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)
Calling all aspiring filmmakers, storytellers and creatives! Want to learn how to use the power of cinema to tell your stories?
The South Auckland Short Film Workshop is a two-day workshop, held over two weekends, that covers how to turn an idea into a short film. Whether you’re new to filmmaking or have some experience, we are calling everyone who aspires to tell their stories on the screen to come and learn what it takes to bring your story to life.
Over two successive Saturdays, experienced filmmakers will guide you through the principles of how to write a short film, the role of the director, what it takes to get your short film off the ground and what’s needed to pitch to funders and collaborators. Speakers include Marina Alofagia McCartney (Milk & Honey, Vai), Nikki Si’ulepa (Same But Different, Mā, Snow in Paradise) and Vea Mafile’o (The Panthers, For My Fathers Kingdom).
Who it is for: New and emerging creatives 17+ from any industry who have an interest in short filmmaking.
When: Sat 18th November and Sat 25th November 2023 (9am-5pm each day)
Where: Friendship House, 20 Putney Way, Manukau CBD, Auckland 2104
Wheelchair access is available. If you require special assistance, please let us know.
Cost: General Admission $12.50 (inc GST + BF) Tickets via Humanitix
What to Bring: Pen and paper. Coffee, tea and snacks provided. You can bring lunch with you or there are many places to buy lunch in the immediate vicinity.
Participants from this workshop with a connection to South Auckland are encouraged to apply for Script to Screen’s South Shorts 2023 Mentorship Programme when applications open in February. Read more about South Shorts here.
Participants from this workshop with a connection to South Auckland are encouraged to apply for Script to Screen’s South Shorts 2023 Mentorship Programme when applications open in February. Read more about South Shorts here..
Marina Alofagia McCartney
(Pitonu’ū, Satupa’itea and Vailoa, Palauli – Savai’i, Samoa / Newcastle –England / Romani – England)
Marina Alofagia McCartney is an award-winning filmmaker and scholar with films featured in numerous festivals, including Palm Springs, NZIFF, ImagineNATIVE, Hawai’i International Film Festival. Marina wrote and directed the Samoan piece for the film Vai, which opened the NATIVe section at the 2019 Berlinale, and screened at festivals including SXSW, Edinburgh Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival. She has worked on writers’ tables as a storyliner and screenwriter (My Life Is Murder) and is developing several projects including her feature Dusky and NZFC Catalyst film, The Return.
Sātalo, Solāua (Sāmoa)
Nikki Si’ulepa is an Aotearoa-born Samoan with German and Chinese ancestry from the villages of Sātalo, Falealili and Solāua. She’s an actor, writer, director, camera operator, screen tutor, and founding Pacific Islands Screen Artists Komiti member (PISA, est. 2020). She’s worked in the New Zealand screen industry since her debut acting role in Whole of the Moon in 1995, where she won two best actress awards. Her films have also won awards and nominations and have screened at international film festivals, including Berlinale, Tribeca, Sydney, Melbourne, FIFO, Queerscreen, NZIFF, Hollyshorts, and imagineNATIVE.
In 2021, Nikki created ScreenFit classes for writers, directors and actors of various skills, backgrounds and experiences to come together and work scenes to stay ‘screen fit’. Nikki has taught acting for screen and facilitated workshops on writing and filmmaking at South Shorts, The Actors Program, Excel Performing Arts, Actors Lab Studio, and various PISA events. Nikki can be seen on Canadian and New Zealand television screens in South Pacific Pictures’ thriller, The Sounds, in Roseanne Liang’s Shadow in the Cloud post-apocalyptic comedy drama, Creamerie, and guest stars opposite Kiwi Xena icon Lucy Lawless in My Life is Murder. Nikki’s currently writing and developing a new slate of films and series’.
Nikki loves arthouse films, vegan ice cream, fun film festivals, and short walks on the beach.
Tongaleleka, Ha’apai (Tonga), Ngāti Te Wehi (Māori), English and Scottish
Vea is an Auckland based freelance film, television and media director, producer and artist who has filmed and exhibited her work extensively throughout the Pacific Islands. 2019 was a big year for Vea. Her debut feature film NZ Film Commission funded documentary, For My Father’s Kingdom, world premiered at the prestigious 2019 Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival, in which Vea and partner / co-director / cinematographer, Jeremiah Tauamiti, and Vea’s siblings and father attended. FMFK won a jury award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and is the first ever Pacific Islands feature length documentary in the world to be directed and produced by Tongan women. Vea’s short film, Toa’ipuapuagā – Strength in Suffering A Samoan Stigmata, also premiered at the 2019 Berlinale. Vea won the Moana Best Pasifika Non-Fiction Director at the 2019 Wairoa Maori Film Festival Inc. Film Festival.
Vea has worked as an art director and location camera operator / director for TVNZ’s Pacific shows, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika, and for Pacific one-stop-shop website The Coconet TV and in films Maria, Liliu, My Friend Michael Jones, MESSiAH Short Film, Finding Honk, The Map Reader. Vea is also the founder of the Okalani Film Festival and the Nuku’alofa Film Festival NFF.
Vea is currently developing a feature documentary, short film, and dramatic feature film. Vea has also produced three sons aged ten, six and three years old, some of her best productions to date.
Script to Screen also receives financial support 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 email@example.com.
Webinar now available to watch on Youtube:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHIRINGA TUATAHI – STAGE ONE
APPLICATIONS OPENED: Wednesday, 27 September 2023 (Apply via Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Portal)
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 1 pm, Monday, 6 November 2023
ANNOUNCEMENT OF SHORTLISTED TEAMS: Early January 2024
WHIRINGA TUARUA – STAGE TWO
APPLICATIONS OPEN: Monday 15 January 2024
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 1 pm, Monday 26 February 2024
ANNOUNCEMENT OF FUNDED TEAMS: Late April 2024
DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP DATES: 8-9 June 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.
📸 Photo by Evie Mackay
“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.
16 September – Queenstown Workshop
21 October – Auckland Workshop
4 November – Dunedin workshop
Ever wondered how to start a career writing for film or television? Three highly accomplished and successful writers will share their stories about the pathways they took to a career in the screen industry. Hear about the discoveries they made along the way, difficulties they encountered, and how they overcame obstacles to establish successful screenwriting careers.
An exceptional group of New Zealand screenwriters, our speakers for this event now include Pip Hall (The Dance Exponents-Why Does Love, One Lane Bridge, Runaway Millionaires), Briar Grace-Smith (Cousins, Rurangi, Strength of Water), and Michael Bennett (The Gone, In Dark Places, Matariki). Jackie Dennis, Executive Director of Script to Screen, will moderate the TALK.
Each speaker has a unique story that demonstrates their choices on the road to success. Come along – they will inspire you on your journey.
Friday, 11th August 2023
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – TALK
Screen CanterburyNZ Office
ChristchurchNZ – BNZ Centre, Level 3, 101 Cashel Street
For access to the venue, there is a lane off Cashel St Mall between Michael Hill & Spark. Lifts are on the left.
Wheelchair access is available.
$5.75 (incl. GST) for sales via EventBrite to secure your seat.
7:15 pm – 8:15 pm – Optional socialising
After the TALK we will move to the Kaiser Brew Garden for socialising with other attendees. Script to Screen will provide pizza, and it’s buy your own drinks.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS
Pip Hall has written for television and theatre, and won awards in both mediums. She started her screen career writing for sketch shows like Skitz and Telly Laughs, and enjoyed a long working relationship with soap Shortland Street. She went on to work on the scripts for Kiwi TV movies Why Does Love? and Runaway Millionaires, miniseries Jonah (about Jonah Lomu) and crime show One Lane Bridge.
“I love telling stories because I want to share the human condition, so that we know we are not alone in this big, crazy world; so we can celebrate our similarities and our differences.” – Pip Hall
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 Suit, Being Eve, Kaitangata 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.
Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker and author. He is the 2020 recipient of the Te Aupounamu Māori Screen Excellence Award, awarded by the NZ Film Commission for excellence in Māori filmmaking. Michael’s short films and feature films have screened and won awards internationally, including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Locarno, New York, London, ImagiNative and Dreamspeakers. Michael devoted many years of his recent career to the fight for justice for Teina Pora, a young Māori man wrongly imprisoned for 21 years. Michael made the documentary The Confessions of Prisoner T, which lead to the discovery of evidence pivotal to Teina’s exoneration. Michael directed and co-wrote the feature film In Dark Places (2019) about Teina’s case, which was finalist for a record 11 awards in the NZ Television Awards, winning Best Film and Best Director. Michael has been head writer or showrunner for many dozens of hours of prime-time television drama including The Gone (NZ / Ireland crime thriller), Vegas (crime thriller), Te Kohu (supernatural drama), Mataku (the Māori Twilight Zone). Michael’s debut novel Better The Blood, a crime thriller, was published in 2022 in the UK, USA, Australia and NZ, with nine international translations. Better The Blood was a finalist for the fiction prize at the 2023 New Zealand literary awards (The Ockhams), the first time a crime novel has been shortlisted for the premiere NZ literary award. Michael is currently adapting his novel for television, and writing the second book in the series, Return To Blood.
Script to Screen, in partnership with Te Puna Matarau, is thrilled to reveal the teams participating in the Waitaha Canterbury Screen Story Incubator. Independent selectors chose five teams consisting of three series, a feature film, and a narrative-driven video game. Each team will engage in three workshops from July to September 2023. Throughout the programme, participants will hear invaluable insights from industry professionals and benefit from personalised guidance to refine their projects. The ultimate aim is to increase the number of screen stories created and produced in the region.
“The SCNZ Screen Production Grant has been the real catalyst to put Waitaha Canterbury front and centre with producers. Supporting this incubator is one way we are looking to develop more stories from and about the region. We are grateful for the support the initiative has received from NZFC and NZOA.” Petrina D’Rozario, Manager Screen CanterburyNZ
Jackie Dennis, Executive Director of Script to Screen and also from Otautahi, says, “The selected projects are exciting. They include a love letter to rock music culture and the trans community, an animated family adventure, a recluse living in the Southern Alps, and two comedies – a feature set in 1975 and a series that unfolds on a road trip. We have advisors travelling from Sydney and all over New Zealand to give each team exactly what they need to craft outstanding stories”.
Congratulations to the following teams:
(pictured left to right)
W- Writer D-Director P-Producer De-Designer
Te Puna Matarau
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.
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… Read more about the application process
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.