Script to Screen, in partnership with Film Otago Southland, launches an exciting new development opportunity called Southern Pilots, for Otago and Southland based screen creators.

Script to Screen and Film Otago Southland are looking for new and emerging filmmakers with compelling, bold series story ideas suitable for development and viable for future production. Southern Pilots offers both talent and project development for three teams. The teams will have one-on-one advisor sessions and hear from industry speakers over a three-day development workshop, which aims to create outstanding pitch documents to present to potential producer partners and funders. 

Southern Pilots kaupapa is to help creatives from Otago and Southland generate IP for local and international audiences. This will, in turn, increase activity in both regions and foster a strong creative network of screen practitioners. 

Key Dates:

12 February: Applications open now
19 February: 5:30 pm application information webinar. Read FAQ’S Here
18 March: 1 pm applications close
21-23 June: 3-day workshop for selected teams



Script to Screen will manage the application and selection process and design and deliver the development workshop. We have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy that informs our work. Southern Pilots uses the NZFC definition for new and emerging filmmakers.

Please contact the team at Script to Screen, for any further questions. 

This development programme is possible thanks to funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.



If you are a new or emerging filmmaker with a connection to South Auckland, don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to advance your screenwriting abilities in 2024.

During this six-month mentorship programme, successful applicants attend a series of one-day hubs and are led through focused script development under the guidance of Briar Grace-Smith. Briar brings considerable experience and knowledge to the room for group mentorship, and each participant also gets one-on-one feedback. The hub days involve script read-throughs, writing exercises, and hearing from guest speakers about their experiences making films. On completion of the programme, you will leave with new skills and tools to develop your work, a great new network of like-minded practitioners, and a completed short film script.

This initiative is intended for people who live in South Auckland or are connected to the South Auckland community – maybe you grew up there, have whānau there, or feel connected to the community in some other way. This opportunity will help you to develop your story, share your unique perspective, and develop your career as a screenwriter within a supportive framework.

Applications for the 2024 South Shorts Mentorship Programme are open now.

Opens: Wednesday 7th February 2024
Closes: 1:00 PM Monday 25th March 2024
Notification of outcome: Early May 2024

“South Shorts has helped me with overcoming writers block and given me the confidence to present my ideas in a safe creative space. The connections I have made throughout the hubs are life changing and extremely valuable for my career moving forward. I would highly recommend these workshops to any filmmaker out there looking to develop their ideas and build connections with fellow likeminded creatives.”
– Kaitiaki Rodger, South Shorts 2023 Participant 

To apply you will need to submit: 
  • Short biography (300-word limit)
  • Why would this programme be valuable to you? (300-word limit)
  • Summarise your connection to South Auckland
  • Short film logline (One to two sentences summarising your short film concept – what and who is it about?)
  • Synopsis of your short film idea (600-word limit)
  • Script or written document for your short film idea (optional)
  • Must be connected to South Auckland
  • Aged 17+  


Briar Grace-Smith is of Ngā Puhi descent and a writer of short fiction, stage plays and feature films. Her plays include Ngā Pou Wāhine, Purapurawhetū and When Sun and Moon Collide. She is an Arts Foundation Laureate and was recently made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film, television and theatre. She has worked as a Development Executive for the New Zealand Film Commission and taught ‘Writing for Theatre’ at IIML (2015). Briar is a Sundance alumni and the writer of the feature films The Strength of Water and Fresh Meat. Her television credits include Fishskin SuitBeing EveKaitangata Twitch and the Australian children’s television series, Grace Beside Me (2017). She was a director and co-writer of the short film, Nine of Hearts, and wrote and directed Charm for the feature project Waru (2017). She collaborated with Toi Whakaari, directing Krystal, a short film by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu. She was the screenwriter and co-director of the feature film Cousins, and is a writer and co-director of Rūrangi, Series 2. Briar was made a member of the Directors branch of the Academy in 2022.

This programme is reliant on funding being achieved. Applicants will be informed of the funding outcome prior to the South Shorts submission deadline on the 25th of March.

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



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.

Script to Screen, in collaboration with Te Puna Matarau, is delighted to open this new initiative, developed especially for screen creatives in Waitaha Canterbury wanting to advance their careers.

We are seeking applications from originators of feature films, TV series, and narrative driven video games. The programme is suitable for emerging and mid-career practitioners. To be eligible, applicants must have a strong connection with the Waitaha Canterbury region and have a project viable for production.

Four projects will be selected, and their originators will attend three one-day workshops held July to September 2023. Creative teams will receive personalised advice to develop their project and hear from experienced industry practitioners chosen to meet the needs of the teams.

The purpose of this programme is to support the development of IP in the region and support creators to get their work closer to funding and production. Participants will increase their contacts in the industry and connect with other creators.
Te Puna Matarau is a new organisation formed by and for Waitaha Canterbury screen practitioners.

Applications open: 15 March
Applications close: 1pm, 19 April
Workshop dates:  1 July, 12 August, and 9 September 2023

Note:  All workshop expenses are covered other than the participants getting to the workshop venue in Christchurch.

Waitaha Canterbury Screen Story Incubator is made possible thanks to funding from the
New Zealand Film Commission
NZ on Air and Screen Canterbury.

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.

“South Shorts has given me the opportunity to connect not only with industry experts but also with other South Auckland storytellers, whose feedback and knowledge have been invaluable in the development of my writing. It has given me the confidence (and the audacity) to develop my first short film, in a time when we need and deserve more South Auckland, Māori and Pasifika stories.”
– Ava Williams South Shorts 2022 participant

The South Shorts Mentorship programme supports new and emerging screenwriters from the South Auckland community to develop their short film scripts. Participants are led through focused script development over a six-month period under the guidance of experienced screenwriting mentor Briar Grace-Smith (RūrangiCousins, Waru), and leave the programme with a completed short film script and practical tools to develop their own work.

During this six-month programme, the participants attend a series of one-day hubs, held on a Saturday. The hub days involve script read-throughs, writing exercises and hearing from guest speakers about their experiences making films.

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.

No experience in scriptwriting is necessary. Applicants should have a passion for storytelling and have at least one short film concept that they want to develop.

Applications for the 2023 South Shorts Mentorship Programme are open now.

Opening: Wednesday 26th October
Closing: 5 December, 1pm
Notification of outcome: mid January 2023

To apply you will need to submit:

  • Short Biography (300-word limit)
  • Why would this programme be valuable to you (300-word limit)
  • Synopsis of your short film idea (600-word limit)
  • Script or written document for your short film idea (optional)

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

We hear you!

Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts had a shorter application period this year compared to previous years and this has made it tricky for many of you, so the closing date has been extended.

The deadline to submit your Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One application is now 31 October.

For many, this is your first time applying so we have gathered all the information you need in the links below to help you submit the best application possible.

If you are having trouble finding a producer please get in touch with Emma Mortimer, our Fresh Shorts programme manager, as she will be able to guide you.

Applications Close: 1pm, Monday 31 October 2022
Announcement of Shortlisted Teams: Week commencing 12 December 2022WHIRINGA TUATAHI – STAGE TWO
Applications Close: 1pm, Wednesday 25 January 2023
Announcement of Funded Teams: March 2023
Development Workshop Dates: 01-02 April 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:



Image from Fetch directed by Sam Gill, 2021

“Story Camp was invigorating and provided me with what I knew in my heart but was too scared to explore. It is an incredible bunch of talented, big-hearted and brave people helping you find that in yourself.”
– Gwen Isaac (2021 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 2022 seeks feature film projects from a well-developed treatment through to a script in advanced development. Up to eight selected writers or teams will participate in a rigorous five-day experience designed specifically to meet the development needs of their project.

Story sessions between advisors and participants form the backbone of the week. As the programme is tailored to each project, the process can also include project-based group workshops; workshopping with actors;  strengthening and clarifying the director’s vision, and making good decisions together under pressure.

Don’t miss this opportunity to propel your film closer to production with expert support.

” The personal care and support, the encouragement of having specific feedback and deep dives into your own work. Feeling seen and heard and supported. That really does more than any specific problem solving. For me it gave me the energy and motivation to keep digging deeper into the story as I was so moved that people cared and not just in a box ticking way but a real human and creative way.”
– Arlo Green (2021 participant)

Past advisors have included screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, producer Philippa Campbell, director Jane Campion, editor and script consultant Cushla Dillon, producer and director Ainsley Gardiner, filmmaker and Artistic Director of the Sundance Directors’ Lab Gyula Gazdag, poet and academic Anahera Gildea, screenwriter Michael Goldenberg, painter Star Gossage, screenwriter and director Briar Grace-Smith, NZ-based Korean installation artist Yona Lee, US Dreamworks teacher Amanda Lovejoy Street, EP Andrew Mason, writer/actor Bret McKenzie, dramaturg and story consultant Brita McVeigh, choreographer Moss Te Ururangi Pattersonnovelist, playwright and screenwriter Emily Perkins, festival and lab director Marten Rabarts, Australian producer Kath Shelper, actor/writer/director Loren Taylor, legendary screenwriter and Sundance advisor Joan Tewkesbury, director Sima Urale, filmmaker Lynette Wallworth and producer and EP Tim White.

 11:59 PM, 10 August 2022
STORY CAMP AOTEAROA DATES: 15 – 19 November 2022

Delivery of Story Camp is contingent on continued funding from
New Zealand Film Commission.
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