Far North Filmmaking Workshops

Calling all Far North filmmakers and creatives!!!
In July 2024, we are excited to bring two outstanding workshops to Kerikeri led by writer and director Michael Bennett (The Gone, In Dark Places). A four-day school holiday workshop for youth aged 14-18, and a one-day adult scriptwriting workshop.

Joining Michael for the Youth Workshop will be actor (Shortland StreetThe Brokenwood Mysteries), director and acting coach, Jamie Irvine.
This is a great opportunity for you to learn new skills and share your stories. So, book your place and tell your friends and whanau. These workshops are not to be missed.

The projects that Script to Screen does and the reason I’m so gung-ho enthusiastic about them is; it’s about accessing people whose stories just don’t make it on screen. It’s giving people skills to tell stories for the screen. Giving new voices and new stories the potential to become films– Michael Bennett

Free Youth Workshop – 4 days 

Monday 15 – Thursday 18 July
Turner Centre, 43 Cobham Road, Kerikeri 0230

Develop skills and learn about the fundamentals of crafting a story idea, writing a script and acting for camera. No experience or prior knowledge of filmmaking is necessary. We encourage anyone who has an interest in writing, filmmaking, and acting to apply. For ages 14 – 18.

Adult Workshop – 1 day

Sunday 14 July
Turner Centre, 43 Cobham Road, Kerikeri 0230

The morning will be spent delving into character, story structure, key moments and writing fundamentals. In the afternoon, you will develop your own original story idea and write a scene. This workshop is suitable for new and emerging filmmakers, local creatives wanting to reinvigorate a screen idea or anyone wanting to explore writing for film and television.



Michael Bennett
(Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is a screenwriter, filmmaker and author. Michael’s short films and feature films have screened and won awards internationally, including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Locarno, New York, London, ImagiNative and Dreamspeakers. 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 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 TV feature film In Dark Places 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), and 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) and won Best First Novel at the Ngaio Marsh Awards. Michael is currently adapting his novel for television, and his second novel, Return To Blood, is in bookstores now.


As an Actor, Director and Acting Coach Jamie Irvine has worked in Australia, Los Angeles, New York and New Zealand. Jamie is a NIDA acting graduate and continued his study with Susan Batson and at the Stella Adler Studio in NYC. Over twenty years, he has taught acting at NIDA, Actors Centre Australia, Theatre of Arts in Hollywood, South Seas Film School and various other institutions. Acting Credits include Sweet Tooth, Tinā, Power Rangers: Dino Fury, Shortland St, Underbelly:Land of the Long Green Cloud, Black Hands, Westside, Home and Away, Anzac Girls and The Brokenwood Mysteries. Jamie has also directed across several mediums and in 2022 he directed NZ on Air funded webseries Here if you Need. Jamie joined Script to Screen in January 2023, where he currently works as Programme Manager.

These workshops are made possible thanks to generous support from Foundation North. 



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