Academy Cinemas, Auckland, NZ
August 4, 2016
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Reviewed by NIDHA KHAN
Every day I am more and more amazed by the people of Aotearoa; their level of talent, artistic expression, and just their sheer desire to inject more good into this world.
And last night was no different.
Thanks to TEARAWAY, I had the privilege of attending the world premiere of Loading Docs.
Loading Docs is a relatively new initiative which helps young Kiwi documentary makers to create and produce three-minute documentaries that “captivate and inspire audiences locally and internationally.” Essentially, it serves as a platform to promote…. creativity and talent and to create work that inspires, pushes boundaries, and moves audiences”.
Loading Docs has now been running for three years and every year it has a certain theme which ties the documentaries together.
This year’s theme was centered around ‘change’ – changing the way New Zealanders both think and feel about specific local issues.
But, even though these documentaries were centered around this theme, they were all wildly different. Each had their own unique voice and message. And I loved it. Every single minute of it.
The documentaries ranged from a sweet love story about refugees who moved to New Zealand from China, to the life of the Shoeshine man roaming around in Auckland’s CBD (who I cannot wait to run into), to the young high schoolers and their thought-provoking poem – Imagine the World is Ending.
I certainly wasn’t the only one captivated by these documentaries.
You could feel the emotion in the air.
And this atmosphere continued to grow during the question-and-answer sessions with the directors and their documentary subjects, which revealed their intention and background story.
By the end, there were tears.
But, there was also laughter.
One of the night’s standouts were Mount Albert Grammar students Jahmal Nightingale (17) and Joseph McNamara (16)’s poem, Imagine the World Was Ending, which was directed/co-produced by Brendan Withy and co-produced by Doug Dillaman.
The poem seeks to question what issues would matter to people if the world was coming to an end. Would our perspective on life and people change? Would we drown out the hatred and begin to fully love and connect with each other?
The performance was powerful and explosive. It touched on a variety of deep societal issues, such as racism, poverty, sexuality and even women and body image.
Each line of their poem was beautifully and thoughtfully constructed. It demanded the audience paid attention, by stressing a sense of urgency while also voicing the frustration that young people feel when looking at the issues around around them.
The visual aspect of the documentary was also unique. It was a refreshing take on documentary making; there were no expensive cameras or fancy editing techniques – only a Go-Pro and a selfie stick were used. The film-makers clearly illustrated that creativity knows no bounds and that age is simply a number.
Don’t let anyone belittle you or discourage you from taking artistic risks because you’re ‘simply a teen’.
Overall, Loading Docs aimed to challenge people to see the world in a new light. And it achieved that. Every person walking out of that theatre last night would have been emotionally touched by these documentaries in a positive and powerful way.