Northland Film Workshop: Learn to Bring Your Film Ideas to Life

Script to Screen, in partnership with Northland Youth Theatre, presents a free four-day film workshop in the July school holidays for 16-25 year olds.

The workshop will help participants develop skills in crafting a story idea, writing a script, and acting. The aim of the workshop is to foster writing talent and encourage aspiring filmmakers. No experience or prior knowledge of filmmaking is necessary.

On Days 1 and 2, participants will hear from writer/director Michael Bennett (In Dark Places, Matariki) about finding a story, crafting the story so that it is compelling on screen, and writing a scene.

On Days 3 and 4, actor Laurel Devenie (Shortland Street), will lead an acting workshop, using the scenes that were written earlier in the week. Each participant will get a chance to act in a scene. On the last day we will tape the scenes and watch them back.

When: Tuesday 9th – Friday 12th July, 9am-2pm

Light morning tea and snacks are provided. Please bring lunch with you.

Where: Northland Youth Theatre, 86 Bank St, Whangarei 0110

How much: Free!

Registration: Places are limited – please register via EventBrite

Presented in partnership with:


Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker and author. Michael’s second feature-length drama, IN DARK PLACES, tells the story of Teina Pora’s imprisonment for 21 years for crimes he did not commit. The television film is based on Michael’s book In Dark Places which won the Ngaio Marsh Award for best non-fiction book, and Michael made an award-winning documentary about Teina’s story. Michael’s short films COW and KEROSENE CREEK screened at numerous film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, London and New York, and his debut feature MATARIKI premiered at Toronto Film Festival and won awards in New Zealand and internationally.

Michael has written and directed for many television drama series. As well as his own film and TV and book work, Michael works in communities around New Zealand with Script to Screen working with locals to tell their stories on film, he works with developing filmmakers through the NZ Film Commission and Ngā Aho Whakaari, and is head of the screenwriting programme at South Seas Film School. Michael’s second book, Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas (a post-apocalyptic time travel graphic novel co-authored with Ant Sang) was published by Penguin / Random House June 2018.

In 2015 Michael founded 10000 COMPANY with Jane Holland to create and develop original film and television projects. Their first production was In Dark Places.

Laurel Devenie works as an actor, director, teacher and theatre-maker and is a graduate of Toi Whakaari and the John Bolton Theatre School. She has played the role of Kate Nathan on SHORTLAND STREET for the last three and a half years and has worked consistently throughout the country in many different theatrical arenas, involved in both professional and community theatre projects. She has worked with ATC, Silo Theatre, Capital E, Unitec, Prayas, Downstage Theatre, Red Leap and NYT. She teaches regularly and works with actors in one on one sessions. She is director and founder of Company of Giants and co-instigator of ONEONESIX and is deeply committed to developing an audience and contributing to the growth of a professional performing arts framework in Whangarei, as well as generating youth based opportunities within the arts. She has facilitated arts based community programmes to work with different sectors of the community, most recently a collaboration with the NDHB facilitating an Arts programme to support a diverse group of young people living with T1 Diabetes in Northland, co-ordinating performance, photography, song, sound artists and visual arts into a cohesive year long process.

Northland Film Workshop is made possible thanks to
New Zealand Film Commission and Foundation North.




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