While a global television renaissance provides an ever-evolving range of content for audiences, there is discontent within our own screen community around a lack of fresh and diverse local stories making it to air.

NZ on Air are responding to the rapidly changing environment by proposing changes the funding model for scripted projects, to take effect in July 2017. They are currently seeking feedback. 

So what is the future of NZ television storytelling, or what could it be?  

This month we bring together a panel who have made waves on and off the air in 2016, to talk about what they’ve learnt developing stories for television, their journeys getting content on air, and their visions for the future of NZ TV. 

Come and join writer/director Gerard Johnstone (TERRY TEO), director Kiel McNaughton and producer Kerry Warkia (THIS IS PIKI), and writer Shoshana McCallum (ANIMALS) in a discussion chaired by Spinoff journalist and critic Duncan Grieve.

Tues 8 November 2016, The Classic, 321 Queen Street, 7pm drinks, 7:30-8:30pm talk. $5 koha appreciated.

Join us for a drink beforehand and stay afterwards for a slice of pizza on us!

TERRY TEO – Written and directed by Gerard Johnstone, Terry Teo follows the young crook turned detective on a mission to avenge his father’s murder. The 80s comic book hero is back! Watch it on TVNZ On Demand.

THIS IS PIKI – Brown Sugar Apple Grunt’s latest production This is Piki is a drama series about a talented young woman’s journey to find her identity within her whānau, the Māori world and Aotearoa. Directed by Kiel McNaughton and produced by Kerry Warkia. Watch it on Māori Television.

ANIMALS – Created by Shoshana McCallum and developed with Peter Salmon and Aidee Walker, ANIMALS is a TV pilot about three women who are holding on too tightly to their personal idea of happiness rather than following their hearts. Just when the decisions they make start to really matter. Watch the pilot here.

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Script to Screen, Ngā Aho Whakaari and PIFT present the 2016 South Auckland Short Film Workshop – a free two-day workshop that will give you everything you need to know to make a short film.

Over one weekend, four experienced filmmakers will guide you through each stage of the filmmaking process – from the initial concept, writing, directing, working with actors and finally to pitch your idea to collaborators and funders.

We are looking for new talent from South Auckland with a passion for storytelling, and an interest in learning how to make a short film. Up to six attendees/teams will also have the opportunity to participate in the South Shorts Mentoring Programme. This is a tailored programme that pairs writers and producers with experienced industry mentors, and returns after a successful inaugural year.

When? Sat 19 and Sun 20 November, 9am-5pm both days

Where? MIT School of Visual Arts, 50 Lovegrove Cresent, Otara

How much? The workshop is free. Coffee, tea and biscuits will be provided in the breaks. We will also provide a picnic style lunch. We suggest a $15 cash koha to cover lunch on both days – so if you are able to contribute please bring this cash along with you to the workshop.

Register: Places are limited. Please email eloise@script-to-screen.co.nz or call 09 360 5400 to reserve a spot.

What do I need to bring to the workshop?

You are encouraged to come with a short film idea, and any team members you might wish to work with. It is not compulsory to have a short film idea ready, but will mean that you get the most out of the workshop.
The synopsis should be half a page, describing what your film is about, what happens in the film, and what you want people to feel when they are watching it. You could also include why this story is important to you or why this story needs to be told. Remember to include details like, how long you expect the film to be (short films are usually 5 – 15 mins long), whether it is a comedy or drama etc, and the characters’ names.
On Day 2 of the workshop, participants will be invited to pitch their short film idea to the group in a pitching competition, to a panel of industry mentors.You are welcome to pitch the short film idea you submitted, or another idea. The pitch is to be kept to 3 minutes.

SCHEDULE

Saturday 19 November

9am-9:15am – Tea/coffee/introduction

9:15am-10:45am – ‘Why I Make Films’ with Niki Si’ulepa (Ma, Snow in Paradise)

10:45am-12:15pm – Producing with Lara Northcroft (This is Piki, Tits on a Bull)

Learn about the role of the producer in driving the project from conception to completion

12:15-1:15pm – Lunch break

1:15pm – 5pm – Screenwriting with Michael Bennett (Matariki, The Factory)

Learn about the key points of storytelling and forming a structure that will grab the audience

Sunday 20 November

9am-11am – Directing with Hamish Bennett (The Dump, Ross and Beth)

Learn about the director’s role in the film and forming a strong vision for your story

11:15am – 5pm – Pitching Session

Participants are invited to pitch their short film idea to the group and a panel of industry mentors. The pitch is to be kept to 3 minutes.

2017 South Shorts Mentorship Programme

Following the workshop, those who wish to apply for the mentorship programme will be asked to submit a short statement to Script to Screen outlining why the mentorship programme is for them. The programme focuses on emerging writers and producers. Participating in the pitching session is not only a great way to practice communicating your film idea to others, but provides a great opportunity to introduce yourself and your film idea to the panel who will be selecting the participants for the 2017 South Shorts Mentorship Programme. Producers applying for the mentoring programme may either pitch their own idea at the pitching session, or pitch as a team with a writer. More info about South Shorts here.

Image: From short film MARIA, written by Toafia Pelesasa, and directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti.

This workshop was made possible with the support of the Creative Communities Scheme.

Story Camp Aotearoa 2016 is a rigorous five-day residential lab designed to develop New Zealand feature film projects. The lab, which takes place in Port Waikato, is tailored specifically to meet the development needs of the selected writers or writing teams and their project. This year’s mentors include Sundance Institute’s creative advisor Joan Tewkesbury, Sundance Institute’s artistic director Gyula Gazdag and sought-after NZ story consultant Brita McVeigh. More mentors to be announced soon.

We would like to give a warm thanks to everyone who applied this year. Submissions were read blind by four independent readers, who created a competitive shortlist of 13 feature film projects. From this shortlist, eight successful projects were chosen to attend the 2016 lab.

The eight projects and talented local writers/writing teams selected to workshop their feature film scripts this summer at Story Camp Aotearoa are:

BURMA STORY – Yamin Tun

LIFE IN SUBTITLES – Max Currie

LUCKY – Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu

MAGMA – Armagan Ballantyne & Jackie Van Beek

THE SURROGATE – Alyx Duncan & Lani-rain Feltham

UNDER A FULL MOON – Florian Habicht

ABBY GOES TO SPACE – Michelle Savill & Sophie Henderson

WILSON DIXON THE COWBOY PHILOSOPHER – Jesse Griffin

Applications are now open for the Aotearoa Short Film Lab, a prestigious hothouse mentoring scheme for screenwriters and aspiring screenwriters to workshop new ideas for short film.

Established in 2010 as a partnership between Show Me Shorts and Script to Screen, the Lab offers six local, and for the first time this year two international, short film makers the opportunity to develop their short film concepts and scripts with the guidance and advice of experienced industry mentors.

The Lab includes a full-day workshop hosted by the University of Auckland’s Screen Production Department in March 2017. The mentors in previous years have included Jackie van Beek (The Inland RoadUphillGo the Dogs), Jake Mahaffy (Free in DeedWellness,A.D. 1363, The End of Chivalry) and Shuchi Kothari (FiraaqApron StringsCoffee and Allah).

Previous Short Film Lab participants have described the interactive workshop as “inspiring” and “invaluable”, and many have gone on to make the shortlist for NZFC Fresh Shorts funding. In 2013, the first film developed with the assistance of the Short Film Lab – Lauren Jackson’s I’m Going to Mum’s – premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won Best Short Film Script at the SWANZ Awards.

The Lab is free to attend for all selected applicants, but there is a NZ$20 application fee. Those selected can come on their own or bring up to two key creative collaborators with them.

To apply to the 2016 Aotearoa Short Film Lab complete the online application form. This will ask you to provide:

APPLY NOW

If you have any queries please contact Sjionel Timu on sjionel@script-to-screen.co.nz.

Applications close on Wednesday 14 December 2016, 5pm.

Image: I’m Going to Mums, Dir. Lauren Jackson, Photo: Tania Jackson

NZ’s biggest film industry event of the year, the Big Screen Symposium, takes place on 24/25 September. Join us as an impressive group of international and local speakers address this year’s theme – Playing with Risk.

For the full list of exciting speakers and events, check out the program on our website here.

You don’t want to miss out on this amazing networking and learning opportunity. Be there to be informed, inspired, and be part of the community.

BUY YOUR TICKET HERE.

Follow us on facebook and twitter and be part of the Big Screen Symposium community.

On the 6th and 7th of August, 49 aspiring filmmakers gathered at Toi Whakaari for a weekend packed full of ideas, advice, inspiration and knowledge.

On the Sunday afternoon, 30 of the participants pitched their short film ideas, which they had refined with the learning from the writing session, and practised in their own time. The level of pitches blew the panel away, and there was a bubbling vibe of warmth and generosity in the room. Participants came away with a renewed passion for the quest of filmmaking, a strengthened belief in their own work, and some formed 48 hours teams with people they met at the workshop.

The winner of the pitching competition was writer Judith Cowley, with her idea SHEARING, with special mentions going to Chris Howe, Teresa Bass, and co-writing team Sarita So and Natano Keni.

“I loved the enthusiasm and energy from the everyone that attended the workshop. The dynamic was great and everyone was very kind and supportive of each other.  A perfect environment for the conception of magic!” – Pitching competition judge Nikki Si’ulepa.

 “The workshop definitely impassioned my desire to start creating, and the speakers were honest and inspiring.” – Workshop participant.

This workshop was made possible with the support of the Creative Communities Scheme.

Mon 12 Sept, 6-7pm, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Wellington

Whether it’s odd-ball characters, slapstick or dark humour, in sketch or narrative content, are we making the most of our potential to write great comedic work for the screen? This September we bring together a panel of screenwriters and comedians for serious discussion about comedy.

Join us to hear from writer/actor Loren Taylor (EXISTENCE, EAGLE VS SHARK, KOMBI NATION), actor/writer Charlie Bleakley (CHILD PROOF, COCONUT), and writer/actor/director/producer Paul Yates (GIRL VS BOY, WHAT NOW?) as they talk to actor/writer/playwright Tom Sainsbury (SUPER CITY, DYNAMOTION) about the challenge of creating comedic stories and characters that come alive on screen.

Come early for a drink and stay afterwards for a slice of pizza on us.

Monday 12 September, 5.30pm drinks, 6-7pm talk. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki Street. $5 koha appreciated.

With the sheer number of films in the global market, what does it take to get your projects recognised on the international stage?

Fresh from Sundance, SXSW, Cannes’ Marché du Film and Berlin’s EFM, producers Robin ScholesAnt Timpson and Alexander Behse come to together for a special market debrief chaired by producer Christina Milligan.

Don’t miss this chance to hear from those with years of market experience as they shed light on what distributors, sales agents, and other potential partners are looking for, what is capturing their attention right now, and why.

Tuesday 23rd August, 7pm drinks, 7:30-8:30 talk, The Classic, 321 Queen Street, $5 koha appreciated. 

Make sure to stick around afterwards for a slice of pizza on us!

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We are honoured to announce that legendary US writer, director, producer and choreographer Joan Tewkesbury will be joining acclaimed and iconoclastic Hungarian writer/director Gyula Gazdag in the line up of mentors at Script to Screen’s Story Camp this summer.

What is Story Camp?

Story Camp evolves from our 2014 and 2015 writing labs, which have seen talented local writers workshop their feature film scripts with exceptional international and local mentors.

This year each selected writer or writing team will have a rigorous five-day residential experience tailored specifically to meet the development needs of their feature film project. At the heart of the programme remains exceptional and experienced practitioners working with NZ’s exciting writers and filmmakers to foster voice and vision.

The process for each participant will be made up of some or all of the following development techniques: one-on-one script sessions, project-based group workshops, read-throughs, and workshopping with actors. The writers’ key collaborators will be invited in to parts of the process in instances where that will be of additional benefit to the process and project.

Applications Close: 5pm, Monday 29 August 2016

Story Camp Dates: November 28 – December 3 2016

APPLY NOW

Script to Screen is proud to announce the eight filmmaker mentors who join FilmUp 2016.

The securing of legendary NZ writer/director Andrew Adamson and Australian producer Rosemary Blight (CLEVERMAN) completes the stella line-up.

The mentorship pairings for the 2016 FilmUp Programme are:

Director Ray Lawrence (LANTANA) mentors Gaysorn Thavat

Producer Rachel Gardner (SLOW WEST) mentors Georgina Conder

Writer/direcor Gerard Johnstone (HOUSEBOUND) mentors Joe Lonie

Writer/director Dana Rotberg (ANGEL DE FUEGO) mentors writer Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu

Writer/director Jake Mahaffy (FREE IN DEED) mentors Max Currie

Prouducer Rosemary Blight (CLEVERMAN) mentors Nadia Maxwell

Writer/director Andrew Adamson (SHREK) mentors Tim Van Dammen

Writer/director Rolf De Heer (CHARLIE’S COUNTRY) mentors Yamin Tun

See their biographies here.

The generosity and spirit of our distinguished mentors is an integral part of what makes Script to Screen’s FilmUp Programme so successful, and a heartfelt thank you goes to each of them for joining us.

FilmUp is our high-end development programme for writers, directors and producers who have already shown considerable talent and tenacity in their work.

Over the year, each film-up participant has 20 hours of time from their mentor, and attends a series of hub days that include round tables, workshops, and group work as part of the programme, which is tailored to participants’ individual needs.

We are excited about the time ahead for these filmmakers and look forward to seeing what each mentorship brings.

FilmUp is made possible with financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission.

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