Six Short Films Funded through Fresh Shorts Initiative

Six short films have been selected to be funded through the Fresh Shorts 2019 round of the Initiative.

Sixteen teams were previously selected to attend a three-day residential development lab in November 2019 where they received tailored script feedback from industry mentors and participated in group workshops to further develop their scripts and strengthen their skills for future projects.

All teams then resubmitted their short film projects after development sessions with story and producer mentors. The mentors made recommendations that fed into the selection decision made by Script to Screen and the New Zealand Film Commission.

Dale Corlett, Head of Talent Development at the New Zealand Film Commission said, “We are excited by the number and level of new applicants in this last round. Amazing range of stories from diverse voices. The films selected and all the teams that attended the lab have done incredible work to develop their stories. It’s been a pleasure to work with Script to Screen to support this new wave of filmmakers.”

The selected teams receive a grant of $15,000 to make their short films. Some teams are supplementing this money with Boosted funding and private investment.

“This is not a safe selection”, says Jackie Dennis, Executive Director of Script to Screen. “There is some risk with bold stories and emerging filmmakers but that is at the heart of Fresh Shorts and what makes it both exciting and rewarding. My only regret is that there is not enough money to fund more than six, as there were teams at the Lab with great stories I would love to see made.”

Script to Screen will now oversee the production of these films with Eve Mackay coming on board as Fresh Shorts Project Supervisor.

The 6 selected teams and their projects are (L-R):

Boyo and Bunny – Oscar Enberg (W/D) and Tara Riddell (P)
Anticipating the imminent arrival of houseguests, recently orphaned adult twins navigate the moral boundaries and physical limits of their new family unit.

Daughter of God – Maza White (W/D) and Jen Huang (P)
When an arranged marriage is sprung upon an Iranian-Kiwi daughter, she must either dishonour family tradition or lose the woman she loves.

Firsts – Jesse Ung (W/D) and Elanor McKenzie (P)
A closeted Chinese international student must confront the disparity between his parents’ expectations and his own desires after deciding to lose his virginity to a stranger he met online.

Only Those That Can Resist – Sarah Gronhert (W/D), Louise Spraggon (P) and Brendan Donovan (P)
When a male stranger interrupts the deeply entwined rural lives of a mother and her young adult daughter, they are forced to break their intense bond and set each other free.

Perianayaki – Bala Murali Shingade (D) and Shreya Gejji (W/P)
Sri Lankan immigrant Perianayaki struggles to fit in as she goes about her day stacking supermarket shelves. Today, on her wedding anniversary, she is forced to reconcile with the bittersweet realities of her life.

Tupu’ana (Mother Tongue) – Luciane Buchanan (W), Vea Mafile’o (D), Eldon Booth (P) and Alex Lovell (P)
When a young speech therapist lies about her Tongan language skills for a job, she must find a way to communicate or risk her patient’s life.




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