“FilmUp is the kick up the pants you need to fall in love with that project you know you’ve been sitting with for far too long.

Chris Parker,
FilmUp 2021/22 participant (mentor Jackie Van Beek)

The FilmUp Mentorship programme returns for its tenth year to support and empower eight tenacious and talented filmmakers to reach the next stage in their creative careers. If you are 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, 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 over an six-month period and six FilmUp hubs spread between September 2022 and March 2023. 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 (Mothers of the Revolution, The Coffin Club, There Once Was An Island: Te Henua A Nnoho)Chelsea Winstanley ( Jojo Rabbit, MERATA: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, Reo Lion King, What We Do in the Shadows)Desray Armstrong (Coming Home in the Dark, Juniper, Millie Lies Low, Stray), Florian Habicht (James & Isey, Spookers, Love Story)Gaysorn Thavat (The Justice of Bunny King)Jake Mahaffy (Free in Deed)Nic Gorman (Human Traces)Sophie Henderson (Baby Done, Fantail) and Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa (Mama’s Music BoxTake Home Pay, Three Wise Cousins). You can read about other participants and an impressive list of mentors who have helped these filmmakers take a step up in their careers here.

To apply you need to be working on a feature film or documentary. Here’s what’s required for the application:

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Mon 27 June, 11:59pm

Make sure you 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.

Six filmmaking teams have been selected for Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts and each will receive project development and a grant of $15,000 to make their short film.

The final six were selected from 112 applications received. 18 teams were shortlisted and given feedback from independent assessors.  Fresh Shorts programme manager Emma Mortimer supported the teams as they prepared for a more detailed application to Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two in January. From those 18 submissions, six have been selected.  Two teams who were shortlisted last year, but didn’t get selected, did further work on their projects and resubmitted with success this year.

Through a development process and mentoring these writers, producers and directors are supported to improve their projects to an excellent standard where the story is shoot ready. The teams will get the advice they need, and guidance from experienced mentors.

Jackie Dennis, Executive Director of Script to Screen Te Tari Tuhi Kupu A Whakaahua says, “it’s our joy to create a tailored programme that nurtures, challenges, and inspires these filmmakers. We look forward to supporting each member of the teams as they develop their stories and prepare for production.

Dale Corlett, Head of NZFC Talent Development says ” We were impressed by both the talent of all the shortlisted teams and the uniqueness of their stories. We look forward to working alongside the funded teams to bring exceptional films to the screen.”


The 6 selected teams and their projects are:

Script to Screen’s South Shorts Mentorship programme returns in 2022 with nine emerging filmmakers selected to take part. Under the leadership and guidance of renowned screenwriter and director Briar Grace-Smith (Cousins, The Strength of Water), participants will develop their short film projects through a script-focused mentorship.

Now in its eighth year, the programme guides emerging South Auckland affiliated talent to develop their short film scripts. Over a sixth-month period, the participants meet for workshops where they do group script read-throughs and hear from guest filmmakers about their process. In between workshops, they meet with their mentor Briar Grace-Smith for individual script feedback. Participants leave the programme with greater confidence in their writing, new connections in the industry and at least one short film script that is ready to progress towards production.

“Since its inception in 2015, South Shorts has seen numerous alumni go on to make films. The programme provides a safe space for aspiring and emerging South Auckland filmmakers to gain confidence as writers while building a community within the industry,” says Eloise Veber, Script to Screen Programme Manager. “Ultimately we want to see more stories from South Auckland filmmakers produced and seen by audiences. We feel so privileged to continue to do this work thanks to support from our funders.”

Congratulations to the filmmakers selected for South Shorts 2022:

The South Shorts Mentorship Programme is made possible thanks to generous support from Foundation North with additional support from the New Zealand Film Commission.


Five teams have been selected to workshop their short film project over three days for the final stage of Paerangi Project. In March 2022 the teams will attend the Stage Threeworkshop, a three-day residential development workshop where they will receive tailored script feedback, directing mentoring, and producing advice from industry mentors. The workshop teaches the participants valuable skills to push their projects closer to production and is also an opportunity for them to meet like-minded people and industry practitioners.

In June 2021, 110 aspiring filmmakers from around the motu registered for Stage One of Paerangi Project to pursue their interest in developing a short film or web series. From this group, seven teams were selected to participate in Stage Two, and received six weeks of online mentorship with an experienced filmmaker to refine their project.

The projects and participants chosen for Stage Three are:

Congratulations to all the participants!

The Paerangi Project was initiated to support those who live outside the main centres, in remote regions or those who are isolated from opportunities to learn about filmmaking. Registrations came from all over NZ; Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau, Bay of Plenty / Te Moana-a-Toi, Canterbury / Waitaha, Gisborne/ Te Tai Rāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay / Te Matau-a-Māui, Manawatū-Wanganui, Northland / Te Tai Tokerau, Otago / Ōtākou, Southland / Murihiku, Tasman / Te Tai-o-Aorere, Waikato, and Wellington / Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara, as well as from the Cook Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu.

This initiative came about thanks to the Screenrights Cultural Fund  New Voices, to advance those who, for whatever reason, have found doors not readily open to them. New Zealand Film Commission matched the funding to support the development of aspiring filmmakers who have felt isolated from opportunities.


Script to Screen is delighted to announce the 12 participants selected for Strength in Numbers – Growth 2022. They will participate in a series of workshops run by Script to Screen and led by David Court of Compton School.

Strength in Numbers offers a unique opportunity for practitioners in the screen industry to work together on the building blocks of business models that will sustain their future and ultimately shape the industry itself. Participants are given the time and tools they need to make strategic choices for their creative enterprises and plan the way ahead.

Three experienced industry practitioners including course leader David Court read each of the 46 applications, taking into consideration the applicant’s track record and the stage the business is at when making their selection. Of the 10 screen businesses selected three are from Wellington, one is from Christchurch, another from Marlborough, and the remaining five are Tamaki Makaurau based.

Strength in Numbers is made possible thanks to financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission and an Auckland Council Regional Arts and Culture Grant. Screen Auckland provides a workshop venue and Screen Canterbury covers travel costs for the Cantabrian participant.

The 13 participants and their businesses selected for Strength in Numbers 2022 are:


Strength in Numbers is a Script to Screen initiative run in partnership with Compton School.





Script to Screen and Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission would like to thank all the filmmakers who applied for Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One. There was a wealth of great ideas and some extremely strong talent to select from.

From a total of 112 applications, a panel of external film industry assessors shortlisted 18 projects. These shortlisted teams have been invited to apply for Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two. At this stage, each team will be supported throughout so they can submit a full application.

The 18 shortlisted teams have a one in three chance of workshopping their project with industry experts and receiving a grant of $15,000 to make their film.

We now have great pleasure in announcing the projects and teams who have been shortlisted for Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two of Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 2021/22.

Congratulations to:


Script to Screen and Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission work in partnership to deliver the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts programme.

Image: Stuntman (directed by Pavel Kvatch)

“Programmes like South Shorts are crucial for the creative ecosystem. I can see a real place for my stories that perhaps I didn’t feel I was qualified or valued enough to tell prior. I imagine there are many others out there who know deep down they have stories worth sharing or creating but lack the support and safe space to share it with the world. South Shorts has been that support and safe space for me. I not only feel worthy to share my stories, I can actually see a pathway to making it happen.”
– Jaeman Busby, South Shorts 2021 participant

Applications for the 2022 South Shorts Mentorship Programme are open now.
The South Shorts Mentorship programme supports new and emerging screenwriters from the South Auckland community to develop their short film scripts. Participants are lead through focused script development over a six-month period under the guidance of experienced screenwriting mentor, Briar Grace-Smith. Participants leave the programme with at least one completed short film script and practical tools to develop their own work.

During this six-month programme, the participants will attend a series of one-day hubs and receive mentorship throughout. The hub days involve script read-throughs, writing exercises and hearing from guest speakers about their experiences making films. Each participant will also have individual online script sessions with their mentor between hub days.

This initiative is intended for people who either live in South Auckland or are connected to the South Auckland community – maybe you grew up there, have whānau there, have worked there for years or feel connected to the community in some way.

Applications open: Mon 18th October
Applications close: Monday 29th November, 5pm
Applicants notified of outcome: Monday 17th January 2022

To apply you will need to submit:

The South Shorts Mentorship Programme is made possible thanks to generous support from Foundation North with additional support from the New Zealand Film Commission.


Script to Screen is delighted to announce the projects and filmmakers awarded places at Story Camp Aotearoa 2021, a residential feature film lab that fosters craft, voice and vision. The lab, which takes place in Port Waikato, is tailored to meet the specific development needs of each project. Nine selected projects with 12 writers and their collaborators will workshop their feature films over the week with exceptional local advisors, and international advisors who are attending virtually.

This year Script to Screen received 76 applications. Three experienced independent practitioners from here and offshore went through a rigorous process compiling a shortlist of 19 and ultimately selecting nine projects to be developed at Story Camp. We would like to thank all the filmmakers who applied.

“Throughout the process, the selectors were intrigued and inspired by the multitude of incredible worlds and stories. The final decisions were tough to make.  Script to Screen is delighted with the breadth of exceptional projects selected, and to see some wonderful new voices making it to Story Camp.” says Story Camp Programme Director Esther Cahill-Chiaroni

Congratulations to the filmmakers whose feature film projects will be developed at Story Camp Aotearoa 2021:
(Writers pictured from left to right)

Story Camp Aotearoa is a nationwide programme. This year participants will attend from Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch. If delivery of the workshop is not possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, a part of the workshop will be delivered online in November with the residential component moving to February 2022.

Story Camp is made possible thanks to funding from the New Zealand Film Commission and additional support from the US Embassy.


Emma Mortimer (Fresh Shorts Facilitator), Jude McLaren (Talent Pathways Manager, NZFC) and Jackie Dennis (ED, Script to Screen) discuss what’s needed for Whiringa Tauatahi – Stage One and how to make your 2021 Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts application shine. The purpose of the webinar was to give an overview of the application process and guide you through the selection criteria.

The full criteria and requirements for the assessment of both Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One and Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two are on our website: https://script-to-screen.co.nz/fresh-…

Applications are made through the Fresh shorts Portal: https://freshshorts.nzfilm.co.nz/

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

This webinar took place on Thursday 16 September 2021 at 5:30pm.



Script to Screen is proud to be partnering with Compton School once again to deliver Strength in Numbers – a programme designed to teach screen practitioners about growing a sustainable and profitable business while doing the work they want to do.

Strength in Numbers offers a unique opportunity for screen practitioners to work together on the building blocks of business models that will sustain their future and ultimately shape the industry itself.  The programme aims to cultivate a super-smart community of businesspeople in the screen industry that support each other over time, which is especially important for filmmakers who often work in isolation.

Run by Script to Screen, and led by Australian screen business expert David Court, Strength in Numbers comprises a series of workshops that arms participants with the tools they need to build a sustainable business in the screen industry.  The programme is for screen practitioners with a slate of projects and a screen industry business already underway and will be delivered over several workshop days held in Auckland and online in the first half of 2022.

Selected participants will be emerging to mid-career, and have a proven track record that demonstrates considerable talent and tenacity in their field.

To encourage screen practitioners from the regions to apply we have support from some of New Zealand’s regional offices: Film Otago SouthlandFilm DunedinFilm Queenstown Lakes and Screen Canterbury.

Past participants of Strength in Numbers are creators behind many of our most loved and successful screen projects Coming Home In The Dark, The Justice of Bunny King, Creamery, Kura, The Panthers, Savage, Bellbird, James & Isey, Reunion, Jojo Rabbit and Loading Docs.

“Strength in Numbers is an exceptional course that dramatically altered the way I look at my business. The programme not only provides great business tools but also shifts mindsets when it comes to growth. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

– Orlando Stewart producer of Bellbird

What you’ll need to submit: 

  • One paragraph biography about you as a screen practitioner
  • A statement about why Strength in Numbers Growth would be beneficial to you and your business at this time
  • A statement about what you would like to get out of the Programme.
  • A list of two to three projects you have in development along with a one-paragraph synopsis or logline for each project and what stage they are at.
  • Links to prior work (up to your two best)
  • Optional: Your screen CV

Applications Open: Mon 20 Sep 2021
Applications Close: Mon 01 Nov 2021, 1pm.

Dates of delivery:

  • February 21 & 22 – Workshops in Auckland
  • March 22 – 90-min online session
  • April 26 – 90-min online session
  • May 9 – Workshop in Auckland
  • June 27 – Workshop in Auckland
  • One-on-one meetings will be held between the last two workshops.

Travel costs for participants who live outside Auckland are covered.

Preview the Full Application Form

Learn more about previous participants

Strength in Numbers is made possible thanks to generous support from the New Zealand Film Commission and Auckland Council– Regional Arts and Culture Grant.


and New Zealand Regional Film Offices; Film Otago SouthlandFilm DunedinScreen Canterbury and Film Queenstown Lakes.


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