North & South - - Photo Essay -

( www.load­ing­docs.net)

Load­ing Docs has re­leased its lat­est batch of three­minute doc­u­men­taries – all of them by Kiwi film­mak­ers and free to watch on­line.

Launched in 2014 by Ju­lia Par­nell and Anna Jack­son, the plat­form is an out­let for share­able shorts that are “mean­ing­ful, thought-pro­vok­ing and chal­leng­ing”. The idea was driven by the be­lief that New Zealan­ders en­joy and care about their own sto­ries, Par­nell says, and this year’s theme of “Diver­sity” aims to re­flect not only the va­ri­ety of voices and film­mak­ing styles in New Zealand but to “look at the beauty of how di­verse New Zealand is”.

The cast of real-life char­ac­ters fea­tured in this year’s col­lec­tion range from first-gen­er­a­tion Asian im­mi­grants to LGBTQ Maori ac­tivists; from a poet bat­tling an in­cur­able bone dis­ease to an artist who sells “sur­real”’ real es­tate.

My Dog Ajax, filmed amid the breath­tak­ing vis­tas of Kahu­rangi Na­tional Park, is an en­light­en­ing and poignant look at one con­ser­va­tion­ist’s quest to pro­tect the en­dan­gered kea – with the help of his loyal search dog, Ajax. An­other stand-out, The Cof­fin Club, is a hi­lar­i­ous and won­der­fully mor­bid mu­si­cal about a group of Ro­torua se­nior cit­i­zens so fed up with at­tend­ing im­per­sonal fu­ner­als that they de­cide to build and dec­o­rate their own coffins to re­flect the essence of who they re­ally are. LUKE JACK­SON

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