2024 Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts – Application Info

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 2024

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts identifies and nurtures the next generation of New Zealand filmmakers. Script to Screen is working in partnership with NZFC to deliver the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts programme. 


APPLICATIONS OPEN: Wednesday 27 September 2023 (Applications are made via Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Portal)
APPLICATIONS CLOSED: 1pm, Monday 6 November 2023


APPLICATIONS OPEN: Monday 15 January 2024
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 1pm, Monday 26 February 2024
MENTORSHIPS: 10 June to 19 July 2024 (Six weeks) 

Any enquiries can be directed to Emma Mortimer the Script to Screen Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Programme Manager: FreshShorts@script-to-screen.co.nz

Quick links:

What is Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts?

  • Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts offers grants of up to $30,000 to new or emerging filmmakers to make a short film 
  • Filmmakers may have some experience, or they may be new to the screen industry 
  • More experienced filmmakers should apply for Catalyst He Kauahi funding when it opens. 

What NZFC will fund

The development and production of short films made by up-and-coming filmmakers.

  • $180,000 of grants are available for the production of up to six short films. 

Who can apply

To be eligible for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts, the writer, director and producer must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and your film must have significant New Zealand content. 

You must: 

  • Have a director attached (see guidelines for more detail) 
  • Have a producer who is separate to the director 
  • First-time directors can apply for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 
  • Availability to attend the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Workshop (writers, producers, and directors). 
  • Development Workshop dates: 08-09 June 2024 

How to apply

Read the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Guidelines before registering and prepare your answers offline for online portal submissions. 

What you need to apply for Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One of Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 2024

  • Team Video Link (4 minutes max duration). Covering: What is the heart of your story and why you want to make this film? 
  • Genre (2 genres max from list supplied) 
  • Logline (35 words max) 
  • Script 
  • Director’s summary (300 words max) 
  • Director’s visual inspiration images (5 images, 1 A4 page each image, in a single PDF upload) 
  • Producer’s summary (300 words max) 
  • Authentic representation of Tangata whenua and diversity summary (if applicable) (300 words max) 
  • Short bio & filmography for each team member (bio 250 words max each) 

A shortlist of 18 teams will be invited to submit a Stage Two application. This detailed application is the same as previous years to ensure all bases are covered, from pre-production to delivery, that health and safety is addressed, and the team have all the support they require to make the film. 

From the shortlist, six projects will receive up to $30,000 grants. The teams behind each of these projects will attend a two-day development workshop 08-09 June 2024 and be matched with an experienced industry practitioner to receive six weeks of mentoring to get their project ‘shoot ready’. Projects greatly benefit from this support to further develop the work before moving toward production. 

Supporting Documentation:

  1. Guidelines Stage One and Two 
  2. Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One Application Pointers 
  3. Chain of Title 
  4. Practical Tips for Creative Diverse and Inclusive Environments 
  5. NZFC Short Film Festival Marketing Guide 2023 
  6. New Zealand Content – NZFC information sheet 
  7. Sample Script 1 – Rustling 
  8. Sample Script 2 – Shadow Cut 
  9. Sample Script 3 – My Friend Michael Jones 
  10. Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two Application Pointers 
  11. 2023 Q & A Webinar


Put your best foot forward! Make sure you have read all the guidelines and applications pointers thoroughly and had a look through the online funding portal. 

Can I be both the writer and director? 

Applicants may be both writer and director, but you must have a separate producer. You cannot be both the director and the producer. 

Is it possible to submit more than one application for different projects/scripts? 

You can enter more than one project for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts, but keep in mind that you are effectively competing against yourself. In the case where two projects with the same writer, director or producer have the good fortune to be shortlisted, the team member can only attend the Development Lab with one team/project. You should be clear in your own mind which is the most important project.  

Can I be the producer on more than one project submitted to Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts?

Yes, however, you should be clear in your own mind which is the most important project. If a producer has more than one project, they could hand over their second project to an authentic co-producer (someone who wants to produce that specific film and has skills in that area, can attend the development lab and be an integral part of the team going forward). In that case, it would be useful to include in the producer statement how the two producers aim to communicate and divide the workload.  

I live overseas/I am an international filmmaker. Can I apply for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts? 

If your team are all NZ citizens or residents, then you are eligible to apply for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts. If you are shortlisted, you need to be able to attend the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Workshop 08-09 June 2024. If you intend to film overseas it would be important to cover this in your Producer Statement in the shortlist re-submission. If you are not NZ Citizens or residents, you are ineligible for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts. 

Do all the team members have to be in NZ?

Selected teams must be in New Zealand at the time of the two day Workshop 08-09 June 2024. Teams will not be funded by Script to Screen or NZFC to fly to New Zealand from other countries to attend the Workshop. If a team member chooses to fund their return to NZ in order to attend the Workshop that would be accepted, and the application would be eligible. 

Is there a deadline for production to be completed within? 

Completed films need to be delivered within 1 year of funding being accepted, estimated to be sometime around August 2025. 

If we were to be successful with our application, can we seek further funding from other places such as boosted/go fund me campaigns or businesses and sponsors?

Most teams do raise additional funding and other support (in-kind services, donations, etc.) for their films as the grant may not cover all expenses. Successful projects may use up to 80% of the NZFC grant to seek match funding through crowdfunding (so if you were funded at $25,000 you could seek up to $20,000 through crowdfunding).  

Register early at the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts online portal to view the online application form. 


Script to Screen has created an online learning series on how to make a short film or webseries. Those interested can view the tutorials here.




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