Fresh Shorts – Application Info

Fresh Shorts 2020


We’re still waiting to hear from the NZFC about funding for another round of Fresh Shorts. Covid-19 has affected many things including the source of the NZFC’s revenue – lotteries.  So they are reassessing their budgets and we should know something soon.

In the meantime, you can read all the guidelines and application information from 2019 if you would like to get an idea of what is expected.

Sign up to our mail list to ensure you are notified when there is an update about Fresh Shorts 2020.


Fresh Shorts 2019 Application Information


Fresh Shorts identifies and nurtures the next generation of New Zealand filmmakers. From 2019 Script to Screen is working in partnership with NZFC to deliver the Fresh Shorts programme. Applications opened on 14 June 2019 and closed on 19 August 2019 at 1 pm.

Any enquiries can be directed to the Script to Screen Fresh Shorts Facilitator: 

What is Fresh Shorts?

  • Fresh Shorts offers grants of $15,000 to new or emerging filmmakers to make a short film
  • Filmmakers may have some experience, or they may be new to the screen industry
  • More experienced filmmakers should apply for Catalyst He Kauahi funding

What NZFC will fund

The development and production of short films made by up-and-coming filmmakers.

  • $90,000 of grants are available for the production of up to six short films.

Who can apply

New Zealand filmmakers of short film projects with:

  • A director attached
  • Applicants need a producer who is separate to the director
  • First-time directors can apply for Fresh Shorts
  • Availability to attend the Fresh Shorts Development Labs (writers, producers, and directors).
    • Development Lab dates: 8 – 10 November 2019

How to apply

Read the Fresh Shorts Guidelines before registering and prepare your answers offline for online portal submissions opening Friday 14 June.


What you need to apply for Fresh Shorts 

  • Story – creative materials including a script
  • Vision – information from the director
  • Producer – statement and plans from the producer
  • Budget – budget notes and financial plan
  • Team – bios of key people

To stay informed, please subscribe to the Fresh Shorts updates mailing list.

You can also subscribe to the Script to Screen mailing list for news about events, workshops and development programmes for people working in the screen industry.

Fresh Shorts Guidelines

Fresh Shorts Application Pointers

NZFC Chain of Title

NZFC Recommended Short Film Festivals

NZFC Sample Script 1-MY FRIEND MICHAEL JONES Final Script V2

NZFC Sample Script 2 – Shadow Cut Final Script

NZFC Short Film Marketing Guide

NZFC Talent Eligibility Criteria

Fresh Shorts Delivery Schedule June 2019

Link to excel spreadsheet templates for Short Film Budget and Short Film Schedule



Put your best foot forward! Make sure you have read all the guidelines and applications pointers thoroughly and had a look through the online funding portal.

Can I be both the writer and director? 

Applicants may be both writer and director, but you must have a separate producer. You cannot be both the director and the producer. 

Is it possible to submit more than one application for different projects/scripts? 

You can enter more than one project for Fresh Shorts, but keep in mind that you are effectively competing against yourself. In the case where two projects with the same writer, director or producer have the good fortune to be shortlisted, the team member can only attend the Development Lab with one team/project. You should be clear in your own mind which is the most important project.  

Can I be the producer on more than one project submitted to Fresh Shorts? 

Yes, however, you should be clear in your own mind which is the most important project. If a producer has more than one project they could hand over their second project to an authentic co-producer (someone who wants to produce that specific film and has skills in that area, can attend the development lab and be an integral part of the team going forward). In that case, it would be useful to include in the producer statement how the two producers aim to communicate and divide the workload.  

I live overseas/I am an international filmmaker. Can I apply for Fresh Shorts? 

If your team are all NZ citizens or residents, then you are eligible to apply for Fresh Shorts. If you intend to film overseas it would be important to cover this in your Producer Statement. If you are not NZ Citizens or residents, you are ineligible for Fresh Shorts.  

Is there a deadline for production to be completed within? 

Completed films need to be delivered within 1 year of funding being accepted, estimated to be sometime around Feb 2021. 

If we were to be successful with our application, can we seek further funding from other places such as boosted/go fund me campaigns or businesses and sponsors?

Most teams do raise additional funding and other support (in-kind services, donations, etc.) for their films as the grant may not cover all expenses. Successful projects may use up to 80% of the NZFC grant to seek match funding through crowdfunding (so if you were funded at $15,000 you could seek up to $12,000 through crowdfunding).  

You should register early at the Fresh Shorts online portal to view the online application form, which also provides more information about budget and finance plan. 



Stay informed on latest news and events



* indicates required
Field of Work (tick all that apply)

Script to Screen will use the information you provide on this form to send information and reminders about Talks, Workshops, Mentorships, and any other events or news we have. Please opt in here: