About Loading Docs

Loading Docs is a short documentary initiative that provides New Zealand documentary makers with a platform to promote their creativity and talent and to create work that inspires, pushes boundaries, and moves audiences. Loading Docs has amassed over 19 million views globally, contributed to the creation of multiple feature documentaries, and propelled the career progression of over a hundred filmmakers. 

He hōtaka pakipūmeka poto a Loading Docs, e whakapakari ana i ngā kaihanga kiriata o Aotearoa, me  te whakawhanake hoki i o rātou pūkenga auaha, ngāiotanga hoki. Ka nui te tautoko a te kaupapa nei i aua hunga, mai i te whakawhanake i te tāhū matua o te kiriata, ki te tuaritanga whānui i te mutunga iho. Nā tēnei ko ngā hua ka puta he mea whakaaweawe, he mea whakatumatuma, he mea whakakorikori i te iwi mātakitaki. I ēnei tau e iwa kua hipa, e 80 ngā kiriata kua hangāia e Loading Docs, katoa katoa kua mātakina neke atu i te 19.35 miriona ngā tāima huri noa i te ao whānui.  

Loading Docs is a Notable Pictures initiative funded by NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho and The New Zealand Film Commission.  


Loading Docs is New Zealand’s preeminent documentary talent programme. Founded in 2014, the initiative pioneered the production of New Zealand-made short-form documentaries accessible to an online audience worldwide.  

Multi-award-winning Loading Docs craft short documentaries of international calibre while offering unbounded guidance to filmmakers. We believe the art of documentary storytelling goes beyond capturing reality; it ignites the essence of a story and transforms it into a meaningful audience experience that influences and resonates with those watching.  

With 52 film festival screenings, 19.35 million worldwide views and 6.1 million views in Aotearoa, New Zealand, Loading Docs is a platform audiences are committed to and one that contributes to the growing reputation of New Zealand in the international documentary scene.  


After a public call for submissions, a group of filmmakers are chosen to produce their documentary ideas. Participating in a unique professional development programme, they are challenged to expand their skills and knowledge in story development, documentary production and editing, identifying, targeting and connecting with audiences and increasing their understanding of marketing and distribution strategies in the current media climate. 


With the full collection of shorts on our website, Facebook, YouTube & Vimeo, all the Loading Docs films are available anytime, anywhere. Loading Docs is also 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, DocPlay, Coconet, TP+, News Room, Red Bull, The New Yorker, Short of the Week and Doc Play. 


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. 


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.  

In 2019, Loading Docs opened up the durations to enable broader opportunities for fresh perspectives and deeper narrative exploration. Throughout its operation, Loading Docs has offered a diverse group of new and established talent the support to create documentaries that get noticed and become springboards to more work. Specifically, Loading Docs has been pivotal in the creation of feature films Pacific Mother, Ms. Information, She Shears, Bludgeon and Wilbur: The King In The Ring.  

Ten 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 the celebration of Aotearoa’s stories. 


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.  

Parehuia Mackay – Producer / Pou Māori  

Parehuia Mackay (Ngāti Toa Rangarira, 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.  

Jason Taylor – Producer / Pou Māori 

Jason Taylor (Ngāti Maniapoto/Waikato-Tainui) is a screen producer based in Te Tai Tokerau, Aotearoa, New Zealand. Jason is an ambitious documentary and scripted producer who strongly advocates for sharing cultural narratives that resonate with diverse audiences. Credits include The Barber Shop Sessions, Ati-ā-Toa/Māreikura for the Ministry of Education, Honey Wars, Heart of Gold and The Turning Tide. 

Christopher Connolly – Project 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 boutique 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 managing the Loading Docs marketing.  

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. 

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.  

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.
Our web platform, Mantis Digital.
Archive provided by Getty Images.