About Loading Docs


Loading Docs is a unique initiative that produces short documentaries that move, inspire and challenge audiences locally and internationally, while developing and promoting New Zealand filmmaking talent at home. So far they have been watched by over 17.8 million people.

After selecting a group of short documentary proposals, participants are offered a unique professional development opportunity. Filmmakers are then 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; identifying, targeting and connecting with audiences and increasing their understanding of marketing and distribution strategies in the current media climate.

Winner of Best Web Series in 2017 at the New Zealand Television Awards. Loading Docs is a Notable Pictures initiative, founded by Julia Parnell and Anna Jackson, and is funded by NZ On Air with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho. With the full collection of shorts on Play Stuff and featured extensively on news platforms in New Zealand and around the world, Loading Docs has significantly increased the value and impact of New Zealand documentary series.


With the full collection of shorts on our website, Facebook, YouTube & Vimeo you can watch the full collection on the go. Loading Docs also feature extensively on news platforms in New Zealand and around the world, significantly increasing the value and impact of New Zealand documentary series.

Loading Docs also feature on NZ Herald, Play Stuff, Whakaata Māori, Radio New Zealand, The Spinofff, Guardian Australia, Rialto Channel and DocPlay.


The documentary shorts have also been selected for film festivals such as 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.


Loading Docs first launched in May 2014 with a selection of three-minute documentaries that represented a diverse range of subjects and filmmaking styles, helping to usher in a new era for New Zealand documentary production and appreciation. Nine years later, with 80 documentaries produced, Loading Docs has consistently led the way in the development and elevation of new talent, new approaches to storytelling and to the celebration of Aotearoa’s stories.

In 2019, Loading Docs opened up the durations to enable even greater opportunities for fresh perspectives and deeper narrative exploration. Throughout its operation Loading Docs has offered a diverse group of new and established talent skills to create documentaries that get noticed and become springboards to more work. Specifically Loading Docs has been pivotal in the creation of longer form documentary works, including feature films ‘She Shears’ and ‘Wilbur: The King In The Ring’ as well as award-winning web series, ‘Amy Street’.


Julia Parnell – Co-Founder and Executive Producer

JULIA PARNELL is an award-winning producer and documentary director from New Zealand. During 20 years working in the entertainment industry, Julia has directed and produced hundreds of hours of documentaries, short films and series; achieving the WIFT Woman to Watch award in 2010, The NZIFF Best Short 2013, Show Me Shorts Best Short 2014 and Best Web series 2016 & 17.

Since 2010, under the banner of her production company Notable Pictures, Julia has developed a singular ability to create striking work with emotional depth and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the health of the documentary community.

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).

Her first feature was documentary-comedy, Wilbur: The King in the Ring, co-directed with Jan Ollie Lucks. Premiering in May 2017 at DocEdge, after winning Best Pitch in 2016, it went on to a cinema on demand theatrical release selling out cinema sessions in its hometown of Dunedin. Julia’s second feature The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps secured its worldwide premiere at SXSW 2019 and will be followed by a new film about the phenomenal rise and appeal of New Zealand’s biggest band, SIX60.


Anna Jackson – Co-Founder and Consulting Producer

Anna Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in the interdisciplinary Design Thinking programme in the School of Art and Design. Previously she has taught in Creative Technologies at AUT’s Colab and led co-design and social innovation projects at Innovate Change (now Innovation Unit). She is passionate about New Zealand documentary and the future of storytelling.


Juliette Veber – Producer

With six years at the New Zealand Film Commission as short film manager, and one year running the South Shorts mentorship programme for Script to Screen, Juliette Veber has extensive experience in the areas of developing filmmaking talent, documentary storytelling, short film funding, production and distribution. A documentary maker in her own right, Juliette conceived and helmed the feature film Trouble is My Business and interactive website Conversations with Teen Mums. She also produced New Zealand feature film Toy Love and associate produced The Price of Milk. Juliette brings a passion for nurturing storytellers to reach their full potential while ensuring promising projects evolve from good ideas to critically acclaimed films.


Mana Epiha – Te Reo Māori Consultant and Creative Mentor 

Mana Epiha is one of the first graduates of Kura Kaupapa Māori in Aotearoa, and he has been in Māori broadcasting for 25 years. Mana has worked as an actor, a radio host, a teacher, he’s worked in news & current affairs and he has spent 15 years directing and producing for Waka Huia TVNZ. Mana says, “What drives me is a passion for the craft, and a passion to tell our stories in our Māori language, so the language thrives.” Many of Mana’s documentaries have featured in film festivals around the world, Mana also helped produce the ‘Timoti Karetu’ story that won the best Māori Language programme at the New Zealand Television Awards in 2018. Mana’s addition to the Loading Docs whanau in 2019 has resulted in two of the most powerful Māori stories to date, with the relationship set to only deepen in 2020.



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.
Media Partners, NZ Herald, Stuff, The Spinoff and RNZ.
Crowdfunding platform, Boosted.
Post-production provided by Department of Post.
Our web platform, Mantis Digital.
Archive provided by Getty Images.