Fresh Shorts – Application Info

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 2021

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts identifies and nurtures the next generation of New Zealand filmmakers. Script to Screen is working in partnership with NZFC to deliver the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts programme.


Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One
Applications Open: 30 August 2021 (Apply via Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Portal)
Applications Close: 1pm, Monday 11 October 2021
Announcement of Shortlisted: Week commencing 22 November 2021

Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two
Applications Close: 1pm, Monday 17 January 2022
Announcement of Funded Team: Week commencing 21 February 2022
Development Workshop Dates: 19-20 March 2022

Any enquiries can be directed to Emma Mortimer the Script to Screen Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Programme Manager:

Quick links:

What is Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts?

  • Kōpere Hou – 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

To be eligible for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts, the writer, director and producer must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and your film must have significant New Zealand content. Due to COVID-19 and current New Zealand government border restrictions, all applicants must be residing in New Zealand.

You must:

  • Have a director attached (see guidelines for more detail)
  • Applicants need a producer who is separate to the director
  • First-time directors can apply for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts
  • Availability to attend the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Workshop (writers, producers, and directors).
    • Development Workshop dates:19-20 March 2022

How to apply

Read the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Guidelines before registering and prepare your answers offline for online portal submissions.

What you need to apply for Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One of Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 2021

  • Team Video Vimeo Link (4 minutes max duration). Covering: What is the heart of your story and why you want to make this film?
  • Genre (2 genres max from list supplied)
  • Logline (35 words max)
  • Script
  • Tangata whenua, diversity, representation, and consultation summary (if applicable) (300 words max)
  • Director’s summary (300 words max)
  • Director’s visual inspiration images (5 images in a single PDF upload)
  • Producer’s summary (300 words max)
  • Short bio & filmography for each team member (bio 250 words max each)

A shortlist of 18 teams will be invited to submit a Stage Two application. This detailed application is the same as previous years to ensure all bases are covered, from pre-production to delivery, that health and safety is addressed and the team have all the support they require to make the film.

From the shortlist, six projects will receive $15,000 grants. The teams behind each of these projects will attend a two-day development workshop 19-20 March 2022 and be matched with an experienced industry practitioner to receive six weeks mentoring to get their project ‘shoot ready’.  It has been our experience over several years that projects have greatly benefited from support to further develop the work before moving toward production.

Supporting Documentation:


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 Kōpere Hou – 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 Kōpere Hou – 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 Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts? 

If your team are all NZ citizens or residents, then you are eligible to apply for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts. If you are shortlisted, you need to be able to attend the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Workshop 19-20 March 2022. If you intend to film overseas it would be important to cover this in your Producer Statement in the shortlist re-submission. If you are not NZ Citizens or residents, you are ineligible for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts.

Do all the team members have to be in NZ?

Selected teams must be in New Zealand at the time of the two day Workshop in March 2022. Teams will not be funded by Script to Screen or NZFC to fly to New Zealand from other countries to attend the Workshop. If a team member chooses to fund their return to NZ in order to attend the Workshop that would be accepted, and the application would be eligible.

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 April 2023.

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 Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts online portal to view the online application form.




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