The 2017 short docs

Stand-by to see ten groundbreaking new shorts.
Available to view and share online from August the 11th.

He Kākano Ahau- From The Spaces In Between

Director: Kathleen Winter  Producer: Jaimee Poipoi
Te Reo Māori advisor: Beatrice Joblin

A courageous takatāpui (Māori LGBTQI) activist is fighting for true diversity in our Gay Pride celebrations.

New Zealand’s Pride celebrations are glitzy and glamorous, but takatāpui activist Kassie (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) is challenging the inclusivity of the festival. The historic Wellington Pride celebration forces Kassie to make a decision. Will she take part and speak for those who are both queer and Māori?

This short documentary utilises English and Te Reo Māori to tell an intensely personal story of a courageous wahine (woman) fighting to be heard.

Luckie Strike

Director: Melissa Nickerson  Producer: Craig Gainsborough

Hundreds of metres below the earth’s surface two men struggle to discover a new entrance into one of New Zealand’s most spectacular caves.

Mike and Dave love being underground, deep underground. They’re friends, and cavers, and they’re on a mission to find a new entrance to a spectacular cave. It’s dark, it’s muddy and it’s confined – more so than most people could bear, but Mike and Dave are determined. Will these two singularly focussed mates strike it lucky and find their way into something breathtaking?

Enter into the world of caving, one of New Zealand’s quietest sub-cultures to hear some of the closely guarded secrets of the subterranean world; and discover a story of friendship, trust, persistence in the face of perilous danger and a childlike obsession with crawling around in the mud.

Surreal Estate

Director/Producer: Ursula Williams

An artist and his real-estate agent alter ego clash over the age old problem of art versus commerce.

Fixated on the destruction of inner city domestic architecture, renowned New Zealand artist John Radford is creating GRAFT®, a major sculptural installation comprising 256 highly detailed miniature replicas of early 1900’s suburban bay villas on two hillside precincts. Enter alter ego real estate agent Ron Jadford, spray tanned, dark tinted sunglasses, cell phone clamped to his ear, combed moustache. He’s selling the houses off the plan and he is not willing to take no for an answer.

This is a unique insight into the surreal world of one of Auckland’s most well known sculptors and the man he has charged to sell his work.

Graft® is also an on-going participatory performance.

Asian Men Talk About Sex

Director: Chye-Ling Huang   Producers: Kelly Gilbride & Ruby Reihana-Wilson

Eight Asian men challenge stereotypes and bare all as they speak candidly about sex, love and dating.

The nerdy best friend, silent kung-fu master, tech wiz in the office; unshakable stereotypes in film and television continue to desexualise and emasculate Asian men. If sex is a universal human experience, where is the real talk when it comes to Asian men on our screens?

Three female filmmakers talk to eight Asian men about sex, love and dating to lift the lid on taboos and challenge stereotypes. These are their experiences, perspectives and stories, told their way.

Ajax the Kea Conservation Dog

Director: Michael Weatherall   Producer: Cecilia Shand

A passionate conservationist and his canine companion fight together to save New Zealand’s kea.

Ajax is a story of fear and hope for New Zealand’s unique wildlife told through the relationship of conservationist Corey and Ajax, his highly-trained border collie cross, as they voyage into remote and challenging parts of the New Zealand countryside to track down the world’s only mountain parrot, New Zealand’s endangered kea.

Travel with these two friends as they brave the elements and manage the disappointments, in the hope that together they can make a difference in the fight for kea survival.

East Meets East

Director: Julie Zhu   Producer: Tema Pua

The honest musings of a Chinese grandmother brings an unseen community into the spotlight.

79-year-old Fang Ruzhen immigrated to Auckland to help raise her grandchildren. Seventeen years on, English is still a foreign language, but she has found community with other elderly Chinese grandparents through her daily ritual of riding the bus to the Asian supermarkets of East Auckland.

Meet a group rendered invisible not only by their migrant status but also by their age. This is an often-untold perspective of those who do not assimilate but nevertheless are as much New Zealanders as they are Chinese.

Kotuku Rerenga Rua

Directors: Tim Worrall , Aaron Smart  
Te Reo advisor: Kotuku Tibble

A larger-than-life Māori academic is returned to the land of the living by the power of love and the strength of his culture.

Kotuku Rerenga Rua follows Kotuku Tibble’s struggle for love and redemption as he battles through physical and spiritual illness to become the husband, father and tribal leader he was meant to be.

This beautiful short is a celebration of life and love told in te reo Māori.

Kātahi a Kotuku Tibble ka maranga mai i te mate ki te ora nā te aroha a tōna hoa rangatira me tōna whānau.

‘Kotuku Rerenga Rua’ ka whai haere i tana ara hikoi, ki āna piki, ki āna heke, kātahi ka purea ai te wairua hei hoa tane, hei poumatua, hei kaiarahi mo ōna iwi, hei manutaki mō ngā ra kei te heke mai.


Director: Stjohn Milgrew & Damian Golfinopoulos  Producer: James Kerr

While preparing for a live performance, a poet reflects on his losing battle with a degenerative bone disease.

#Losing is a portrait of an artist in conflict: conflict with himself. Dominic Hoey, formerly known as rapper Tourettes, is battling an incurable bone disease that renders him unable to express himself in the boisterous physical manner that was once the trademark of his live performances.

Dominic uses his poetic talents to describe what it is like to be a prisoner in his body while suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.). However, he is far from hopeless or humourless – he has a voice, and an unrelenting need to create. This documentary is a testament to the unstoppable force that is Dominic Hoey.

The Coffin Club

Director: Briar March Producer: Kim Harrop

A group of rebellious, creative Kiwi seniors give death the finger, one crazy coffin at a time.

Musical and documentary unite to introduce The Coffin Club, a truly unique community organisation bringing free-spirited seniors together to construct and personalise their own low-cost coffins. Based in small town New Zealand, with over 60 active members, this group of inspirational elderly meet once a week to rejoice in life while facing the realities of death.

This warm and humorous story enters a lively community of seniors who live life as if each breath was their last.


Director:  Jericho Rock-Archer  Producer: Joshua Rollo
Assistant Director: Phillip Rollo

A young Māori outsider living in Japan tackles cultural isolation using the universal language of rugby.

Living in a self-imposed exile from his home in New Zealand, Jared James finds himself struggling through crushing isolation in Japan. Union follows this small town boy through the challenges of an unfamiliar city to find out how a burgeoning rugby union scene offered him the chance to experience Japanese culture through a familiar lens – that is if he can learn to connect.