Aotearoa’s most successful short documentary initiative returns.


From reflections of a master waka carver to a female leader’s fight to save ancestral land, eight uplifting documentaries make up Loading Docs 2019. Attracting an audience of over 5.6 million viewers so far, Loading Docs offers audiences a place to celebrate real New Zealand stories, unified by the theme of power. With unique access to iconic New Zealanders – such as world champion freediver William Trubridge and the man behind the ‘Nek Minnit’ meme – this year promises to be the most empowering yet. Awaken your imagination and see our world in a new light.

Coming August 29th


My Breakup with God

Director: Zoe McIntosh | Producer: Frith Armstrong

My Breakup with God

A devoted Christian slams the door on the Church – against her parents’ hopes – and pursues a path of sexual freedom and love.

Caitlyn Cook was raised in a conservative Christian household. As a teenager, she began to question everything she knew about herself and her religion. She had desires that felt both exhilarating and dangerous. She wanted to break free from the rules. But freedom came at a cost. Then Caitlyn discovered Tantra, and so began her pursuit of sexual enlightenment and healing. In My Breakup with God, Caitlyn opens up to her parents and seeks their understanding and approval of her beliefs.

Sir Hector Busby

Director: Allan George | Producer: Justin Scott | Assoc. Producer: Moehau Hodges-Tai

He Hekenga Tūhura

Just weeks before his passing, Sir Hector Busby discusses a legacy of celestial navigation and waka carving, considering who will carry the knowledge after he’s gone.

We journey with 86-year-old Polynesian celestial navigator Sir Hekenukumai Pūhipi through the past, the present and into the future as he reflects on his life’s achievements and how his knowledge will be passed on. ‘Sir Hec’ has given his life to the restoration of Māori seafaring traditions. He built his first waka in the early 1970s, seeking out knowledge that in those days was in danger of being forgotten.

Pania Newton

Mana Wahine

As the indigenous land occupation of Ihumātao hits global headlines, Pania Newton must decide: face down the bulldozers or give up the fight.

Set deep behind the front lines at Ihumātao, Mana Wahine captures intimate access to SOUL co-leader – Pania Newton – in the weeks leading up to what is becoming New Zealand’s most disputed indigenous land occupation. As the magnitude of the fight ahead and pressures placed on her become all too real, Pania lays bare her personal struggles to find the strength to lead. As the cultural and political unrest reaches breaking point, Mana Wahine provides unique insight into an indigenous issue resonating around the world.


Birds Eye

Director: Morgan Albrecht | Producer: Morgan Leigh Stewart

Bird’s Eye

Petra Leary takes her hidden superpower to the sky, focusing her lens on becoming the world’s top aerial photographer.

Life’s about how you see it. Aerial photography star Petra Leary sees the world from above, seeking startling heights to create stunning art, while trying to make sense of the complex and challenging world around her. Having pushed back against traditional education and now an ADHD ambassador, Petra sets out with her skateboard, drone and dog Kodak to create her own artistic legacy.

Operation Rambu

Director: Steve Austin | Producer: Rajneel Singh


Operation: RAMBU!

After a party-fuelled decade of B-list action movies, the ‘Indonesian Rambo’ abruptly disappeared from the silver screen. Can destiny provide the stage for this Kiwi’s triumphant return?

In 1986, a teacher from New Zealand is travelling through Indonesia when he is mistaken in the street for Stallone by a film producer. When offered the role of Alex Rambu in ‘The Intruder’ – the Indonesian rip-off of Rambo – Peter is catapulted to fame. Over the next decade he goes on to become one of the most celebrated action movie stars in Indonesia. And then, in 1998, he disappears. But now he’s back!

Levi Hawken

Director: Stjohn Milgrew | Producer: Rebecca Lee


The ‘Nek Minnit’ guy confronts the meme that defined him. Get ready to challenge your own perceptions of virality.

He’s the face that launched a thousand memes. One of 7,000 people worldwide with a rare genetic condition called Ectodermal Dysplasia. A NZ living legend, role model and icon to many. He is Levi Hawken, known to some as the ‘Nek Minnit guy’. A visceral journey through his personal experiences as an ageing skateboarder with a tireless drive to perform the most perilous expressions of downhill street skateboarding.

William Trubridge

Director: Katherine McRae | Producer: Migiwa Ozawa

Water Baby

Freediving royalty William Trubridge and actress Sachiko Fukumoto will do anything to bring their baby into their world, the ocean.

William Trubridge and Sachiko Fukumoto are freediving royalty. William is an 18-time world record holder and current world freediving champion and his partner Sachiko is an actress and freediver. Unable to give birth in their favourite place, the ocean, the couple travel to William’s family home in New Zealand to prepare for a water birth. Will their baby carry on their legacy of caring for our marine environment?

Meet Munch Jr

Director: Ali Cowley | Producer: Sandra Kailahi

Meet Munch Jr.

A father’s love inspires an autistic teen to express himself by bringing his cartoon character to life.

Sixteen-year-old Nikau wants to create his own real-life hand puppet. He’s a keen artist and animator. He’s also on the Autism spectrum. His dad, Ali Cowley, is helping him bring the puppet alive from a drawing on a page to a real-life hand puppet. He’s his son’s number one supporter when it comes to his art. Meet Munch Jr. is an observational look at the journey both father and son take to realise Nikau’s dreams.