Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker and author. Michael’s second feature-length drama, IN DARK PLACES screens on TVNZ July 2018 and tells the story of the wrongful, shameful conviction of Teina Pora who was imprisoned for over 21 years for a crime he did not commit. The film is based on the book In Dark Places (also written by Michael in 2016) and is the winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for best non-fiction book. In 2013 Michael wrote and directed the award-winning documentary THE CONFESSIONS OF PRISONER T about Teina’s story. Michael has had short films screened at numerous film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, London, New York and Melbourne, and his debut feature film MATARIKI premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and won awards in New Zealand and internationally.
Michael has written and directed for many television drama series, including OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE, MATAKU and MERCY PEAK. Michael devised the series KAITANGATA TWITCH and P.E.T. DETECTIVES, devised and wrote all 20 episodes of the comedy web series THE FACTORY, and has been head writer on several TV series. Michael was script doctor of the last 2 series of the iconic US show XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS. Michael has won or been finalist in the NZ Film and Television Awards in the categories of Best Screenplay (Feature Film), Best Screenplay (TV Drama), Best Screenplay (Short Film), Best Screenplay (TV Comedy), Best Screenplay (Documentary), Best Director (TV Drama), and Best Director (TV Non-Drama).
As well as his own film and TV and book work, Michael works in communities around New Zealand with Script To Screen working with locals to tell their stories on film, he works with developing filmmakers through the NZ Film Commission and Nga Aho Whakaari, and is head of the screenwriting programme at South Seas Film School.
Michael’s second book, Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas (a post-apocalyptic time travel graphic novel co-authored with Ant Sang) was published by Penguin / Random House June 2018.
The South Shorts Mentorship programme returns in 2019 with 9 emerging filmmakers selected to take part in the programme..... Read more
December 22, 2018
Script to Screen is delighted to announce the appointment of Jackie Dennis as our new Executive Director. She steps up to the role having worked in programmes and operations with departing ED Esther Cahill-Chiaroni over the past 18-months. Throughout her career Jackie has worked closely with creative practitioners in music, literature and film, nurturing careers and advocating for the arts.... Read more
November 30, 2018
We are delighted to announce nine esteemed advisors will join us for the rigourous programme of group workshops, team sessions and individual sessions carefully crafted to serve feature film projects in advanced development.... Read more
November 28, 2018
The selected teams participating in Story Camp Advanced are...... Read more