A Samoan animator fulfills the aspirations of his autistic son
by bringing a cartoon creation to life.
Sixteen-year-old Nikau Cowley wants to create his own real life
hand puppet. He's a keen artist and animator. He's also on the
Autism spectrum with Asperger's Syndrome. Autism affects 1 in every
100 people in New Zealand.
Nikau's dad - Ali Cowley - is helping him to achieve his goal
and bring the puppet alive from a drawing on a page to a real life
hand puppet. Ali is an experienced animator, illustrator and
character designer, who has worked on such projects as 'Bro'Town'.
He's his son's number one supporter when it comes to his art.
Meet Munch Jr. is an observational look at the journey both
father and son take to realise Nikau's dreams. The documentary is
ultimately about a father's love for his son and his desire to help
Nikau pursue his passion and prepare for life as he gets older.
As a first time director, Ali would also like to bring awareness
to Autism from a Polynesian father's perspective.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are so grateful to be selected for Loaded Docs 2019 but we need
your help so we can make our documentary.
Loading Docs is supported by NZ On Air, with additional support
from the New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho, who all
want to see this short documentary get made. However, we need to
meet our funding target of $2,500 to unlock the $5,500 from Loading
Every little bit will help this project get made so whether its
$5 or $500, we greatly appreciate any support you can give.
HOW WILL YOUR DONATIONS BE USED?
Making a documentary is not cheap. We need all the money we can
get to pay for the cameraman, the camera gear, sound gear and for
the animation. All money raised through Boosted will go towards
making the best short documentary we can.
WHERE CAN I SEE THE SHORT DOCUMENTARY?
The great thing about Loading Docs is that our documentary will be
made available free online. We believe this story will help to
break down barriers about those who see the world differently from
the general population. It's also a great conversation piece about
how autism affects over 40,000 New Zealanders.
PLEASE SUPPORT US AND DONATE NOW
As soon as we reach our goal, filming can begin so please donate
Ali Cowley - Director
Ali (Samoan) is an Animation Director with an eye on Film
He has worked in the industry for over 20 years and has directed
music videos and short animated films for corporate videos, app
content and specialises in illustration, storyboarding, production
design, 2D animation and branding. He was an animation director on
prime time animated show Bro'Town for four seasons and is currently
working as an Art Tutor at Media Design School in the Gaming
Department and is on the Pasifika Committee called "Vaega" as a
Mentor to the Polynesian students. At his work, he's currently
researching ways to engage his Polynesian Community with new media
as a career choice. He also successfully curated an art exhibition
featuring Pasifika/Maori MDS Alumni in his home town of
He was a participant in Script to Screen's South Shorts
Screenwriting initiative and has written a short film script which
he is hoping to make in the near future. Meet Munch Jnr is his
first short documentary.
Ali and his Fanau are part of the Pasifika Autism Support Group
Sandra Kailahi - Producer
Sandra (Tongan/Kiwi) is passionate about telling Pacific
She produced her first feature documentary film, For My Father's
Kingdom which had its World Premiere at the 2019 Berlinale NATIVe
Film Festival. The first film she produced was Vela Manusaute's
short film, The Messiah in 2018 through her
company, Kingston Productions. The New Zealand Film Commission
Fresh Short was selected for ImagineNATIVE in Toronto, Skábmagovat
Film Festival in Finland, LA Skins in Los Angeles and will screen
at Maoriland Film Festival in 2019.
Sandra is an experienced journalist in mainstream and Pacific
media. She is a published author and playwright and is now
co-writing and producing a new web series, Brutal Lives with Vela
Thank You - Our Stretch Goal
4 MONTHS AGO
Thank you and Fa'afetai tele lava for the amazing support and donations for Meet Munch Jr. We hit our 100% target this morning after only 3 days of our campaign and we are over the moon!
We are incredibly humbled by this but we still need your help because the more money we raise, the more we can do with our short documentary.
The goal is to use animation throughout the doco but that costs a lot of money and we want to have a sound operator too which means we need more funds.
Please help us with our goals to help make Meet Munch Jr.
Sandra & Ali
A Big Shout Out!
4 MONTHS AGO
WOW A BIG THANK YOU to our great support network that are our
Fanau, Friends & New friends who have gotten us to 87% of funds
raised to make our Loading Doc's Meet Munch Jr film a reality.
This has only happened in the span of 3 days which has truly
Our team is so grateful and humbled by this incredible
outpouring of love and support.
We don't have far to go so please help us get to 100% so we can
get our story told.