Female-identifying drag queens from one of the new ChillDocs short documentaries. Image: Supplied

Watch: Five new short documentaries from emerging Kiwi filmmakers

A new funding initiative has helped five independent Kiwi filmmakers make their short documentary projects a reality. Watch the trailer below, or view each documentary in full online.

Five projects by independent New Zealand filmmakers have been funded thanks to a new initiative set up by Chillbox Creative, a videomaking company who won the annual 48 Hour Film Festival in 2016 and again in 2018, investing a quarter of their prize money to found ChillDocs.

"Now that we are in a position to help, we wanted to give back any way we could," co-owner Gabe Lunte says. "There's a lot of fresh filmmaking talent out there in New Zealand, with plenty of stories they're dying to tell. We consider it a privilege to play a small role in supporting these talented storytellers."

The films explore a variety of topics: a curious leopard seal, an extravagant doll collection, embattled land protectors, female-identifying drag queens, and a community plagued by rats. ChillDocs has made these films available to the public online, as part of a commitment to supporting and sharing New Zealand stories. 

The projects were chosen and produced following an open call for submissions.

Watch the trailer below: 


The team at Chillbox were looking for hidden gems when considering submissions. "Niche stories that offer a unique perspective on real-world people, places, and ideas," Lunte says. "It was our hope that by offering our support, we could give voice to stories that may not otherwise get told. We believe that good storytelling can broaden perspectives, inspire empathy, and foster a better understanding both of ourselves and those around us."

In addition, Chillbox was excited to provide an opportunity to developing New Zealand filmmakers. Filmmaking is a resource-intensive endeavour, Lunte says, and with limited funding options available in New Zealand, aspiring filmmakers can often struggle to get their projects off the ground.  "As filmmakers ourselves, the co-founders of Chillbox Creative know just how hard it can be to piece a project together from scratch."

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