This year marks the eleventh year of the FilmUp mentorship programme, and we are delighted to announce the 2023/24 participants who will join this growing community. 

Script to Screen engaged three external selectors to read all of the applications.  They selected 8 exceptional participants with a project in development. The selected participants listed below will be matched with a mentor to help develop their project. During the six-month programme the group will also participate in a series of three FilmUp Hubs that include round tables, group workshops, and guest speakers. 

There was an outstanding range of applications for the 2024 programme, and the final selection was a challenging process for our selectors. We congratulate this year’s participants and would like to thank all the filmmakers who applied.

The 8 filmmakers selected for FilmUp 2024: 

(Pictured left to right above) 

  • Pulkit Arora
    Writer/Director – Soft – Feature Film  
  • Danny Aumua
    Writer/Director/Producer – Sorry I’m Samoan – Feature Film 
  • Ryan Carter
    Writer- Choreomania – Feature Film  
  • Anna Rose Duckworth
    Director – Put a Baby in Me – Feature Film 
  • Ella Gilbert
    Writer/Director – The Desert Road – Feature Film 
  • Angeline Loo
    Writer/Director – Hungry Ghosts – Feature Film 
  • Maza White
    Writer/Director – Ruptured – Feature Film 
  • Harry Wynn
    Writer/Director – Zyzz (Working Title) – Feature Documentary 


FilmUp is made possible thanks to funding from The New Zealand Film Commission


Join Script to Screen and the New Zealand Film Commission for a live webinar on Tuesday 17th October 5:00-6:00 pm. You will hear about what’s needed to apply for Whiringa Tauatahi – Stage One of Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts and get a complete overview of the application process and the selection criteria.

Register for the webinar in advance and submit a question to help shape the discussion. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions during the webinar or you can email webinar questions to

Webinar now available to watch on Youtube:

Image from I am Paradise written and directed by Hiona Henare 2021.

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts is now open for Whiringa Tauatahi – Stage One applications. Applications are made via the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Funding Portal which is open until 1pm, Monday 6 November 2023.

The full criteria and requirements for the assessment of both Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One and Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two can be found on our website. Any enquiries can be directed to Emma Mortimer the Script to Screen Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Programme Manager:

If you are unable to join the discussion live, the Webinar will be available for you to refer to afterwards on Script to Screen’s YouTube and Facebook page.


APPLICATIONS OPENED: Wednesday, 27 September 2023 (Apply via Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Portal)
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 1 pm, Monday, 6 November 2023 

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

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts is a New Zealand Film Commission Short Film Fund and Script to Screen manages the reading, assessment, workshop and mentoring aspects of the Fresh Shorts Development Programme.

Story Camp is invaluable for filmmakers. The advisor sessions were hugely significant  and working with the actors and a dramaturg was electric. Through the entire process you engage in meaningful artistic practice. The experience is centered on creating excellent work.” 

Katie Wolfe (2022 participant)

Story Camp Aotearoa is a residential feature film workshop that cultivates exceptional filmmaking by fostering voice, honing craft, and clarifying vision and kaupapa. Selected storytellers workshop their film project with esteemed advisors from here and abroad.

Story Camp 2024 seeks feature film projects ready for a in-depth development process. Projects can be at any stage from a well-developed treatment through to a script in advanced development. Up to eight selected writers or teams will participate in a rigorous four-day experience designed specifically to meet the development needs of their project.

Story sessions between advisors and participants form the backbone of the week, with advisors chosen based on the development needs of each selected writer or filmmaking team. This tailored development process can also include project-based group workshops; workshopping with actors; strengthening the director’s vision, and making good decisions together under pressure.  

Recent films that have been through Story Camp include Ms Information, Cousins, The Justice of Bunny King, There Is No I In Threesome, Juniper and Nude Tuesday.  

Take this opportunity to elevate your screenplay and propel your film closer to production. 

“The experiences I had at Story Camp will continue to fuel me as a filmmaker for a long time. I felt truly seen as a maker, I felt my strengths. I was able to finally see the value in my story and my reason for telling it, and in turn, gained trust and confidence in my voice and kaupapa as a storyteller.”  

filmmaker Chelsie Preston Crayford

Past advisors include screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, producer Philippa Campbell, writer/director Jane Campion, script consultant Stephen Cleary, editor and script consultant Cushla Dillon, screenwriter Louise Fox, producer and director Ainsley Gardiner, filmmaker and artistic director of the Sundance Directors’ Lab Gyula Gazdag, poet Anahera Gildea, screenwriter Michael Goldenberg, painter Star Gossage, novelist Patricia Grace, screenwriter and director Briar Grace-Smith, actor and screenwriter Sophie Henderson, playwright Nathan Joe, installation artist Yona Lee, dreamworks teacher Amanda Lovejoy Street, choreographer Ross McCormack, actor and director Miriama McDowell, writer and actor Bret McKenzie, story consultant Brita McVeigh, choreographer Moss Te Ururangi Patterson, writer Emily Perkins, director Christopher Pryor, festival and lab director Marten Rabarts, writer/director Dana Rotberg, writer Duncan Sarkies, Australian producer Kath Shelper, writer Tracey Slaughter, actor and writer/director Loren Taylor, screenwriter and Sundance advisor Joan Tewkesbury, director Sima Urale, filmmaker Lynette Wallworth, film consultant Alesia Weston, and producer Tim White.

APPLICATIONS OPEN: Now, Monday 2 October 2023
Monday, 13 November 2023, 11:59PM

Story Camp is made possible thanks to generous support from
New Zealand Film Commission.

📸 Photo by Evie Mackay

Kōpere Hou reflects the colour, the radiance and beauty of a new rainbow and is symbolic of the significant display and presence of a well-crafted short film.

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts offers a rare opportunity to get funding for your short film idea. You can apply with live-action, animation or documentary projects between 4 and 25 minutes. The programme was established to find talent with distinct voices and aims to nurture, challenge, and inspire the selected filmmakers through a development and mentoring process.

Six teams will be selected to receive up to $30,000 to facilitate the cost of making their short film. The teams behind each of these projects will attend a two-day development workshop in June 2024 and be matched with experienced industry practitioners to receive six weeks of mentoring as they get their project ‘shoot ready’.

There are two stages to the application process.

At Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One you will need to have a writer, director and producer to submit  the following:

Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One is open now and will close at 1:00pm on Monday 6 November. Applications are made via the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Funding Portal.

A shortlist of 18 teams will be selected from the Stage One applications and invited to submit a Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage Two application in January 2024. From the shortlist, six projects will receive $30,000 grants. The teams behind each of these projects will attend a two-day development workshop held 8-9 June 2024 and will be matched with experienced mentors to get their project ‘shoot ready’. The focus is on the development of both people and stories.

Criteria and requirements for the assessment of both Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One and Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage Two can be viewed on our website. If you have any questions, please contact Script to Screen:


APPLICATIONS OPEN: NOW, Wednesday 27 September 2023 (Apply via Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Portal)
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 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) 

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts is an NZFC initiative run in partnership with Script to Screen.

Photographer Xander Dixon. From Hey, Brainy Man directed by Jo Randerson & Loren Taylor 2023

FilmUp has a very high reputation among its alumni but even my own expectations based on that reputation were exceeded again and again with every session and workshop. I wish, in earnest, that every filmmaker could experience the safe, nurturing and honest environment of trust and care that FilmUp creates and take advantage of the network it can help you build with your fellow filmmakers.”  

Rajneel Singh,
FilmUp 2022/23 participant (mentor Nicole Dade) 

The FilmUp Mentorship programme returns to support and empower up to eight tenacious and talented filmmakers to reach the next stage in their creative careers. If you are writer, director or producer developing a feature film or documentary, this programme could be just what you need to progress your work to the next stage. 

A mentor for each filmmaker forms the cornerstone of the programme, along with six FilmUp Hub days when the participants come together for group work.  

Applicants must have a feature project in development, narrative or documentary, and be able to demonstrate that their project and career are at the right stage for mentorship. 

Successful applicants will take part in 20 hours of mentorship with an experienced film practitioner and three 2-day FilmUp hubs held between February 2024 and July 2024. These hubs are tailored to meet the needs of the selected filmmakers and include workshops, peer discussions and round tables with industry leaders. 

Participants are the driving force of a successful mentorship as they take hold of their own learning and development. This autonomy is fostered from the start of the programme when participants are actively involved in the selection of their mentor. Throughout the programme there is wrap-around support from Script to Screen. 

Since its inception in 2013, FilmUp has gone from strength to strength, with a growing alumni of talented local filmmakers who have benefitted from the programme including Briar March (Dame Valerie Adams: MORE THAN GOLD, Mothers of the Revolution, ), Chelsea Winstanley ( Ka Po, Night Raiders, Jojo Rabbit,), Desray Armstrong (Earthlings, Bad Behaviour, Coming Home in the Dark), Florian Habicht (James & Isey, Spookers, Love Story), Gaysorn Thavat (The Justice of Bunny King), Jake Mahaffy (Reunion, Free in Deed), Nic Gorman (Human Traces), Paula Whetu-Jones (Whina), Sophie Henderson (Baby Done, Fantail) and Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa (Mama’s Music Box, Take Home Pay, Three Wise Cousins). You can read about past participants and an impressive list of mentors from the last 10 years who have helped these filmmakers take a step up in their careers here. 

The FilmUp Mentorship programme is for individual filmmakers (not pairs or teams) who are working on a feature film. You must be a NZ citizen or permanent resident to apply.  

Here’s what’s required for the application: 


APPLICATIONS OPENED: Mon 4 September 2023

APPLICATIONS CLOSED: Mon 9 October 2023 1:00 pm 

We will know the outcome of our funding before FilmUp applications close on 9 Oct and we will keep applicants informed of the outcome.


You can read our Top Tips to make your FilmUp application shine while crafting your application.

FilmUp is made possible thanks to financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission. FilmUp is reliant on funding being achieved in 2023.

Mid-winter is a good time for planning and we here at STS are plotting the next twelve months. We wanted to let you know that our development programmes will open later than usual. STS relies on funding, and one of our funding sources opened a couple of months later than usual, hence the change to our dates. For those of you who are planning around these submission dates, here’s an idea of what to expect:

As mentioned, they are all funding contingent, and these dates may change, but if you are thinking you would like to apply this is a good guide.

We have some great community workshops and TALKS coming up, so pop the ones that are in your region on your calendar. Keep an eye on your email, for when registrations open.

11 August – Christchurch TALK 

16 September – Queenstown Workshop

21 October – Auckland Workshop

4 November – Dunedin workshop


Script to Screen is delighted to announce the projects and teams selected to take part in Series Bootcamp 2023, a programme created to nurture emerging to mid-career writers and producers as they develop their series concepts.

The response was outstanding for this year’s Bootcamp, with 79 applications received. Three external selectors went through a rigorous process, ultimately selecting six teams and their projects.

The six teams will workshop their series concepts with New Zealand, Australian and US advisors who give feedback on the quality, originality and viability of their concept and pilot script. The process runs over two months starting with an intensive two-day workshop with advisor sessions and guest speakers. Teams then have three weeks to work on their projects before re-submitting for an online session with a US script developer. The final step is the opportunity to pitch their projects to industry professionals including commissioners who can take their project into production.

We thank all the filmmakers who applied.

Congratulations to the teams whose series concepts will be developed at Series Bootcamp 2023:
(pictured left to right)

Series Bootcamp is made possible thanks to funding from NZ on Air.

Six filmmaking teams have been selected for Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts. Each team will receive development support, and a grant of $25,000 to make their short film.

Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts is a popular fund; this round we received 89 applications. Eighteen were shortlisted and went on to submit a more detailed application to Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two. From those eighteen submissions, six have been selected.

The writers, producers and directors of the six funded teams are supported to further develop and refine their story, vision, and production plans. They attend a workshop that is carefully planned to meet the needs of these projects, and the filmmakers work with experienced advisors over an intense three-week period. “This process both challenges and nurtures the teams, encouraging them to take creative risks,” says Jackie Dennis, Executive Director at Script to Screen. “The intent is to provide thoughtful support so they can craft exceptional films that get noticed.”

The selected projects include an animation, a comedy and a psychological drama. Team members hail from Northland, Auckland, Wellington, Tasman and Canterbury. Three of the directors are female. Two of the projects had been shortlisted before without being selected and, after further work on their project, resubmitted this year with success. We hope this will be encouraging for the teams that did not make it through this year.

Dale Corlett, Head of Talent Development at the New Zealand Film Commission says, “A huge thanks and acknowledgement to all the applicants for this year’s Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts. It is always very humbling and rewarding for us to read and experience your stories, we thank you for choosing to share them with us. We are very excited about the filmmaking teams and the films selected this year. They are challenging, thought provoking, touching, funny and entertaining.”

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

Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts is a New Zealand Film Commission initiative run in partnership with Script to Screen.


Series Bootcamp returns in 2023.

This development programme has been created to nurture and support emerging to mid-career filmmakers developing a series concept. We’re looking for teams who can present a unique and interesting story, and convince us that their idea is viable for production. Six teams (writers and producers) with outstanding concepts and evidence of talent will be selected for Series Bootcamp 2023.

The development process will run over two months, during which time the participants will be guided to hone their pitch document and the pilot episode, culminating in a pitching day in June.
STAGE ONE (4-5 May): Teams attend an intensive two-day story workshop with advisor sessions and guest speakers. Teams then have three weeks to further develop their projects.
STAGE TWO (26 May): Pitch deck and scripts are re-submitted by the teams in advance of an online session with a script developer who will give feedback on the quality, originality and viability of their developed concept and pilot episode. Teams use the feedback to work on their concept and pilot episode leading up to the pitching day.
STAGE THREE (26 June): Teams attend pitching day to hear from guest speakers and pitch to industry professionals.

Teams attending Series Bootcamp will come away with a refined series concept, a pilot episode and experience pitching their idea. Participants will have a deepened understanding of how to develop, write and pitch a series.

Participants who live outside of Auckland will have their travel and accommodation paid for.

We encourage undiscovered voices to apply.

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 11:59pm, 27 February*
ONLINE SESSIONS: Between 8 – 20 June
PITCH DAY: 26 June

*Those affected by extreme weather events who are unable to meet the deadline, can request an extension. Fill out the form below or call us on 09 3605400.

Series Bootcamp is made possible thanks to funding from NZ on Air.

For the ninth year running, Script to Screen is delighted to introduce the eight filmmakers selected to participate in this year’s South Shorts Mentorship Programme. Over six months, the programme enables South Auckland affiliated talent to develop their short film projects through group sessions and script-focused mentorship under the leadership and guidance of acclaimed screenwriter and director Briar Grace-Smith (Rūrangi, Cousins, Waru).

The participants meet for five workshops where they do group script read-throughs as well as one-on-one sessions with Briar. Guest filmmakers join the group to share their creative process. In this environment the participants build their own supportive community. They leave the programme with greater confidence in their writing, new connections in the industry and at least one short film script ready to progress towards production.

“We couldn’t be happier seeing the successes of our South Shorts alumni, and the diverse perspectives they are adding to our screens. It’s great to welcome these eight new filmmakers on that pathway.” says Jackie Dennis, Executive Director of Script to Screen

Congratulations to theses filmmakers selected for South Shorts 2023:
(pictured left to right)

Destiny Fruean
Dominic McAlpine
Frank Akauola
Kaitiaki Rodger
Mary Afemata
Paige Larianova
Taniora Ormsby
Troy Blackman

The South Shorts Mentorship Programme is made possible thanks to generous support from Foundation North.

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