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.

Wed 27 April
5:30pm – 6:30pm NZDT – TALK
Live on Zoom Webinar

Join us for a TALK with Rachel Okine, Head of Features and Development Executive at Stan – Australia’s leading local streaming service and creator of original productions.

Rachel will talk with NZ producer Fraser Brown about the breadth of Stan’s slate, what projects they are looking for, how they fit into the financing eco-system and what kinds of partnerships work well with their model.

This is a chance to learn how and when to approach the platform in an efficient way, how their commissioning process works and classic mistakes you should avoid. Producers of all levels, as well as writers and directors developing series and features, will find this webinar useful.

The Stan Originals slate includes the hit series Wolf Like Me, starring Isla Fisher and Josh Gad; The Tourist, starring Jamie Dornan and Danielle Macdonald; Gold, starring Zac Efron; Nitram, directed by Justin Kurzel, starring Caleb Landry Jones, Essie Davis, Judy Davis and Anthony LaPaglia; Bump series 1 & 2, starring Claudia Karvan; RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, and many other acclaimed original series and films.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear directly from the Development Executive at Australian streaming platform Stan.

Register for free in advance to secure a spot and to receive the link for the talk. There will be a Q&A at the end of the discussion, questions can be submitted to the moderator when registering or during the discussion.


Rachel Okine

Rachel Okine is the Head of Features & Development Executive for Stan, Australia’s leading national streaming service. After starting her career in acquisitions at FilmFour, Rachel was the first employee of Hopscotch, later becoming the Acquisitions Executive for eOne ANZ and Head of Development for Hopscotch Features. Rachel moved back to Europe in 2015 to become Paris-based VP of International Production and Acquisitions for Studiocanal; and was subsequently appointed VP of International Acquisitions for STX. Returning to Australia in 2020, Rachel was appointed Managing Director of Academy Award-nominated production company Aquarius Films to strategically lead its film and TV operations.

Fraser Brown

Fraser 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). 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.
Continue reading Fraser’s bio here 

This Script to Screen TALK is made possible thanks to generous support from the
New Zealand Film CommissionFoundation North and Images & Sound.


You can now watch this STS TALK online about developing and making TVNZ’s dark comedy series Creamerie. Co-created by Roseanne Liang, Ally Xue, JJ Fong and Perlina Lau from Flat3 Productions and co-produced with Kevin & Co, Creamerie was released in 2021creating a big buzz locally. It went on to be picked up by US platform Hulu and won the prestigious Best Drama Series gong at the 2022 New Zealand Television Awards.

Creamerie is a six-part series set in a post-pandemic world where a contagious virus has decimated 99% of men, presciently conceived pre-COVID-19. Funded by NZ On Air in 2019, Creamerie was shot during the early phase of the pandemic when most of the global industry was locked down.

Co-creator and one of the lead actors in the series, Ally Xue (Flat3 Productions), and producer Bronywnn Bakker (Kevin & Co)  talk about how the concept came to life, the writer’s room, and interesting hurdles on its pathway to release, with moderator Marc Laureano


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)

A conversation with the creators of Netflix’s new hit crime thriller Clickbait. While set in the US, Clickbait was developed and made in Australia. It was filmed in and around Melbourne with both US and Australian actors and post-production was completed whilst the city was dealing with many restrictions caused by the pandemic. Co-creators Tony Ayres and Christian White talk with moderator Cass Avery across a wide range of subjects including writing and collaboration, building a team, adapting the series for the US and the audience metrics they received from Netflix.

This Script to Screen Talk was held on 19 October 2021 as an online webinar and made possible thanks to generous support from the New Zealand Film Commission, Foundation North and Images & Sound.

Watch more TALKS from us

Hear more TALKS from us


Tony Ayres is an award-winning Australian showrunner, writer and director. He is well known for creating some of Australia’s most revered film and television dramas including The Home Song Stories, Nowhere Boys, The Slap, Glitch, Stateless and most recently Clickbait, along with feature movies Cut Snake (2015), The Home Song Stories (2007) and Walking on Water (2002).

Christian White is an Australian author, screenwriter and producer. He has written award-winning novels The Nowhere Child and The Wife and the Widow. Christian co-created the television series Clickbait, with Tony Ayres. He also co-wrote the feature film Relic, a horror/drama starring Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote and Robyn Nevin.

Cass Avery is a producer, executive producer and writer, Cass has helmed and scripted more than 50 documentaries and television series commissioned in NZ and Australia. She is currently Head of Development and the Executive Producer at Augusto.

Tues 19 October
5:30pm – 6:30pm NZDT – TALK


This Script to Screen TALK is made possible thanks to generous support from the
New Zealand Film CommissionFoundation North and Images & Sound.

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