Launching: Deep Dive Workshops

Script to Screen introduces Deep Dive Workshops. These workshops are for mid-career and experienced screen practitioners to extend and build on what you already know so you can continue to make powerful stories for the screen. They will be smaller sessions with limited tickets available. Here are the details for our first one.

Finding, proving and valuing your next creative project with David Court
9am-12pm Tuesday 28 June, Auckland


Arguably there is no more important creative decision than what you choose to work on next – and not just work on, but invest in, pitch to others, and leapfrog all the other ideas you could be working on too. In this Deep Dive, Compton School founder Dr David Court shares what he knows about finding, proving and valuing your next creative project.

This masterclass will stretch your thinking on a subject that will resonate with many of you.

David is travelling to Auckland to deliver this workshop for Script to Screen. Morning tea will be provided.

When: 9am-12pm Tuesday 28 June, with a 30min morning tea break
Where: Covert Theatre, 51 Mackelvie Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Who it is for: Mid-career and experienced practitioners who write, produce and direct projects
Cost: General Admission $80.00 (incl. GST) via Eventbrite.
COVID Note: Orange settings. The venue size allows for this small group to be spaced out. Masks welcome.




David Court is the Founder of Compton School, Australia’s first business school for creative people. He is also Chairman of Screen Canberra and a Director of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation. David was formerly Head of Screen Business at the Australian Film Television & Radio School where he developed Australia’s first screen business qualification. David has been involved in the financing of more than a dozen film and television productions including John Weiley’s Antarctica, Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom, Dean Cavell’s The Wiggles Movie, Jerzy Domaradski’s Lilian’s Story, Robert Connolly’s The Bank, Andrew Horne’s The Animated Leunig and Don Featherstone’s The One Percenters. David was founding editor of the highly regarded industry newsletter Entertainment Business Review. As author of Film Assistance: Future Options (Allen & Unwin, 1986), he was the policy architect of the Film Finance Corporation, established by the Australian Government in 1988. The FFC invested more than $1 billion in Australian film and television productions during the next 20 years. In 2010, with Sir Peter Jackson, David undertook a review of the New Zealand Film Commission for the NZ Government. He holds a PhD from the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University.

This workshop is made possible thanks to generous support from
New Zealand Film Commission

“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.

This workshop has now reached capacity. You may join the waitlist if you are still interested in attending and we will contact you if a space becomes available.


Due to popular demand, we’re excited to be bringing you another Auckland workshop! Join us for a one-day workshop in Waitākere this June to learn how to jumpstart your feature film idea or revitalise an old one. This interactive and practical one-day workshop will give you the means to propel your feature film project forward.

Over the course of one day, Hamish Bennett (Bellbird) will explore character and story and how the two are intertwined. He will use clips and examples to support the learning.

Hamish will talk about how to tap into your own knowledge and experiences to build a story that is authentic and memorable. He will also talk about his process preparing as a director and give you methods for making time for writing when you’re not a full-time writer.

No matter what your experience is, come along. The passion that drives you to create will be invigorated and you’ll come away with new knowledge and ideas to further develop your stories.


Saturday 12 June 2021
9:00am – 5:00pm
The Seminar Room, Level 1, Lopdell Precinct, 418 Titirangi Road, Titirangi, Auckland

Parking: Free parking behind the Lopdell building, entrance is off South Titirangi Road. Alternative parking is available outside the building on Titirangi Road or at the parking building opposite – off South Titirangi Road.

Who it is for: Emerging to established filmmakers. If you are at the beginning stages of writing a feature film or are interested in writing a film this workshop will be very beneficial.

Cost: General Admission $23 (incl. GST) via EventBrite

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Please bring your own lunch or there are plenty of cafes in the area if you wish to buy lunch. Snacks, tea and coffee will be provided.


This Script to Screen workshop is made possible thanks to generous support from Auckland Council Creative Communities and the New Zealand Film Commission.


Fraser Brown combines a rare blend of creative, business and leadership expertise in his work as a creative producer, co-founder and Creative Director of FluroBlack.

Fraser started his career, more than 20 years ago, as a professional actor working extensively in film, television and theatre. His evolution into creative producer started with award-winning short, Dead Letters(Telluride Film Festival, 2006), followed by a stint producing branded and commercial content. Since then he has produced or executive produced nine international feature documentaries, two scripted features, a major international television series and an edgy, award-winning web series.

Fraser’s first feature, Orphans & Kingdoms, won numerous international awards and was released theatrically in NZ with 4-star reviews. In 2016 he developed and produced, in a strategic partnership with Matthew Metcalfe of GFC Films, the feature documentary McLaren. Directed by Roger Donaldson, McLaren was the highest grossing New Zealand film at the NZ box office in 2017 and was released globally by Universal Pictures, Transmission Films and Gunpowder & Sky. He and Matthew then produced Wayne, an official NZ/AUS co-production directed by Jeremy Sims, which premiered at the opening weekend of MIFF 2018 and was released in Australia and New Zealand by Transmission Films and in the US by Gunpowder & Sky.

Fraser is an Executive Producer on numerous feature documentaries with Universal Pictures and GFC Films: Born Racer, directed by Bryn Evans; We Need to Talk About A.I, directed by Leanne Pooley; Dawn Raid, directed by Oscar Kightley; Mothers of the Revolution, directed by Briar March; Billion Dollar Heist, directed by Daniel Gordon and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK, directed by Nathan Price. He is also an EP on feature film, Whina, currently in post-production and on The Dead Lands –an 8x1hr action-adventure series collaboration between GFC Films, AMC-Shudder and TVNZ, nominated for “Best Drama” at the New Zealand TV Awards, 2020. In the factual TV space, Fraser is currently a producer on Reunited (TVNZ), The Circus (BRAVO) and Great Southern Truckers (TV3/DISCOVERY).

Karin Williams began her career as a reporter at the Cook Islands News in Rarotonga. She went on to become a producer for film, television and theatre in the USA and Aotearoa. Her work has earned dozens of honours, including five regional Emmys, and her independent films have screened at festivals around the world. Karin served as Development Executive at the NZ Film Commission from 2015-18, working on a wide range of NZ feature films. She is currently producing projects with Pasifika stories for stage and screen.

Kristina Ceyton founded Causaway Films with Samantha Jennings. Together they helped produce Jennifer Kent’s psychological thriller The Babadook (2013), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and became an international cultural sensation as well as winning Ceyton an AACTA Award for Best Film. Causeway was subsequently awarded a Feature Enterprise grant and Gender Matters Brilliant Careers grant to foster female screen talent.

She co-produced Cargo (2017) starring Martin Freeman, which was Australia’s first Netflix Original feature film. It was released in May 2018 and nominated for five AACTA awards.

This was followed by Buoyancy which premiered at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize. She received her first APSA nomination for Best Youth Feature Film for producing Buoyancy. She also produced Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, which won two awards at the 2018 Venice Film Festival.

Tony Ayres is an award-winning Australian showrunner, writer and director, and is one of the founding members of internationally renowned Australian production company Matchbox Pictures, now owned by NBC Universal Studios. In 2018 Tony established his own production company Tony Ayres Productions (TAP), developing and producing feature films and television for global audiences and international marketplaces.

Tony was the showrunner on International Emmy and BAFTA nominated series, The Slap and an EP on its US remake. He co-created and was Executive Producer on multi-award winning series Glitch (3 seasons). He was also an executive producer on International Emmy nominated Wanted (3 seasons), and multi-award winning series The Devil’s Playground, Old School, Underground: The Julian Assange Story, and The Straits. He executive produced comedy series The Family Law (3 seasons), Bogan Pride and Maximum Choppage. He produced miniseries Barracuda and the multi- award winning Seven Types of Ambiguity. He directed the multi-award winning TV movie, Saved.

In children’s TV, Tony created and executive produced the International Emmy and BAFTA award winning Nowhere Boys and the telemovie based on the series, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows. The series is internationally acclaimed, winning the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series, two Logies, three Kidscreen Awards, a Rockie, and a Prix Jeunesse Award.

In feature films, Tony directed Cut Snake (2015), The Home Song Stories (2007) winner of 24 international and Australian awards, and Walking on Water (2002), which premiered at the Berlinale. He also EP’d feature films Ali’s Wedding and Lou.

Currently Tony is the showrunner for upcoming US Netflix series Clickbait, and co-created and EP’d the Matchbox/ABC refugee detention centre drama Stateless alongside Cate Blanchett and Elise McCredie. Stateless stars Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Dominic West and Cate Blanchett.

Wish you’d made it to one of our 2019 TALKS?


Head to our Script to Screen podcast channel where you will find newly released Script to Screen Podcasts. Find out what local distributors consider before they take on a project for distribution and learn about the hard task of navigating the balance between staying true to your story while satisfying the audience’s expectations for your character. Especially if those characters are the first of their kind on screen.

Plus, delve into 14 newly released 2018 Big Screen Symposium Sessions. Revisit Wanuri Kahui’s uplifting keynote address on the Zeitgeist of Joy; get practical tips on engaging your audience with Anna Dean; or take a deep dive into David Lowery’s filmmaking process with The Old Man & the Gun.

Available on PodbeanApple and Spotify.











“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” 

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.

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

Submission Requirements:

Applications for 2022 are now closed
Applicants notified of outcome: Monday 17th January 2022

Who is eligible?

What you’ll need to submit: 

  • Development Programmes
  • Talks
  • Workshops
  • Big Screen Symposium
  • NEWS