46 people developing a short film gathered at the St Columba Centre this weekend for Script to Screen’s Auckland Central Short Film Workshop.

The workshop was aimed at all levels of experience, and attracted those with no experience but a passion for storytelling, to those with industry experience or academic knowledge, yet to make their own film.

Participants heard from experienced Auckland industry practitioners including writer Michael Bennett (Matariki, The Confessions of Prisoner T), casting director Mike Dwyer (Ebony Society, Dotty), producer Orlando Stewart (The Dump, Ross and Beth) and director Jackie Van Beek (Uphill, The Inland Road), and came away with the tools needed to make a short film.

On Sunday afternoon, participants had the chance to pitch a short film idea to judges Jackie Van Beek and Michael Bennett. The judges were blown away by the calibre and diversity of the ideas pitched.

“Although we can only have one winner, every one of these ideas has a reason to be told and the filmmakers showed deep connections to the material they are developing. It is wonderful to see such a strong generation of storytellers coming into the industry” Eloise Veber – Script to Screen’s workshop facilitator.

“It’s awesome to bring the short film workshop to central Auckland, with the area’s high concentration of filmmakers and film students. It was next to impossible choosing six finalists from the exciting selection of ideas pitched, and the quality of the ideas truly reflects the passion for short film and the unique strength of the film culture in Tāmaki Makaurau.” Writer/Director Michael Bennett – competition judge.

“I was taken by the strength of ideas being pitched. Some were hilarious, others highly emotional whilst some bravely dealt with extremely confronting topics.” Writer/director Jackie Van Beek – competition judge.

The winner of the pitching competition was Arnette Arapai for her short film idea CICADAS. Arnette will have 6 hours of script development with an industry mentor to work on her short film draft. The finalists of the competition were Chye-Ling Huang, Claire Van Beek, Eryn Wilson, Tania Wolfgramm and Becks Woodall.



Left to right: Pitching competition finalists Eryn Wilson, Becks Woodall, Tania Wolfgramm, Chye-Ling Huang, Claire Van Beek and winner, Arnette Arapai.


This workshop was made possible with support from the Creative Communities Scheme.



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Script to Screen is delighted to launch a brand new pilot programme to develop distinctive writing talent in television drama, EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA. Selected writers and/or teams will workshop their concepts with television writer advisors from NZ and beyond, and will receive follow up mentoring and support including introductions to executives from production houses, television platforms and funders.... Read more