Six short films funded through Fresh Shorts initiative

Six filmmaking teams have been selected for funding through the 2020 round of Fresh Shorts and will each receive a grant of $15,000 to make their short film.

The final six were selected from a pool of 97 applications. 18 teams were shortlisted and given feedback from independent assessors.  Supported by Fresh Shorts facilitator Miriam Smith they submitted a more detailed application to Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two in January. From the 18 submissions, six were selected.

Script to Screen and the New Zealand Film Commission will partner to support the development of these films with a two-day lab in March and a six-week mentorship process following the lab to get the teams shoot ready.

Chris Payne, Head of International Relations and Fresh Shorts panel member at the New Zealand Film Commission said, “The panel was impressed with the originality, diversity, and strength of the directors’ voices, they all have something important to say, and we’re excited to support their progression.”

Jackie Dennis, Executive Director of Script to Screen who was also part of the selection process said, “This is a fantastic group of filmmakers who have really engaging stories to tell – and it’s a ground shift to see five of the six directors are female! We are now tailoring the two-day workshop and mentorship support to match the needs of each team and their project.”

The 6 selected teams and their projects are:

  • Arrival
    Francesca Mackenzie (W/P) and Ahmed Osman (D)
    A twelve-year-old Somali refugee struggles to adjust to her new life as she and her mother resettle in New Zealand.
  • Ave Marie
    Celestina Sumby (W/D), Francesca Carney (P) and Zelda Edwards (P)
    When Marie’s bullied gender-bending brother takes on the local BMX gang and fights back, it is up to her, the Virgin Mary and dance to help bring peace to the neighbourhood.
  • Cradle & Grave
    Malinna Liang (W), Tema Pua (D) and Phoebe Shum (P)
    Over one night of misadventures, a headstrong young woman must help her recently returned-from-the-dead mother cross over into the afterlife by doing the one thing they never managed in life: becoming a team.
  • Homecoming
    Grae Meek (W/D) and Anna Canton (P)
    A transgender woman returns home for the first time since transitioning to see her parents and must contend with their anxiety and disapproval as well as her own trepidation and fears for this long-awaited dinner.
  • Māmā
    Kyrah Hetaraka (W/D) and Angela Cudd (P)
    A young Māori girl and her mother struggle to navigate the impending possibility of their separation, as a custody battle driven by racial bias will ultimately decide their fate.
  • Vivie
    Hweiling Ow (W/D) and Mia Maramara (P)
    A sexually frustrated young woman is desperate to persuade her human-sized vagina to play ball when she bumps into an ex-boyfriend.


Fresh Shorts is a New Zealand Film Commission initiative run in partnership with Script to Screen.




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