About Loading Docs

Loading Docs is a unique initiative that produces short documentaries that captivate and inspire audiences locally and internationally, while developing and promoting New Zealand filmmaking talent at home.

Through a competitive selection process, Loading Docs selects documentary proposals, which are then supported from development through to distribution. Working with local and international mentors, Loading Docs filmmakers expand their skills in a range of areas including story development, outreach, publicity and marketing and distribution.

The documentaries are freely available to view and share online and are available to view and share from this website and on TVNZ.  


Loading Docs first launched in May 2014 with a selection of three-minute documentaries that represent a diverse range of subjects and filmmaking styles. In its first year, the groundbreaking initiative succeeded both in delivering high-quality documentary shorts to a wide audience across multiple platforms and in providing filmmakers with a unique professional development opportunity.

Loading Docs films have been viewed all over the world 5.4 million times, via the Loading Docs site and on TVNZ and featured on high profile sites such as Short of the Week, The Daily Mail, The Atlantic, Laughing Squid, The World’s Best Ever, Great Big Story, Gather & Hunt, The Spinoff, The Huffington Post Australia, National Geographic online, Upworthy and Film Shortage as well as achieving Staff Picks on Vimeo.

The success extended to broadcast in New Zealand on One News, Seven Sharp, the Sunday Programme, Te Karere, Te Kaea, as well as on the Māori Television Series Iti Pounamu and on the Rialto Channel.

The documentary shorts have also been selected for film festivals such as The New Zealand International Film Festival, Show Me Shorts (NZ), Out Takes (NZ), ImagineNATIVE (Canada), South by South West, the Melbourne Film Festival,Boston International Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, New Zealand Short Film Festival (Aus), the 2015 Banff World Tour (US), FIFO (Tahiti) and screening on Air New Zealand in-flight.

Loading Docs offers filmmakers a unique professional development opportunity. From development through to distribution, filmmakers are challenged to expand their skills and knowledge, and Loading Docs demands a commitment not only to deliver excellent films, but also to develop their skills in identifying, targeting and connecting with audiences and increasing their understanding of marketing and distribution strategies in the current media climate.

Loading Docs is a Notable Pictures initiative, founded by Julia Parnell and Anna Jackson, and funded by NZ On Air with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.

The Team

Julia Parnell – Co-Founder and Executive Producer
Julia Parnell is an award-winning producer and documentary director. In her eleven-year career Julia has written, produced and directed documentaries and factual series on a range of themes and topics from social justice (Drug Court, Restoring Hope), and ethnic diversity (Both Worlds, The Festival, Arranged) to New Zealand music legends (The Exponents, The Dragon Story, The New Sound Of Country.)

Over the last five years Julia has gained a reputation as a talented producer of short films winning the NZ International Film Festival’s Best NZ Short Film in 2013 with Friday Tigers, Best Short at the Show Me Shorts Festival 2014 and Fantasy Award First place at the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2015 for Dive. Hitch Hike has been in competition at major international film festivals such as Tampere Film Festival, Melbourne International, Bristol Encounters, Hawaii International and Durban International and Heart of Gold International, Australia. And as the Co-creator and Executive Producer of Loading Docs, a documentary initiative that produces short films that have been viewed all over the world, featuring on high profile sites such as Short of the Week, The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, The Atlantic and Great Big Story.

Anna Jackson – Co-Founder and Consulting Producer
Anna is a Project Leader at  Innovate Change, a not-for-profit social enterprise that uses creative and participatory approaches to build social connectedness that enables youth development, positive ageing and whānau. Alongside a career in research and tertiary education, she has worked in communications, film, theatre, and creative technologies and she is a proud supporter of the arts.

Guest Mentors

Kay Ellmers

Kay Ellmers (Ngāti Tamateraa/Ngāti Raukawa) is the managing director of Tūmanako Productions – an Auckland based production company that delivers high-quality multi-media programmes in English and te reo Māori. Kay has more than twenty years of experience as a producer and director of award-winning documentaries – often focusing on social and political issues with a strong Māori perspective. In 2014 Kay received the Women in Film and Television “Mana Wahine Award and in 2011 her company was acknowledged for its contribution to the revitalisation of te reo Māori by the Te Taura Whiri Māori Language Broadcasting Award.

Our supporters

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.
Our Media Partner TVNZ
Our crowdfunding platform, Boosted.
Post-production provided by Department of Post.
Mantis Digital, our web platform.