Loading Docs are proud to announce two of our Power collection have been selected for the 10th DOC NYC. The two 2019 Loading Docs selected are; Bird’s Eye! & My Breakup with God. DOC NYC is America’s largest documentary film festival and was voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world”.

My Breakup with God: November 10 Cinepolis Chelsea

A devoted Christian turns her back on the church to pursue a path of sexual enlightenment and love through Tantra. Read more. 

Bird’s Eye!: November 13 Cinepolis Chelsea

Petra Leary, a skater girl with no formal education, claims her place as one of the top aerial photographers in the world. Read more.

Watch them both here:

imagineNATIVE 20

He Hek

Loading Docs are proud to announce two of our Power collection have been selected for the 20th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. The two 2019 Loading Docs selected are; Mana Wahine & He Hekenga Tūhura.

Mana Wahine: October 23 | Shorts Program: ActivationTIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3

Pania Newton is one of the co-founders leading SOUL (Save Our Unique Landscape), a collective of activists who are fighting for the return of 1000-year old historical site Ihumātao. This documentary is the personal journey as Pania struggles to survive under the pressure of trying to maintain her plot of land and leading a major protest. Read more.

He Hekenga Tūhura: October 24 | Short Program: ImprintTIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3

Award-winning Māori director, Allan George, lovingly honours his late uncle, Sir Hector Busby, in this moving short documentary. A master waka builder and celestial navigator, Sir Hec reflects on his journey learning the old ways in his last interview. Read more.

Watch them both here:


Mana Wahine

Have you ever wanted to make a Loading Docs documentary? Now is the time to reach out and let us know.

In advance of the full request for proposals, Loading Docs are looking for expressions of interest to participate in Loading Docs 2020. A new decade brings the new theme of ‘Revolution’. The documentaries will be between 3-8 minutes in duration and must relate to theme. You don’t need to have a documentary idea at this stage, but you must be a committed storyteller.

Please email your interest to with the subject heading ‘I want to make a Loading Doc’ and tell us why you want to be involved.

Edit: Full submissions for Loading Docs 2020 are now open. Click here.

Loading Docs: Power – Out Now

Today we launch Loading Docs: Power, our 2019 collection.

Unified by the theme of power are stories that will have audiences questioning their own interpretation of power and revealing how unlikely characters can become the heroes of the story. Celebrating New Zealand perspectives on world issues, subjects include Kiwi icons William Trubridge, Pania Newton, the ‘Nek Minnit’ guy – Levi Hawken, and revered celestial navigator Sir Hector Busby.

He Hekenga Tūhura presents the extraordinary final interview with Sir Hector Busby – in te reo Māori – just weeks before his passing. Also part of the collection is My Breakup with God, about a devoted Christian who slams the door on the Church – against her parents’ hopes – and pursues a path of sexual freedom and love. Operation: RAMBU! propels audiences back to 1980s Indonesia to meet an unlikely Kiwi action hero.

Watch the collection now



Happy Family Night Market

One special Loading Doc hits the big apple this week with a screening of ‘East Meets East’ at Happy Family Night Market, in New York City.

HFNM is an annual event that celebrates the Asian diaspora through food, art, and education.

When: Saturday 13th July

Location: The Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St, New York, NY

Tickets: Click here

‘East Meets East’ explores the honest musings of a Chinese grandmother, bringing an unseen community into the spotlight.

79-year-old Fang Ruzhen immigrated to Auckland to help raise her grandchildren. Seventeen years on, English is still a foreign language, but she has found community with other elderly Chinese grandparents through her daily ritual of riding the bus to the Asian supermarkets of East Auckland.

Meet a group rendered invisible not only by their migrant status but also by their age. This is an often-untold perspective of those who do not assimilate but nevertheless are as much New Zealanders as they are Chinese.


Sheffield Doc/Fest

We’re pleased to announce eight Loading Docs will be shown at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest, as part of The Light Cinema Free Screen. Sheffield Doc/Fest is a world-leading festival celebrating the art and business of documentary and non-fiction storytelling across all forms. Each year the festival welcomes over 25,000 festival goers, this year running June 6th to 11th.


She Speeds – In the exhilarating world of dirt track racing, female stock car driver Brooke smashes through every barrier to do what she does best.

East Meets East – The honest musings of a Chinese grandmother brings an unseen community into the spotlight.

Soldiers Road – Connecting young Māori to their culture through art, Soldiers Road Portraits seek to reframe identity in an empowering way.

He Kākano Ahau – From The Spaces In Between – A courageous takatāpui (Māori LGBTQI) activist is fighting for true diversity in our Gay Pride celebrations.

Ajax the Kea Conservation Dog – A passionate conservationist and his canine companion fight together to save New Zealand’s kea.

What Logan Did – A tenacious young inventor, Logan Williams (Ngāi Tahu), concocts an ingenious scheme to battle the invasive algae didymo killing New Zealand’s rivers.

Hear Me Out – Mojo Mathers, Aotearoa’s first deaf MP, has one last chance to open the door for people with disabilities to fully participate in democracy.

Kareārea – Fern, a sassy kārearea (New Zealand falcon), worried about the future of her species, is on a mission to change her whānau’s bad reputation. (Also screening at free indoor selections; Family Shorts & Our Planet)

Want to find out more about Sheffield Doc/Fest? Click here.

The Free Screen is not ticketed and freely accessible. Will you be there watching? Let us know by tweeting us at @LoadingDocs.

Sir Hekenukumai Busby

The revered traditional Polynesian navigator and master waka carver sadly passed over the weekend. Sir Hekenukumai Busby is the subject of this year’s Loading Doc, He Hekenga Tūhura, by director Allan George, producer Justin Scott and associate producer Moehau Hodges-Tai.

He Hekenga Tūhura looks back on Sir Hek’s legacy and considers who will carry the mantle into the future. Sir Hekenukumai Puhipi (Busby) was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in February for his role in reviving Māori traditions of waka hourua (double-hulled voyaging canoes) and celestial navigation.

We are privileged to have worked with Sir Hek. He leaves an eternal legacy in Aotearoa that we at Loading Docs will both respect and cherish.

Kua hinga te kauri i roto i te wao nui a Tāne. E Tā Hector Busby, moe mai rā. Hoki atu ki Hawaiki Nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki Pāmamao.


5.5 Million Views

Loading Docs 2019

One week before we introduce our new wave of 2019 filmmakers, we reach a new milestone of 5.5 million views of our Loading Docs collection. That’s more than the population of New Zealand.

Thank you for watching and sharing our stories. They have been shown on TVNZ, Air New Zealand, Māori TV, The Great Big Story, Upworthy, National Geographic, Huffington Post, dozens more, in your homes, on your phones and all around the world. Know someone who hasn’t seen them? Send ’em your favourite and we’ll meet you at the 6 million mark!

Can’t wait for you to see our 2019 collection and new theme of ‘power’ later this year. Until then, stick around for some big news on Wednesday…

LOADING DOCS 2018 – Launches with IMPACT

Loading Docs once again redefines the impact of New Zealand documentary with the launch of the 2018 collection.

This year’s dynamic crop of films, all inspired by the theme of ‘Impact’, showcases some remarkable New Zealanders who are making waves and inciting change. Tackling issues of disability access, men’s mental health, female empowerment and environmental disaster, the IMPACT collection of short films provoke, inspire and awaken curiosity.

With each story told in just three minutes, Loading Docs documentaries illuminate their subjects and characters with bright quick clarity; a tenacious young inventor battling the invasive algae didymo killing New Zealand’s rivers; a female Speedway racer smashing stereotypes; a pair of unicycling vegan activists; and a British Baptist preacher is called by God to learn te reo Māori.

With filmmaker development at its heart, Loading Docs implements a philosophy of fostering storytellers, pushing filmmaking boundaries and telling untold stories that communicate who we are as New Zealanders. LOADING DOCS is Aotearoa’s most successful short documentary initiative and in 2017 won the New Zealand Television Award for NZ On Air Best Web Series.

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


Loading Docs finalists: A Māori speaking UK priest, a crisis trained barber and a female stock car driver

John The Baptist, a project selected by Loading Docs, will follow the journey of British immigrant, John Catmur, who ...

John The Baptist, a project selected by Loading Docs, will follow the journey of British immigrant, John Catmur, who believes God told him to move to NZ. As such, he is learning te reo Māori to serve God.

A documentary competition that helped a quirky New Zealand short film on Rotorua’s Coffin Club play at Austin’s South By South West film festival is back again.

Loading Docs, in its fifth year, helps fund, create and distribute ten three-minute, thought provoking, short documentary proposals that screen online, on demand, and on the big screen.

This year potential film makers were asked to submit a unique concept that relates to the theme of ‘impact’.

Loading Docs 2018 finalists

Loading Docs 2018 finalists 

The ten chosen projects will pitch their films on crowdfunding platform Boosted, where they will promote their ideas to potential audiences over the next month with the hope of reaching or exceeding a goal of $2000.

If and when they do, Loading Docs will provide $4450 plus a post-production package.

Sam 'The Barter Barber' Dowdall is travelling the country trading haircuts for a chat or a meal to encourage men to ...

Sam ‘The Barter Barber’ Dowdall is travelling the country trading haircuts for a chat or a meal to encourage men to speak up about mental illness.

Last year’s finalist, Briar March’s musical The Coffin Club was selected to play at the prestigious SXSW festival in Austin.

The short film captured the quirky and touching story of an elderly group in Rotorua who build and decorate their own coffins.

Loading Docs is funded by NZ On Air, New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho. Last year it won the NZ On Air Best Web Series.

The winning projects include a crisis trained barbershop who ditches his job to travel NZ to challenge men’s mental health with barber cuts, a Kāi Tahu inventor wanting to rid NZ rivers of Didymo and a Baptist Minster learning te reo Māori to serve his God.

 – Stuff