi-Professional Pictures (TVNZ2)

Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Programme
The Hui
Annabelle Lee, Adrian Stevanon & Mihingarangi Forbes
Great Southern Film and Television (Three)

Best Pasifika Programme
#TalesOfTime – The Coconet TV
Tuki Laumea & Lisa Taouma
Tikilounge Productions (www.thecoconet.tv/)

Best News Coverage
Kaikoura Earthquake
Newshub Team

Best Sports Programme
Shaun Johnson: Across The Mekong
Gareth Thorne, Kerry Russell, Mark Malaki-Williams, Dean Pooley & Brian Hitchcock

Best Live Event Coverage
International Rugby: All Blacks vs British & Irish Lions 1st Test
Brian Hitchcock, Dean Pooley, Marcus Kennedy & Gavin Service

Best Comedy or Comedy Entertainment Programme
7 Days
Rob Brown, thedownlowconcept, Jon Bridges, John McDonald
MediaWorks (Three)

Best Director: Documentary or Factual
Mitchell Hawkes
Born This Way: Awa’s Story
Ruckus (TVNZ1)

Best Director: Drama
Robert Sarkies
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

Best Director: Multi Camera
Mitchell Hawkes
Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2016
MediaWorks (Three)

Best Script: Comedy
Millen Baird & John Argall
Darryl. An Outward Bound Story.
Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions (TVNZ OnDemand)

Best Script: Drama
Paula Boock & Donna Malane
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

Godfrey Hirst Best Actress
Kate Elliott
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

Selaks Taste Collection Best Actor
Dean O’Gorman
Great Southern Film and Television (TVNZ1)

SKYCITY Best Presenter: Entertainment
The Topp Twins – Jools & Lynda Topp
Topp Country Season Two
Diva Productions (TVNZ1)

Woman’s Day Television Personality Of The Year
Toni Street (TVNZ)

Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs
Mike McRoberts
Newshub Live at 6pm
MediaWorks (Three)

TV Legend
John Barnett

New Zealand Television Awards 2107


Director Chye-Ling Huang: Being Truthful to Asian Stories

By Nidha Khan

Your task: Name at least 10 current mainstream Asian film or T.V. characters who aren’t the “nerdy best friend, silent kung-fu master, tech whiz in the office.”


It’s probably because there aren’t that many.

Now, given the growing online buzz around ‘representation’ and how it affects different ethnic communities, the next logical questions to ask are: How does this depiction of Asian men filter down into the everyday lives of young Asian men? And if sex, love, and dating are “universal human experiences, where is the real talk when it comes to Asian men?” These are the questions which director Chye-Ling Huang seeks to answer in her recent short film, Asian Men Talk About Sex, where eight Asian men speak candidly about love, sex, and dating in NZ.

Being able to represent Asian stories in really truthful ways and against stereotypes is a cause that Huang actively fights for through the theatre she co-founded in 2013 – and still runs – called Proudly Asian Theatre. But, this year, she decided to also venture into filmmaking as part of the Loading Docs initiative. In her film, she focuses solely on the experiences of Asian men since there aren’t any or enough of them in NZ media. There’s a need to create narratives which aren’t de-sexualising or emasculating, but just showcase a bunch of everyday, regular Asian guys, because that’s what they deserve.

It’s been a hard conversation to begin in NZ since we’re pretty stifled in our emotions. Huang’s found that people don’t tend to think about the current links between race, love, dating, and sex if they aren’t affected, and that men in particular don’t open up and talk to each other. Even when she’s spoken to her male Asian friends, they’ve never considered it. Mainly, it’s because they don’t want to. They’re forced to live with these stereotypes all the time and it’s not an area they enjoy delving into.

“It’s the classic NZ thing that we aren’t very open. It’s definitely a part of the NZ cultural soup that makes us feel shameful to talk about anything in the open. We don’t celebrate openness, we celebrate stoicism and a quiet confidence, like the All Blacks. Being vulnerable and open is not something NZ is very good at and of course, to have conversations about sex, you need to be both vulnerable and open.” – Chye Ling Huang

When she first began creating the film, the reaction from the people around her was “really mixed.” It took people a while to wrap their heads around it and they generally went through phases of shock, then surprise, and then curiosity. But, overall, it’s opened up a lot of dialogue for the people in her life. Even a month before the film’s release, people would approach her with various questions: Why are you making this? What’s the film really about? What are these concepts?

Being able to create these open conversations, spaces, and communities is what Huang’s found rewarding and enlightening. She feels that she’s gained a better understanding about the nuances of what it’s like to be an Asian guy in NZ, male sexuality in general, how different it is for men and women in terms of learning about sex, and the filmmaking process.

“There’s a lot of insidious things that happen that are really subtle, which I think is today’s brand of racism in NZ. The way that racism presents itself now is a lot of micro-aggressions… Some men would also say things like, “I would be swiping on Tinder and I would be like, she’s white, she’d be too pretty for me.” That level of internal racism towards yourself and your own culture was really interesting and something I wasn’t expecting.”  Chey-Ling Huang

The conversations around porn were also really interesting. Every person she interviewed talked about learning sex through porn and how damaging it was for them. Every single person brought it up, but Huang never instigated the discussion, it just came up organically. It’s definitely made her question whether she agrees with porn any more and how problematic it is that it’s become more socially acceptable for young men to watch it and that it’s a lot more damaging at a younger age than most people expect.

In terms of learning about filmmaking, she was able to find both commonalities and points of difference between the theatre. For example, the theatre is an “extremely visual medium” which she thought lent itself well behind the camera, you’re basically creating stories from images. But, in the theatre, you’re limited to time, space, and the physical world. If you want to create something different, you need to be really inventive with the way you use your body and create the energy in the room. In film, you can literally do anything. “You can have unicorns flying through the screen and then you’re suddenly underground. It’s quite limitless.”

Having gone through this experience, her advice for other newbies is that “if you’re thinking about getting into it, just do it, because it’s not as scary and hard as you think it is. Coming from a theatre background, I was ready to be overwhelmed by all the technical stuff and ready to be put in a lot of hard work to catch up in that area. But, if you have a team around you that kind of knows what they are doing or at least have some ideas, it becomes easy and do-able.”

Huang’s next move is to have her film garner as many views as possible across NZ and the rest of the world. She feels that the more successful the film is, the more it proves that POC (people of colour) stories should be up on our screens; that they’re worth putting money into. But she’s clear that it isn’t just up to filmmakers like her. You and the rest of the public can do something by raising your voices and supporting POC narratives by simply sharing, liking, and commenting on social media and “giving the higher powers the stats they need to justify putting money into POC stories.” We are long overdue for both interesting and diverse POC stories on a mainstream level, so let’s do this!

Loading Docs film website tells the stories of New Zealand

By Kaori Shoji

For a Japanese national, the question of why a person from the West would come to Japan is a fascinating one, so much so that there’s even a TV show about it: “You wa Nani Shi ni Nihon E?” (“Why Did You Come to Japan?”).

For Jared James the answer is, eventually, that the people he met made Japan “feel like home.”

 The New Zealander is profiled in the short documentary “Union,” currently streaming on the website Loading Docs. Directed by Jericho Rock-Archer, the piece dives into the foreignness of Japan, without judgment, as seen through James’ eyes. He moves to Shizuoka in an attempt to reinvent himself and falls into a bit of a rut before finding salvation in rugby, which helps him join a community. The general beats of the documentary are no doubt a familiar tale to many non-Japanese living here currently.

“Union” is meticulously shot and covers a lot of ground in its three-minute running time. It’s also just short enough to get sucked into the many other documentaries posted on Loading Docs, which was launched in 2014 to promote novice New Zealand filmmakers. Among some of the other works on the site are “East Meets East,” which follows elderly Chinese in Auckland, and “Asian Men Talk About Sex,” which features a candid discussion about stereotypes.


Kiwi Documentaries: Locked and Loaded – Show Me Shorts

By Clayton Barnett

The Loading Docs initiative produces ten short (3-minute) New Zealand documentaries each year. They’ve just unveiled the new films, and our team at Show Me Shorts is super impressed with the boldness and diversity.

I’ve picked my three favourites of this year’s crop for you here. Funny, moving and joyous, these shorts introduce us to real New Zealanders with something to say about culture, conservation, connection, sex, death, fear and hope.

Asian Men Talk About Sex

Talking about sex on camera isn’t easy, but imagine interviewing your dad about it. Director Chye-Ling Huang had a frank conversation with hers – on the culturally taboo subject of sex. The result is a cracking short full of sparkling energy and wry humour.

All eight men interviewed in Asian Men Talk About Sex provide candid and often hilarious answers to questions about Asian stereotypes in film, TV and real life. Old and young, straight and gay, they quickly dispel notions of themselves as a homogenous group of sexless math-whizzes with small… um, equipment.

Director Huang is a co-founder of the the Proudly Asian Theatre company. Her first documentary is well-handled, bold and consistently entertaining. We look forward to more.

Ajax the Kea Conservation Dog

Department of Conservation kea-expert Corey Mosen is passionate about preserving our wildlife. In this gorgeously cinematic short documentary we meet Corey and his best mate Ajax, the endangered kea conservation dog.

Director/cinematographer/editor Michael Weatherall endured harsh mountaintop elements whilst in pursuit of that perfect shot. He pulls out all the tricks in this film – showing off the rugged landscape of the South Island with a combination of slow-motion, time-lapse, Go-Pro and drone footage.

It’s a gorgeous watch, but it’s the emotional journey that’s really captivating. The film is a tantalising insight into the life of an inspiring and passionate New Zealander.

The Coffin Club

Award-winning documentary director Briar March (There Once Was an Island) chose a surprising way to tell a story dealing with death – a musical. The result of this bold choice is a joyous musical short documentary. The Coffin Club introduces us to a group of seniors singing and dancing about how they want to leave this world in personalised style.

Right from the opening frame there is an infectious toe-tapping energy, thanks to the elderly folk who are clearly having an absolute ball making this. The oldest dancer is 94yrs old. If you enjoyed Kiwi feature documentary Hip Hop-eration, you’ll love this.

With stylised framing (nice work, cinematographer Mark Lapwood) it pops with colourful art direction, sequins and slick dance numbers. And thanks to lyricists Briar, Nick Ward and producer Kim Harrop I can’t get it the song out of my head.

I’ve never wanted a pricey funeral with a fancy-pants coffin, and it looks like I’ve found the place to make my own.


Twelve Questions with theatre and film maker Julie Zhu

Theatre and film maker Julie Zhu is getting 100 Chinese Aucklanders on stage to tell their stories in a show about what it means to be Chinese in Auckland. The 24-year-old Green Party candidate for Botany believes the voting age should be lowered to 16.

1 Where were you born?

I was born in Xi’an, China and came to New Zealand when I was 4. I’ve only been back once when I was a stroppy teenager and didn’t want to go. Now I really want to. I grew up in East Auckland. My parents were both qualified engineers but had to work menial jobs because their qualifications weren’t recognised here. I didn’t see much of Dad because he always worked at least two jobs. At school maths was my favourite subject because I was really good at it. I found art more challenging because there isn’t always a ‘right’ answer and that’s what attracts me.

2 Your short documentary, East Meets East, is on the Loading Docs website. What’s it about?

I’m so in love with these Chinese grandparents you see walking along with their little shopping trolleys in East Auckland and places like Avondale. They’re so cute. My grandparents belong to that community. Sometimes I’ll catch the bus and see them chatting with their friends. I wanted to learn what life is like for them and whether they feel a sense of belonging here.

3 What did you find out?

There’s a great line in the film where Nana says, “I don’t think that’s racism” about something that I believe is. She won’t say anything negative about New Zealand, probably because she came from a country where bad things could happen if you said the wrong thing. The film follows my grandparents and their friends on a grocery shopping trip because that’s the main activity in their lives. They’re experts at finding bargains and cooking meals. That’s how they contribute to the family for the next generation.

4 You’re producing a play called OTHER [chinese] at Q Theatre next month. What’s it about?

We’ve invited 100 people to come on stage and share their stories about being Chinese in Auckland. The aim is to humanise a stereotyped community by showing them as individuals. Everyone’s migration story differs depending on where they came from and how many generations ago. Chinese people have become a political football, being scapegoated for the housing crisis.

5 Does the show explore racism?

A little. We also look at ideas like internalised racism, which is when you reject your Chinese-ness or other Chinese who have migrated more recently. When I was young I hated even saying the word Chinese. I’d get really offended when people asked me where I was from. I remember thinking, “But I’m fitting in so well, why can’t you see how Kiwi I am?” Now I can acknowledge being Chinese is an important part of who I am.

6 Can you give an example of your Chinese culture?

Growing up I never heard anyone in my family say, “I love you”. The Chinese way of showing you care is to say, “Have you eaten?” In the last few years mum has started to pick up these Western things that are always so jarring. She’ll sign off a note, “Love Mum” or she’ll try to hug me and I’ll instinctively flinch because I’m not used to it. OTHER [chinese] also includes an exhibition of photos of 100 Chinese Aucklanders, a ‘zine and a community day called Tatou Tatou getting Maori and Chinese people together doing things like poi making, weaving, dumpling making, calligraphy and mah jong.

7 Why did you learn to speak te reo Maori?

I tried a class at university and loved it. Learning it gives you insight into Te Ao Maori so you can better understand the Maori way of thinking. Concepts like ‘ownership’ of land and water are very different. The Pakeha idea is about property rights and profit but for Maori it’s about kaitiakitanga or protecting for future generations.

8 How did you get involved in the group Asians for Tino Rangatiratanga?

A couple of years ago I went to a hui at Waitangi for young people learning about the impact of colonisation. During the hkoi an Asian person asked a friend and I if we wanted to help hold an Asians for Tino Rangaitiratanga banner. It was great to see other non-Pkeh standing up for indigenous rights, so last year we took along six friends. Marama Davidson took a photo of us that went viral. We realised we had to be more than just a banner so we formed a group. We’ve done some Treaty workshops for Asian people and advocacy on social media.

9 How did you become the Green Party candidate for Botany?

I’ve always voted Green because, in movie terms, they seemed like the heroes on the side of justice. As soon as you go to a meeting, it’s easy to get involved. Mum hates that I do politics. She lived through the Communist era in China where her family were attacked for being “bourgeois” and her father was sent to the equivalent of a concentration camp. He survived but there’s that inherent trauma and fear of speaking out.

10 How can New Zealand get more young people voting?

When I was younger I thought politics was boring. Lots of young people don’t care about politics because they don’t understand how the system works and how it impacts their everyday lives. It’s such a complex, foreign world. We need to lower the voting age to 16 and teach civics in schools so people can learn about and engage in the election process while they’re still in the education system.

11 Have you ever had a period where you felt really down?

University was the hardest time because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I switched out of art school after my first year and felt like I’d wasted a year of my life. I cried a lot that year. I wish you had one free year to try everything because there’s so much pressure to stick to the first thing you try. Especially if you’re from a lower socio-economic background, you feel like you’re letting your family down.

12 Why were you so upset about Metiria Turei’s resignation as Green Party co-leader?

There was a moment where I felt completely hopeless about the world and the future. It was what it represented symbolically. She was standing up for the poor, the brown and the marginalised. Sure it was a political strategy but the fact she had to step down just shows there’s no point in being honest and trying to change the system because you will be punished, but wealthy, powerful people won’t be. That inequity in society needs to change and I hope we get there soon.

• OTHER [chinese], Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, 6 to 16 September, 7pm
East Meets East short film; loadingdocs.net

Three-minute shorts showcase NZ’s diversity

Dancing coffin-makers, an artist who sells ‘surreal estate’, a takatāpui activist redefining Pride and the world’s cutest kea conservation dog: this year’s collection of three-minute shorts released by New Zealand documentary platform Loading Docs (produced by the good folk at Notable Pictures) showcases what a diverse bunch Kiwis are!

The collection also highlights the creativity of the filmmakers who have embraced the challenge of telling a meaningful story in just three minutes.

Watch the latest collection, including He Kākano Ahau – From The Spaces In Between (pictured), produced by Jaimee Poipoi.



Loading Docs, a mighty springboard for short New Zealand documentaries, recently released 10 new films for 2017 revolving around the theme of ‘diversity’. Check out the collection below.



Learn what it means to be a takatāpui (Māori LGBTQI) activist in this film from director Kathleen Winter, following Kassie (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) during Gay Pride celebrations.


Director Melissa Nickerson follows Mike and Dave, two underground explorers, in this gorgeously shot film showcasing New Zealand’s most spectacular caves.


John Radford is an artist. Ron Jadford is a real estate agent. In this film from director Ursula Williams, the two egos wage war as art clashes with commerce.

150611 Lawrence Smith/Fairfax Media
Artist John Radford has built a collection of miniature weatherboard homes similar to the ones that used to be located in the valley behind the photograph and where currently three motorway underpasses travel through central Auckland.



Director Chye-Ling Huang and producers Ruby Reihana-Wilson and Kelly Gilbride talk to Asian men about sex. If the title didn’t make that clear.



Director Michael Weatherall follows the world’s only Kea Conservation dog Ajax, who is a key part to maintaining the endangered South Island species.



This story about life, death and supermarkets follows a 79-year-old Chinese grandmother, what she’s observed living in New Zealand, and the things that bring her joy. From filmmakers Julie Zhu and Tema Pua.



On the brink of death, a Māori academic is brought back to life in this film by directors Tim Worrall and Aaron Smart.



A Kiwi performer describes his debilitating bone disease on stage in this film by directors Damian Golfinopoulos and Stjohn Milgrew.


These Kiwi seniors are putting the ‘FUN’ back in ‘FUNERAL’ in this musical short by director Briar March.



A young Māori man who has never played rugby before finds solace and acceptance in the sport when he moves to Japan.


Loading Docs: Diverse crop of 2017 Kiwi short-films debut- Stuff.co.nz

Loading Docs: Diverse crop of 2017 Kiwi short-films debut


 Michael Weatherall’s Loading Docs entry Ajax The Kea Conservation Dog also screened as
part of the New Zealand International Film Festival.

A poet reflects on his losing battle with a degenerative bone disease.

Two men attempt to find a new entrance to one of New Zealand’s most spectacular caves.

A group of over-60s get together to personalise their own coffins.

These are just some of the diverse topics covered in the 10 short documentaries selected by the Loading Docs platform for 2017.

Now in its fourth year, the initiative aims to showcase Kiwi film-makers, challenging them to shed light on our country’s people and places – in just three-minutes.

The Coffin Club are a group of rebellious, creative Kiwi seniors give death the finger, one crazy coffin
at a time, as documentarian Briar March discovered.

Project manager Nia Phipps says the quality of the submissions was getting higher and higher every year. With this year’s selected topic being diversity, she was delighted that amongst those selected from around 60 applications there were stories from Euro-Chinese, American, Chinese and Euro-Samoan directors, as well as one documentary fully and one-partially in Te Reo. The final 10 were also created by six female directors and six female producers.

“We really wanted to represent many New Zealand voices in this collection, so we did extra outreach this year into the Maori, Pasifika, Asian and gay communities,” Phipps says.

Four of the shorts also featured in the Auckland leg of the New Zealand International Film Festival.

When asked if she thought Kiwis were becoming more attuned to viewing short films, Phipps believed it was a reflection of the way we consume media now.

“We like to relax at home or consume things on the go and a short piece of media that’s well-formed and carefully concentrates on story can still give you a lot in a short time. The best ones take you on a journey – make you laugh, make you cry, stir something – even just in three-minutes.”

Phipps says as well as providing exposure for young film-makers, the NZ On Air-funded Loading Docs also provides professional development for them. She cites J Ollie Lucks, who created the 2015 Loading Docs short Wilber Force, as an example, with the German-born, Dunedin-raised director having recently turned that into the feature-length Wilber: The King in the Ring with the help of Notable Pictures, the group behind the Loading Docs initiative.

But after focusing on home, connection, change and now diversity, what topic does Loading Docs have up its sleeve for 2018?

“Nothing’s certain yet,” says Phipps. “We always like to think about films that will have an impact on the world. We’ll see what comes out of our planning sessions in the next few weeks.”

The 2017 Loading Docs are now available to view at loadingdocs.net and on tvnz.co.nz


 – Stuff