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About Us

10 Years, Countless Stories
Loading Docs Celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand

In 2024, Loading Docs commemorates an distinguished decade of storytelling, affirming its position as the foremost platform for short documentaries in New Zealand.

Kua ngahuru tau a Loading Docs e whakaputa pakipūmeka ana, ā, e whakanuitia ana i tēnei tau 2024, nā konā whakaūngia ai tāna tūranga hei pūhara pakipūmeka poto ahurei i Aotearoa.

Our journey over the past ten years has been one of unwavering dedication to excellence. We’ve delved deep into the soul of Aotearoa, crafting stories that not only challenge and inspire but also achieve a global resonance.

From the spark of an idea to its global dissemination—and every pivotal moment in between—Loading Docs empowers storytellers to realise their visions, shaping the future of documentary filmmaking.

Welcome to Loading Docs, where each narrative invites you into the core of New Zealand’s most captivating stories.

Impact and Influence:

  • Award-Winning Initiative: Celebrated with multiple accolades.
  • Documentary Impact: 80 documentaries that have touched hearts and minds.
  • Worldwide Spotlight: Over 52 film festival showings, taking New Zealand’s narratives global.
  • Viewership Milestones:  A remarkable 19.35 million global views, including 6.1 million in Aotearoa, showcasing universal appeal.
  • Filmmaker Advancement: Boosted 180 filmmakers’ careers to new levels.
  • Diverse and Inclusion: Championing a diverse range of voices, with a focus on te reo Māori.
  • Storytelling Growth: Paving the way for six feature films, expanding the scope of our storytelling.

Global Storytelling Impact

Funded by NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho and the New Zealand Film Commission, and produced by Notable Pictures production company, Loading Docs is a driving force for storytelling talent. We’re committed to creating documentaries that do more than entertain—they enlighten, challenge and inspire. Our documentaries are conversations starters, wisdom bridges across generations and transformative experiences that leave lasting impressions on viewers in Aotearoa and around the world.

KO TE REO TE KAUWAKA O TE WHAKAARO MĀORI

E ai ki a Tā Hemi Henare, “Ko te reo te kākahu o te whakaaro, te huarahi ki te ao tūroa o te hinengaro.” Ko te reo Māori te kauwaka o te whakaaro Māori, te tirohanga Māori, te wairua Māori. E ngākau titikaha ana a Loading Docs ki te whakatairanga i te reo me ōna tikanga mā roto i āna kawenga me ngā kiriata Māori ka whakaputaina. Ko ngā kaihanga kiriata Māori e kuhu mai ana ki te kaupapa ka tautokona e ngā kaimahi Māori e tika ai te manaaki i a rātou, i ngā taonga tuku iho ka tōia mai hei ruku anō hoki.


WHERE YOU CAN WATCH

Loading Docs films are available anytime, anywhere. Featured extensively on news and entertainment platforms in New Zealand and worldwide, such as RNZ, NZ Herald, Stuff, The Spinoff, TVNZ’s Sunday Programme, Guardian Australia, Coconet, TP+, News Room, Red Bull, The New Yorker, Short of the Week and DocPlay.

FESTIVALS

The documentary shorts have been selected for film festivals such as Hot Docs, DOC NYC, SXSW, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts, Boston International Film Festival, New Zealand International Film Festival, Show Me Shorts, Out Takes, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and FIFO.

AWARDS

  • NZTV Awards Best Web Series Winner
  • Doc Edge Best Online Documentary Series Winner
  • The Voyager Media Awards nominee for Best Video Documentary Series

THE TEAM

Julia Parnell

Co-Founder – Producer /Mentor

Julia Parnell has dedicated over two decades to the art of documentary storytelling and mentoring creatives. An award-winning producer and documentary director, she has directed and produced hundreds of hours of content, including feature films, primetime series, one-off documentaries and podcasts. An empathetic and visual storyteller, Julia has received local and international acclaim for directing powerful stories with emotional depth. Through nine seasons of Loading Docs Julia has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting emerging documentary makers.

Combining documentary sensibilities with an absolute focus on audiences, Julia creates ambitious and meaningful stories that are both commercial and authentic. Her most recent feature film ‘SIX60: Till the Lights Go Out’ achieved a place in the top ten highest-grossing NZ box office documentaries of all time.  Well known for her social justice and cultural diversity documentaries (Relocated Mountains, Drug Court, Restoring Hope, Arranged and Both Worlds), Julia has also cemented her place as New Zealand’s most prominent creator of music documentaries (SIX60, The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps, Anthems: New Zealand’s Iconic Hits, Exponents, Dragon and New Sound of Country).

Kay Ellmers

Pou Māori Executive Producer / Mentor

Kay Ellmers (Ngāti Tamateraa/Ngāti Raukawa) is an award-winning documentary maker who has produced and/or directed more than twenty documentaries, with a focus on contemporary social issues and Kaupapa Māori projects. Kay works across many projects with emerging talent and is dedicated to fostering the health of the Aotearoa screen industry.

Kawiti Waetford

Pou Tiaki Reo Māori

Raised in Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori, Kawiti Waetford (Ngāti Hine, Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi) is a first-language speaker of te reo Māori. A registered translator and interpreter through Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Kawiti is actively involved in the education and mentorship of young Māori, using his unique linguistic and musical skills as a trained opera singer, performer and vocal coach. As a consultant in te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori, he works with businesses, NGO and local government to both expand the use of te reo Māori into new domains, and to ensure that this integration is done correctly and appropriately.

Christopher Connolly

Programme Manager

Christopher Connolly has been part of the arts industry for a decade across film, music, visual art and dance. Following a move to New Zealand, Christopher joined Notable Pictures production company as the Marketing Manager on feature films ‘SIX60: Till the Lights Go Out’ and ‘The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps’, alongside coordinating the Loading Docs programme.

Nia Phipps

Producer

With over two decades experience in the screen industry Nia has, in recent years, focussed her production skills in documentary as a creative producer/impact producer. Previously, Nia joined Loading Docs in the early years to support the initiative before leaving to produce her own works, notably including feature documentary High Tide Don’t Hide, an award winning film created with The Rebel Film Collective which is still enjoying a long-tail festival run with the Human Rights Film Tour, hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner throughout Africa and Europe. Most recently her 3 years as a Talent Development Executive at the New Zealand Film Commission has honed her commitment to deeply supporting and developing talent across the screen sector.

Juliette Veber

Mentor

Juliette Veber has 25 years of experience working in the film and documentary industry. She was the Producer of Loading Docs for four years, spent six years at the New Zealand Film Commission as Short Film Sales and Marketing Manager and one year running the South Shorts mentorship programme for Script to Screen. A documentary maker in her own right, Juliette conceived and helmed the award-winning feature film Trouble is My Business and the interactive documentary series Conversations with Teen Mums. Juliette brings a passion for nurturing storytellers to reach their full potential while ensuring promising projects evolve from good ideas to critically acclaimed films.

Tuki Laumea

Mentor

Tuki Laumea is an international award-winning filmmaker who has spent 15+ years making documentaries all over the world. Tuki spent many years crafting documentaries in the Middle East, Africa and Europe for Al Jazeera English. Many accolades he has received include the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Journalism, two Monte Carlo Cine Golden Eagles, an Amnesty International award and a BAFTA nomination.

Parehuia Mackay

Producer / Pou Māori

Parehuia Mackay (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Tamateraa, Ngāti Raukawa) is a creative who has worked in traditional and digital media spaces in several capacities. Her documentary credits include series Whānau, reo Māori digital series Ohinga and is currently working on the well-known series Waiata Anthems. She has a passion for storytelling to create positive change. She celebrates diversity and authenticity in all her work and tries to find new and creative ways to share people’s stories.

Anna Jackson

Co-Founder and Consulting Producer

Anna has explored many paths in her career, but these always seem to lead back to media, storytelling and social impact. She combines elements of strategy, communications and storytelling in her work with For Purpose, a social enterprise that helps communities and socially-led organisations create positive social change.


Loading Docs is a Notable Pictures initiative made primarily with support from NZ On Air, along with support from The New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.
Crowdfunding platform, Boosted.
Post-production provided by Department of Post.