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Loading Docs 2015 filmmakers set to get Boosted


Loading Docs 2015 filmmakers set to get Boosted


Monday 2 March marks the beginning of a nail-biting time for 10 short documentary making teams selected to participate in Loading Docs 2015. Today ten separate crowdfunding campaigns from Auckland to Dunedin, will launch, embarking on a mission to raise a set amount of cash and, in doing so, the profiles of Kiwi documentary makers.

This is the second year that the Loading Docs initiative will fund, create and distribute ten local 3 minute documentaries online, with support from the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air. The documentary makers each need to raise $2000 via crowd funding. Once that target is met the Loading Docs fund contributes $4000 worth of production funds plus a post-production package at Toybox and Sale St Audio. Each Loading Docs project also receives ongoing mentoring and support throughout production.

This year Loading Docs has partnered with arts funding website and the ten campaigns will run for one month, ending on April 1st. The documentaries are then created and released in July of this year.

Boosted General Manager Simone Hunter is excited to be partnering with the project this year: "The Loading Docs initiative is a fantastic programme that works with New Zealand’s most promising documentary filmmakers. We are delighted to provide the platform that removes every possible barrier between these emerging artists and their backers."

The documentary makers hope to find an audience through their campaigns who will have a vested interest in their project. Last year’s ten docos, based around a theme of ‘home’ reached audiences all over the world (with over 300,000 views in total). This year’s theme is ‘connect’ which is exactly what the filmmakers aim to do during the fundraising phase.

“Crowd funding is a great opportunity to put you in touch with those that care most about your doco’s progression and completion. We hope that people who help fund the project will be invested in the outcome, will share the work with others, and be interested in what we do next” says Henry Oliver, the co-director of Loading Docs 2015 short documentary Kusuda.

The initiative’s executive producers Julia Parnell and Anna Jackson are both passionate about supporting and promoting New Zealand documentaries and hope this new batch of Loading Docs docos will excite the New Zealand public to get behind our local stories and give them the boost they need to get made.

“Now that online marketing and distribution is king, Loading Docs aims to foster this approach with New Zealand’s documentary makers so they have the skills and experience to take their work to the world. All these filmmakers need New Zealanders to get behind them, ‘like’ and ‘share’ their campaigns and help support high quality locally made documentaries. If we’re not telling our stories in New Zealand, no one else is going to,” says Executive Producer Julia Parnell.

Loading Docs documentaries to be made in 2015

Boosted profile:

Madness Made Me

Director Nikki Castle, Producer Alexander Gandar

Filmmaker Location: Auckland, Melbourne

Documentary location: Dunedin

To the psychiatrists, Mary O’Hagan was just another head case. But where they saw illness, she saw a human experience.

Dunedin in the 1980s was isolated enough, but with the death of her grandmother, Mary O’Hagan began what would be an eight-year rollercoaster in and out of psychiatric units. She was told she would never hold down a job. She was told she would always be ill. Madness Made Me takes Mary - now a hugely influential leader in mental health - back to the psych ward. Armed with two starkly different accounts, her psychiatric files and her journal entries, Mary sees both the horror and the hope in her experience. She attempts to reclaim the journey as her own and, in doing so, find meaning in the madness.


Director Hamish Bennett, Producer Orlando Stewart

Filmmaker location: Auckland

Documentary location: Auckland – Otara Markets

As the beat drops can Tihei find his words? Redemption comes unscripted.

Tihei Harawira has faced adversity in his life. Diagnosed with a form of autism as a child, he remembers always feeling behind at school. Socially he was aware that he didn’t ‘fit’, and the bullying he suffered is a permanent scar from this time. But a chance encounter with two musicians put a teenage Tihei on the path to discovering his own unique way of connecting with others – freestyle rapping.
Set over a day in the vibrant world of the Otara Markets, Tihei is the story of a humble young man who has refused to let labels define him or doubters silence him.


Directors Amber Easby & Henry Oliver, Producer Amber Easby

Filmmaker location: Auckland

Documentary location: Wellington - Martinborough

Hiro Kusuda, Tokyo-salaryman turned fastidious Martinborough-winemaker, navigates his way through the high stakes of vintage, putting thirty Japanese volunteers to task with his exacting standards and quest for perfection.

Kusuda is a short documentary about Tokyo-salaryman turned fastidious Martinborough-winemaker Hiro Kusuda as he navigates his way through the high stakes of vintage.

Vintage is a balancing act for any winemaker. Pick too soon and the grapes may not have reached optimum ripeness, pick too late and the grapes begin to rot. But Hiro’s extreme techniques for picking and sorting grapes demand an unparalleled degree of rigor and precision.

Thirty Japanese volunteers, a mix of winemaking students and Kusuda devotees, are put to task by Hiro's exacting standards and quest for perfection. His methods are time consuming and costly but for Hiro, the integrity of his wine trumps everything else.

Please Open

Directors Karl Sheridan and Robin Gee, Producer Monster Valley

Filmmaker location: Auckland

Documentary location: Auckland – Mt Eden

Cultural icon and cinematic relic The Crystal Palace fights to hold off the final curtain call.

A near century of fatigue is worn proudly in The Crystal Palace. The loving overuse of the cinema has left her tired, but always reverberating with an inherent sense of cool. The carbon rods that explosively connect to light the 80-year-old projectors may be in finite supply but the old girls whirr on and The Crystal Palace keeps finding ways to bring in a crowd. The Jazz, The Dancing, The Orchestra, The Talkies, The Discos, The Surf Movies, The Bollywood Movies, ‘The Room’ - she’s always been a flexible and plucky character - but has The Crystal Palace finally lost her ‘cool’?


Directors Louis Olsen and Frances Haszard Producer: Scott Elder

Filmmaker location: Auckland

Documentary location: Auckland City

A watery portrait of our urban landscape reveals that when it comes to our cities there is more than meets the eye.

Even where rivers seem absent, us humans are drawn to their omnipresence, places where they have sculpted the landscape before disappearing and leaving their markings. Thousands of people visit the scars of stone and steel that structure Aucklands CBD everyday. In this portrait of our urban surroundings we pay homage to the waterways these buildings buried only to discover that though having spent two centuries intombed in our sewer pipes, polluted and degraded, the river Waihorotiu still flows.

Conversations With Pets

Directors Justin Hawkes & Ian Hart, Producer Hayley Cunningham

Filmmaker location: Auckland

Documentary location: Christchurch

Imagine if you could have a conversation with your pet... Faye Rogers can.

World renowned animal communicator Faye Rogers can converse with animals telepathically, over the phone, living or even dead. Conversations with Pets explores Faye’s connection with her own pets. Will Faye’s own animals, past and present, open up on camera? Conversations With Pets is Dr Doolittle meets Babe, Turner and Hooch meets Ghost in short documentary form.

Wilbur Force

Director J.Ollie Lucks, Producer Veronica Stevenson

Filmmaker location: Dunedin

Documentary location: Dunedin

The former king of New Zealand pro wrestling turned small town recluse is challenged by his best friend to re-connect with his glory days of battle.

Wilbur Force bursts into the wrestling arena, insulting the audience as he strides to face his nemesis in the ring. For him winning isn’t everything: it’s the only thing. Two years later, Will has quit everything that matters, including wrestling, and moved back to his hometown. Filmmaker and estranged friend Ollie challenges Will to reconnect with happier days by giving him a mission - to teach Ollie his signature finishing move: the ‘big man body slam.’

Killer App

Director/Producers Wendell Cooke, Jeremy Macey

Filmmaker location: Wellington

Documentary location: Wellington

Over hot drinks and a potluck afternoon tea, a group of senior Wellingtonians discuss the best ways to die.

The Wellington members of Exit International, a voluntary euthanasia organisation, meet several times a year and, over cups of tea and potluck snacks, discuss the latest developments in the world of euthanasia. Killer App will go behind the contemporary debate – should voluntary euthanasia be legal? – and show how these lively, independent-minded people are responding to the current situation. Their connection with each other is evident: in addition to trading information and tips, Exit members give each other much-needed emotional support and laughter while sharing their own ‘exit plans’. How would we feel in their situation, and what are our hopes and fears around our own mortality?

Fantasy Cave

Director/Producers Michelle Savill, Matt Henley

Filmmaker location: Wellington

Documentary location: Dannevirke

A group of cave dwellers beaver away night and day to create an immersive fantasyland, but is it really for the children?

Hidden in the provinces of the North Island of New Zealand one attraction has been entertaining children and adults for 25 years. Starting out as a 'Christmas cave' it has bloomed into Fantasy Cave - a little known den of escapism run by an elite core of camera shy cave dwellers. There is very little footage of it... until now. Fantasy Cave goes behind the scenes of this hidden wonderland to meet the curious people responsible for its existence and ask the question why do we create?

No Lights, No Lycra

Director Rowena Baines, Producer Paula Jones

Filmmaker location: Auckland

Documentary location: Auckland

We all go a little wilder when we think nobody is watching.

In a vacuum of light, a group of shower-singing, lounge-lunging individuals lose their inhibitions and cast off their social masks. It’s called “No Lights, No Lycra” – a weekly hour of intense free dancing in the dark at Auckland’s Grey Lynn Hall. When the doors are closed, lights are turned off and the music starts, the reaction of the crowd is electric. The transformative power of dance is evident at the end as sweaty, elated people burst out into the fresh night air, laughter and steam pouring out with them. No Lights No Lycra follows a first-timer’s experience, taking us from a sleepy Auckland suburb to the ‘explosion’ of the dance. We all get a little wilder when nobody’s watching.

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