2018 Aotearoa Short Film Lab

Applications are now open for the Aotearoa Short Film Lab, a prestigious hothouse mentoring scheme for screenwriters and filmmakers to workshop new ideas for short films.

Established in 2010 as a partnership between Show Me Shorts and Script to Screen, the Lab offers six local and up to two international, short filmmakers the opportunity to develop their short film concepts and scripts with the guidance and advice of experienced industry mentors.

The Lab includes a full-day workshop in Auckland in March 2018. The mentors in previous years have included: Ainsley Gardiner (Boy, Two Cars One Night), Jackie van Beek (UphillGo the Dogs), Jake Mahaffy (Free in DeedWellnessA.D. 1363 The End of Chivalry), Zia Mandviwalla (Night Shift)Roseanne Liang (Do No Harm, Friday Night Bites)Michael Bennett (The Confessions of Prisoner T, Matariki)Dianne Taylor (Beyond the Known World, Apron Strings) and Shuchi Kothari (FiraaqApron StringsCoffee and Allah).

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 Short Film 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.

The Lab is free to attend for all selected applicants, but there is a NZ$20 application fee. Those selected can come on their own or bring up to two key creative collaborators with them. Travel costs are the responsibility of the selected participants.

The Lab is generously supported by the New Zealand Film Commission, Wallace Foundation, The Trusts Community Foundation and The University of Auckland.

To apply, complete the online application form.

This will ask you to provide:

  • A brief biography or CV
  • Two or three short film outlines/concepts (250-500 words)
  • An explanation of why you want to attend the lab (150 words)
  • If any of your short film concepts are at script stage, then please submit the draft/s to support your application.
  • If none of your short film concepts are at script stage, then we will need another writing sample, this can be 10 pages of a screenplay or 2-5 pages of an alternative form of creative writing.
  • A $20 Application Fee.

Applications close on Thursday 14 December 2017, 5pm.


If you have any queries please contact Sjionel Timu on sjionel@script-to-screen.co.nz.

Image: TREEDir. Lauren Jackson, Photo: Still from shoot (DOP: Simon Raby)



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