South Auckland Short Film Workshop

Calling all aspiring filmmakers, storytellers and creatives! Want to learn how to use the power of cinema to tell your stories?

The 2022 South Auckland Short Film Workshop is a two-day workshop about how to turn an idea into a short film. Whether you’re new to filmmaking or have some experience, we are calling everyone who aspires to tell their stories on the screen to come and learn what it takes to bring your story to life.

Over one weekend you will be guided by experienced filmmakers about the principles of how to write a short film, the role of the director, what it takes to get your short film off the ground, and making a good pitch to funders and collaborators. Speakers include Marina Alofagia McCartney (Milk & Honey, Vai), Bala Murali Shingade (Perianayaki, 800 Lunches), Shreya Gejji (Kāinga, Perianayaki) and Nikki Si’ulepa (Same But Different, Mā, Snow in Paradise). The pitching panel will be made up of Michael Bennett (Beyond the Veil, In Dark Places), Marina Alofagia McCartney and Nikki Si’ulepa.

This workshop is intended for people who either live in South Auckland or have a connection with the area.

Who it is for: New and emerging creatives from any industry or background with a connection to the South Auckland community who have an interest in short filmmaking.

When: Sat 1st Oct and Sun 2nd Oct, 2022 (9am-5pm each day)

Where: Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku, Theatre. Free parking available.

Cost: General Admission $10 plus fees. Tickets via Eventbrite.

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Coffee, tea and snacks provided. You can bring lunch with you or there is a café in the building, and many places to buy lunch in the immediate vicinity.

Participants from this workshop can apply for Script to Screen’s South Shorts 2023 Mentorship Programme. Read more about South Shorts here.






9am – Welcome

9:30am – Introduction to Screenwriting with writer Marina Alofagia McCartney

12pm – Lunch

1pm – How to pitch your story with Marina Alofagia McCartney

2pm – Break

2:30pm – Case Study: Making award-winning short film Perianayaki with writer/producer Shreya Gejji and director Bala Murali Shingade

4:30pm – End




9am – Low-budget filmmaking – Get out and make it! with writer/director/actor Nikki Si’ulepa

11am – Break

11:30am – Pitching! Deliver a short verbal pitch of your short film concept to the panel for some feedback – panellists are writer/director Michael Bennett, writer Marina Alofagia McCartney and writer/director/actor Nikki Si’ulepa

12:30pm – Lunch

1:15pm – Pitching continues…

5pm – End


Marina Alofagia McCartney (Pitonu’ū, Satupa’itea and Vailoa, Palauli – Savai’i, Samoa / Newcastle –England / Romani – England) is an award-winning filmmaker and scholar with films featured in numerous festivals, including Palm Springs, NZIFF, ImagineNATIVE, Hawai’i International Film Festival. Her last film Vai, an award-winning portmanteau feature made with 9 Moana Pasifika women, opened the NATIVe section at the 2019 Berlinale, and screened at festivals including SXSW, Edinburgh Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival. Marina is a PhD candidate exploring Moana Pasifika film, a proud Mum and developing several creative projects including her next feature and her NZFC Catalyst short, The Return.

Nikki Si’ulepa is an Aotearoa-born Samoan with German and Chinese ancestry from the villages of Sātalo, Falealili and Solāua. She’s an actor, writer, director, camera operator, screen tutor, and founding Pacific Islands Screen Artists Komiti member (PISA, est. 2020). She’s worked in the New Zealand screen industry since her debut acting role in Whole of the Moon in 1995 where she won two best actress awards. Her films have also won awards and nominations and have screened at international film festivals including Berlinale, Tribeca, Sydney, Melbourne, FIFO, Queerscreen, NZIFF, Hollyshorts, and imagineNATIVE.

In 2021, Nikki created ScreenFit classes for writers, directors and actors of various skills, backgrounds and experiences to come together and work scenes to stay ‘screen fit’. Nikki has taught acting for screen and facilitated workshops on writing and filmmaking at South Shorts, The Actors Program, Excel Performing Arts, Actors Lab Studio, and various PISA events. Nikki can be seen on Canadian and New Zealand television screens in South Pacific Pictures’ thriller, The Sounds, in Roseanne Liang’s (Shadow in the Cloud) post-apocalyptic comedy drama, Creamerie, and guest stars opposite Kiwi Xena icon, Lucy Lawless in My Life is Murder. Nikki’s currently writing and developing a new slate of films and series’.

Nikki loves arthouse films, vegan ice cream, fun film festivals, and short walks on the beach

Bala Murali Shingade is a writer, director and actor for screen and theatre based in Tāmaki Makaurau. In 2019, he wrote and directed 800 Lunches, a short film funded by the Outlook for Someday as part of Someday Stories Series 3. His second short film, Perianayaki, was funded by Script to Screen and NZFC’s Fresh Shorts program. Perianayaki premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival 2022, where it received the NZ’s Best Short Film award, the Audience Choice award and the Emerging Talent award.

Bala has also written and directed theatre and has worked as an actor in various screen and stage productions. In 2020, Bala was one of six recipients of the Arts Foundation’s Springboard award.

Shreya Gejji is a Kiwi-Indian screenwriter and producer. She has worked in various production roles for television and web content. Dubai Dreams, her first feature screenplay, was a finalist at the Screen Writers Awards New Zealand in 2015.

Perianayaki, Shreya’s first short film as writer and producer, was awarded NZ’s Best Short Film at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2022. She is one of the writers on Kāinga, the third film in the Waru and Vai trilogy produced by BSAG Productions. Shreya is in early pre-production for her directorial debut short film Night Visions scheduled to shoot in 2023. She is also a co-producer of a funded feature television documentary about the New Zealand Kabaddi team.

Shreya is in the third year of her PhD with Creative Practice at the University of Auckland, currently writing the first draft of an ensemble feature screenplay.





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