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Did you know that the kumara came dangerously close to extinction? As this micro-documentary from Felicity Morgan-Rhind explains, we owe a great debt to Chinese couple Mr. and Mrs. Gock and their love of the kumara.

How Mr and Mrs Gock Saved the Kumara from Loading Docs on Vimeo.

We’ll be featuring more Loading Docs 2016 titles in the coming days. Funded by NZ On Air with support of The New Zealand Film Commission.

Loading Docs: New Zealand documentaries cut to the chase

Stuff+logoAll around us, fellow New Zealanders are telling stories. In books and films, on TV, via social media, on the phone, beside you on the bus – there’s no end of incessant yapping via every channel available.We live in a world drenched with narrative, much of it confusing, contradictory, scary, unintentionally hilarious. Hot air, blather, loose-lipped jabbering –  this is the backdrop to our lives, and there’s no escaping the fact that many of the tales we tell each other are puffed up with unnecessary padding.

Where are the stories that cut to the chase? How can an impatient soul like me – a man who favours the short story over every other literary artform – find fresh and moving new narratives I can dip into in less time than it takes to brew a good cup of tea?

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Doco reveals transition’s impact on a friendship


A new short documentary tells the story of two friends in their 50s who are in the process of redefining their friendship after one of them comes out as transgender.

At three and a half minutes long, Same but Different captures a moment of honest contemplation.Friends with Neil for 25 years, Byron has recently come out as trans and the new documentary Same but Different explores the impact her transition is having on the pairs friendship.

The short film is part of local filmmaking initiative Loading Docs and is directed by Neil’s wife Louise Leitch.

Loading Docs selects ten short documentary proposals that are then mentored through from development to distribution.

Watch Same but Different over on the Loading Docs website.

via Gay NZ

By local, for local: Loading Docs launches a new collection of documentary shorts

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.42.27 amFor the third year running, documentary platform Loading Docs is celebrating local filmmaking talent by launching a new series of shorts to captivate and challenge the audience to see local stories in new ways.

Loading Docs is a documentary initiative establishment in 2014 to captivate and inspire audiences as well as develop and promote New Zealand filmmaking talent with the support of NZ On Air’s Digital Media Fund and the New Zealand Film Commission. Through a competitive selection process, it selects ten short documentary proposals to create three-minute shorts, 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 2016 collection explores the theme of ‘change’, sharing such diverse stories as; coming to grips with a life-threatening disease, a personal epiphany leading to a dramatic lifestyle change, a gender reassignment challenging two best friends and a hotly debated political issue, these shorts all have the potential to change the way we think and feel about the world around us.​

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Loading Docs
Academy Cinemas, Auckland, NZ
August 4, 2016

Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Reviewed by NIDHA KHAN

Every day I am more and more amazed by the people of Aotearoa; their level of talent, artistic expression, and just their sheer desire to inject more good into this world.

And last night was no different.

Thanks to TEARAWAY, I had the privilege of attending the world premiere of Loading Docs.

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Miracle: Here are 10 local documentaries you can watch in 30 minutes

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.18.43 amAlex Casey snacks on this year’s Loading Docs selection, ten locally-made documentaries under 3 minutes in length.

Love documentaries but hate all the sitting, watching and listening? Destined to take 100 pee breaks and snack stops during the average 90 minute runtime? Fear not my fellow cinema pests, Loading Docs is the perfect solution if your love for factual content is only outweighed by your piddly attention span.

Founded by Julia Parnell and Anna Jackson, the NZ On Air funded initiative produces a selection of 3 minute documentaries that aim to showcase local stories and promote our brightest new filmmakers. The theme for this year’s crop is ‘change’, presenting true stories of transformation, growth, adversity and hope. I binged them all in an easy breezy half hour to assemble this handy, one-sentence guide. Snack away.

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Watch three of the films from this year’s Loading Docs

nz-herald-logoLoading Docs: A short film initiative which has seen 10 Kiwi filmmakers submit their own three-minute long films which all explore the theme of “change”. We have three of their films right here – stories about gender transitioning to world issues to Auckland’s millionaire shoe-shine man. Enjoy.

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Mr and Mrs Gock saved the kumara – their story on film

Stuff+logoBusiness, film and poetry are combined in a documentary celebrating the heartwarming story of How Mr and Mrs Gock​ Saved the Kumara.

Joe and Fay Gock​ fled as child refugees from war-torn China during the occupation of large parts of the country by Japan’s brutal army.

Nobody could have guessed when New Zealand took them in the part they would play in saving our national root vegetable.


The story of Joe and Fay Gock is told by movie-maker Felicity Morgan-Rhind.

The story of Joe and Fay Gock is told by movie-maker Felicity Morgan-Rhind.

When Black Rot threatened to obliterate the kumara industry in the 1950s, the Gocks gifted their disease-resistant strain to the nation, and refused to take a penny for it.

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Type one diabetes documentary, Blood Sugar, close to Joe Hitchcock’s heart

Type one diabetes sufferer Dahlia Hitchcock is the focus of Blood Sugar - a Pukekohe-based documentary.
Type one diabetes sufferer Dahlia Hitchcock is the focus of Blood Sugar – a Pukekohe-based documentary.

Pukekohe film-maker Joe Hitchcock’s latest work is very close to his heart.

The short documentary Blood Sugar premieres in New Zealand this week and stars his four-year-old daughter, Dahlia.

Dahlia is scared of needles, but has type one diabetes and needs insulin injected several times a day.

Hitchcock said New Zealand currently had one of the highest rates of paediatric diabetes in the world, and numbers were estimated to be growing at almost 10 per cent annually.

The cause is not yet understood.

Blood Sugar was partially funded by the Loading Docs initiative, with support from the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air, as well as 53 donors who contributed to a crowd funding campaign.

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