March 13, 2018 Loading Docs




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:

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

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 to submit a proposal.

no later than 9am Tuesday 3rd of April 2018.


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


Loading Docs is funded by NZ On Air 

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

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