March 23, 2021 Loading Docs

2021 Announcement


Press Release: Loading Docs announce their season 8 projects

2021 brings a new season by the award-winning Loading Docs initiative. Starting with crowdfunding campaigns, Loading Docs announces eight new short documentaries by eight filmmaking teams.

Brought together under the theme of Tūmanako/Hope, Loading Docs invites audiences to get behind the crowdfunding stage by supporting the creation of important Aotearoa stories. In a time of upheaval, filmmakers have opted to make documentary projects with themes that are personal to them.

But first, the filmmakers must raise $3,500 on homegrown website to unlock further funding from Loading Docs. It’s an all or nothing campaign running from today until April 15th. If filmmakers don’t raise the funds, the documentary won’t get made. To find out more visit:

In eight-minutes-or-less shorts, this year’s films cover stories of mortality, to the fight for racial justice, unique access to Waikato Mongrel Mob’s president and an underwater battle to protect a native fish.


The Scam – An international scam sends a small-town pensioner around the world and towards a life behind bars.

Night Ride – Why does a mother-of-ten still return to the old family house every night to feed stray cats?

Fifty Percent – With a 50% chance of inheriting a fatal disease, is it better to know your future or live in the moment?

The Old Place – A young wāhine Māori reconnects with her late Koro, Hone Tuwhare, through their shared gift of poetry.
When Nobody Was Looking – A Pākehā entomologist takes on the 1970s New Zealand government, calling out institutional racism.

Only Human – An animated short film that asks the question: Is it possible to break up with your family?

Kingdom – In prison, a Mongrel Mob president has an epiphany; he must redefine gang culture.

The Crested Weedfish – Marine scientists embark on an underwater adventure to save a rarely-seen fish in its severely threatened home.

Leading the Tūmanako theme is co-founder and Loading Docs’ executive producer Julia Parnell, sharing her experience as director of noteworthy documentaries SIX60: Till the Lights Go Out, The Chills Film and Anthems: New Zealand’s Iconic Hits.

Parnell says, “With the documentary scene thriving in Aoteroa, we’re excited to launch another year of what will become unforgettable short docs. This season will provide entertainingly hopeful stories that tell us more about humanity.”

Taking part in Loading Docs sees filmmakers partially funded to create their short, alongside participating in a talent development programme that challenges them to expand their skills and knowledge in story development, connecting with audiences and increasing their understanding of documentary production.

The completed short documentaries will be available on later this year.

Loading Docs is funded by NZ On Air and made with support from the New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.