Aotearoa Short Film Lab New Zealand’s most prestigious hothouse mentoring scheme for screenwriters and aspiring screenwriters to workshop new ideas for short film. Established in 2010 as a partnership between Show Me Shorts and Script to Screen, the Lab offers seven local short film makers the opportunity to develop their short film concepts and scripts with the guidance and advice of experienced industry mentors during a full-day workshop.

The seven screenwriters who will participate in the 2017 Aotearoa Short Film Lab are:

  • Charlotte Gray
  • Eddy Fifield
  • James Cain
  • Marisa Brown
  • Olivia Walker
  • Rachel O’Neill
  • Teresa Bass

For the first time this year one international short film maker has also been selected to participate. Marisa Brown is an Australian-based filmmaker who will be attending the Lab to workshop two story ideas, along with her director Chris Tomkins.

There were more than 50 applications for the 2017 Lab. Festival Director of Show Me Shorts, Gina Dellabarca, who was among the selection panel commented: “I was impressed with the diversity in the types of stories in this year’s applications. There were scripts for comedy, drama, fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, animation and more. It is heartening for the industry that our screenwriters and aspiring screenwriters are working on such a variety of projects. I only wish we could include more of them in our Lab.

The mentors guiding participants will include experienced short film and feature film screenwriters: Michael Bennett (MATARIKI, CONFESSIONS OF PRISONER T), Zia Mandviwalla (NIGHT SHIFT, AMADI) Dianne Taylor (BEYOND THE KNOWN WORLD, APRON STRINGS), Michelle Savill (ELAINE RIDES AGAIN, ELLEN IS LEAVING) and Yamin Tun (WAIT, JOY).

Previous Short Film Lab participants have described the interactive workshop as “inspiring” and “invaluable”, and many have gone on to make the shortlist for NZFC Fresh Shorts funding. In 2013, the first film developed with the assistance of the Lab – Lauren Jackson’s I’m Going to Mum’s – premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won Best Short Film Script at the SWANZ Awards.


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