Eligibility Criteria  

Q: Where can we seek external (objective) advice on whether we are emerging or mid-career filmmakers?
A: As this programme is funded by NZFC, we are using their career level descriptions. You can contact to seek more nuanced advice. 

Q: Does living in central Otago count?
A: You must have your current permanent residence in either Otago or Southland to take part in Southern Pilots.  

Q: Do you have to have a director attached? Can it be Writer / Producer duo?  
A: The team does not have to have a director attached, it can be a Writer and Producer duo. 

Q: Do you have to have a producer attached? Can it be Writer / Director duo?  
A: The team must have a producer attached. 

Q: Does the cultural consultant need to be based in the area?
A: Only the key team members Producer, Writer and Director need to be based in the Otago Southland Region. The cultural consultant does not need to be based in the area, but if there is a suitable consultant in the region it would be good to use them.  

Q: We are working on a series that must be shot in Dunedin but only 1 of the team is Otago based, the others Wellington / Auckland but no longer live in the city. Does that mean we are not eligible for this initiative?
A: Correct, the Wellington / Auckland team members are not living in Otago or Southland right now, so this teams project would not be eligible. A priority of the programme is to foster and develop local talent living in Otago or Southland.  

Q: Does the project need to be set / shot in Otago and/or Southland?
A: No, but preference will be given to projects either set in Otago and/or Southland or will be shot in Otago and/or Southland. 


Project Content/Duration 

Q: Is a one-hour drama suitable?
A: There is no minimum or maximum duration for the Southern Pilots projects, but duration should suit the experience level of the team and meet the requirements of the intended platform. 

Q: The application called for 5-10 pages of sample script. Can a full episode be given?  
A: The selectors will only be reading 5 pages for a series 30mins or less, and 10 pages for series greater than 30mins.  

Q: Are there any genres that are a focus for this initiative, e.g. comedy, horror, etc.
A: All genres will be considered.  

Q: Are selectors looking for any specific content? E.g. highlighting rural NZ issues, as an example. Or is it anything goes?
A: The selectors have no preconceived ideas about what they want. They will be looking for the best ideas. Preference will be given to projects that are set in Otago and/or Southland or will be shot in Otago and/or Southland. 

Q: Are there any objections to target audience type with content containing drug use/nudity/expletives 
A: No, as long as it is suitable for, and can be found by the proposed audience. 

Q: Will animated series be considered?
A: Yes, animated series will be considered. Information about where the animation would take place will be an important part of an application for animated series.  


Other Questions 

Q: If a story isn’t ready for this year, is Southern Pilots likely to be a regular event? 
A: Southern Pilots is reliant on funding. We cannot know, at this time, if we will successfully achieve funding in the future, but we would like to run the programme again. Please join our mailing list to receive notifications of future announcements.  


Q: Does the team of Writer, Director, need to contracted to the Producer?
A: We highly recommend the IP holder has a Letter of Understanding or a Development Agreement in place with each member of the team if the team do not hold the IP jointly. Please read the NZWG’s Best Practice Guide, in particular the Tools For A Strong Start.

Linked below:


Q: Submitting your documents. What to Submit? 
A: You must attach one document (no more than 10 pages) as a PDF answering all questions 1-9. Your script sample of 5-10 pages must be uploaded and attached as a separate PDF.   





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