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Looking for bold, brave New Zealand short documentaries for 2020

Give yourself the opportunity to be a part of Loading Docs – a ground-breaking short documentary initiative that has received 11 million views worldwide. This is your opportunity to push filmmaking boundaries and tell an untold story that communicates who we are as New Zealanders. You will receive high-level mentorship from internationally acclaimed documentary creators. We are looking for applications from storytellers for short documentary ideas that are brave, take risks and speak to the theme of Revolution. Loading Docs will select eight short documentary ideas to support from conception all the way through to finding their audiences. Selected projects will have durations between three and eight minutes.



The year 2020 begins a new decade – a turning point for humanity. In every aspect of our lives we are challenged to rethink the way we live, work and engage. At Loading Docs, Revolution means pushing out to the frontiers of documentary storytelling. Loading Docs is seeking revolutionary ideas, creativity and talent.



Loading Docs is looking for relevant, contemporary stories that seek to comment on society or offer intimate insight, or ideally both! It’s up to you how your story speaks to the theme. However, stories should have a potential audience in mind and encourage the greatest possible public and media engagement. The strongest short documentaries focus on a singular narrative that sheds light on a central theme or issue. Powerful short documentaries often have an engaging character at the heart of the story. Loading Docs films must hook from the very first frame. They have a strong sense of purpose offering a concentrated story. At the same time, they should also look at the bigger picture – making a comment on modern society – which can generate active sharing and conversation.

We encourage you to pitch ideas that are bold, brave and could be completely out-of-the-box. Loading Docs seeks both light-hearted and challenging stories, or formally innovative work that pushes the boundaries of what we understand as documentary. We will be looking for authenticity in the director’s voice. We will consider whether this is an idea we haven’t seen before on screen or is a new take on a known topic. We will consider whether the documentary style is unique to the filmmaker and the subject matter. We will look to see whether the narrative is contemporary and relevant to today’s society. We will ask how a character portrait can evolve so it has as much to say about society as it does personal experience. We will look at choice of central character, what will be filmed, and whether the story has potential to develop through the documentary.



Loading Docs is seeking to support at least one story that uses te reo Māori as the primary language. Should you wish to create a te reo Māori short, your submission will need to include a brief language strategy and a demonstration that the appropriate language expert or consultant is in place to support the project. Be brave in your approach and consider how the story can express aspects of Te Ao Māori and the world in general, in a unique way.


Keep in mind documentary production will start in March 2020 and all documentaries must be completed by June 2020.


SEND YOUR SUBMISSIONS TO: no later than 11am, Friday 29 November.

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