New and Inspiring Season of ‘Loading Docs’

Through stories of pain, passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of something meaningful, ‘Loading Docs: The Power of Emotion’ returns for a new season. ‘Loading Docs’ has been delivering ground-breaking documentaries to Kiwis for almost a decade, sharing inspiring stories of overcoming emotional trauma, addiction, and grief.

This season is no different.

This 2022 collection of short films presents some of the most enduring emotional tests humans can experience, including elite-level competition, terminal illness, and racism. 

Julia Parnell, Co-Founder and Executive Producer, expressed her honour in having the privilege to share these stories with Aotearoa.

“Each year, we hope the theme inspires emergent documentary makers to seek out stories that are unique and untold, and each year they exceed our expectations. The Power of Emotion is a broad theme, and so the films reflect that, discovering the spectrum from some of life’s darkest moments to some of its brightest.”

‘Loading Docs’ allows local documentary makers to express their creativity, giving creators a permission slip to create work that inspires, pushes boundaries, and moves audiences. In nine years, ‘Loading Docs’ has produced 80 films watched by over 17.8 million people globally.

Short Films Include:

Fast Eddie

man and woman in biking gear

Seeking joy after his life-threatening diagnosis, a determined father attempts one last adventure with his daughter: an ambitious bike ride that will push them to physical and emotional limits.
Four years ago, former cyclist and charismatic go-getter, Eddie was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a terminal neurodegenerative disorder that has taken his voice, mobility and quality of life. Not ready to give in to the disease, Eddie and his daughter Keely prepare for their greatest adventure together: a gruelling bike ride around Central Otago’s Lake Dunstan trail.

Beneath the Surface

girl in pool

New Zealand’s first Tongan swimming champion battles self-doubt and setbacks as she fights for a medal at the Commonwealth Games.
A traumatic childhood accident left Tupou Neiufi with a permanent disability. But in the water, she feels invincible. Already a world champion Paralympian, Tupou has the Commonwealth Games podium firmly in her sights when self-doubt and some unexpected hurdles make her contemplate quitting the sport for good.

Mana Over Meth

woman outside

Determined to break the cycle for her tamariki, one wāhine toa turns her troubled life of addiction and trauma around by rediscovering her wairua and reclaiming her mana.
Jessica Apanui’s methamphetamine addiction began as an escape from the trauma of a violent childhood. But after years of chronic abuse, she made the decision to break the cycle for her own tamariki. Now Jess must look deep into her past and embrace the power of Māoritanga to help guide her future.


man doing bodybuilder pose

A teenage bodybuilder must take extreme measures to sculpt the perfect body as he pursues his ultimate goal of winning his first bodybuilding competition.
When 18-year-old Hayden enters a bodybuilding contest, his intensive training schedule and strict calorie requirements are not only tough on him but on his whole family as well. Is the perfect body that Hayden’s working so hard to achieve even an attainable goal, or does social media have him chasing an impossible ideal of masculinity?

Seeing is Believing

girl looking at phone

A mysterious outbreak of tic disorders among young people leads Dr Robert Bartholomew to question whether social media is making us sick.
Doctors have recently identified a concerning trend among young people: tic disorders potentially spread via TikTok videos. For sociologist Dr Robert Bartholomew, an expert in mass psychogenic illness, the trend isn’t surprising, but the potential consequences are alarming. Could the global scope of social media mean we are on the precipice of the world’s largest outbreak of psychogenic illness?

He Ōhākī – Imparting Words of Wisdom

Maori Woman

Centuries of Tūhoe wisdom are illuminated by Kararaina Rangihau, youngest daughter of John Rangihau, as a means of truly addressing the impact of institutional racism against Māori.
In 1986 John Te Rangiāniwaniwa Rangihau led a committee that delivered the most damning report of institutional racism New Zealand had ever seen, the Pūao Te Ata Tū, Daybreak Report. Now his daughter, Kararaina, carries on her father’s legacy by sharing his vision for a New Zealand that all future generations can be proud of.


Forty-five years after his parents were wrongfully imprisoned for overstaying, a Tongan New Zealander finally admits the painful truth behind what really happened to his family during the Dawn Raids.
Tongan-born Tesimoni Fuavao came to Aotearoa with his family in 1975 for medical treatment. On a day out with a friend, Tesimoni had an unexpected run-in with the police that led to the wrongful arrests of both of his parents. Now Tesimoni shares the story that saddled him and his family with decades of shame and regret and exposes the deep wounds his community suffered at the hands of the New Zealand Police.

E Blacks


A passionate video gamer leads his team on a turbulent battle to be the first New Zealanders to compete in Esports in the Commonwealth Games.
The thing Sam ‘Fury’ Johnson regrets most in life is wasting his time at university when he could’ve been focusing on his real passion: video gaming. Now he’s got an opportunity to redeem himself in the gaming world. If they can win the national championship and beat out Australia, he and his team will be on their way to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Esports Championships.