If you have a feature film you want to package and finance in 2018, don’t end the year without hearing about developments at international film markets in 2017.

The New Zealand Film Commission assists producers to travel to key international markets where they can advance the packaging and financing of their film projects.  Producers who were the recipients of the NZFC PITA Fund have generously agreed to share the knowledge they gained at market.

Join this discussion about global film packaging and financing trends.

Monday 4 December at 4.00 – 5.30pm
Studio One, 1 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn

Wednesday 13 December at 4.00 – 5.30pm
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki Street, Te Aro

Script to Screen presents a one-day feature film writing workshop for emerging filmmakers of Wellington.

Over the course of the day Duncan SarkiesGaylene Preston and Nick Ward each explore aspects of feature film development, dissecting their own processes in order to help you hone your own.

What Do You Want?: Screenwriter, playwright and novelist Duncan Sarkies leads a morning workshop on character objectives: how an understanding of what your character wants and the obstacles that get in their way can be used to generate ideas for your story.

Collaborative Practice: Esteemed filmmaker Gaylene Preston discusses creating a workable framework for each individual project.  She’ll talk about managing the perils and pitfalls of working in such an inherently collaborative medium from the outset, including establishing clarity around ownership, ensuring you’re making the same project, and a team’s creative process.

Writing, re-writing, re-writing: Screenwriter Nick Ward shares his secrets to writing a screenplay that engages the reader and reads professionally. Come and hear how to inspire producers, avoid the common pitfalls and deal with the tough realities of getting your story to the big screen.

Date: Saturday 11 November

Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Venue: The Vogelmorn Bowling Club, 93 Mornington Rd, Brooklyn, Wellington

Cost: $20. Please bring cash on the day. Morning and afternoon tea will be provided. Please bring lunch with you.

Please register your attendance here: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/wellington-screenwriting-workshop-2017-tickets-39466639782

*Image taken from RUBY & RATA. DIR: Gaylene Preston

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

Got a script in development?
Have you thought about your audience?

Join us at this Script to Screen Talk and find out what local distributors consider before they take on a project for distribution.

Having a strong script and a great filmmaking team is not enough. Most often, unlocking NZFC production funding depends on a commitment from a local distributor.

Come along to hear from Tony Bald at Paramount Pictures, Andrew Cozens at Madman, Nigel Forsyth at Studio Canal and Kelly Rogers at Rialto Distribution.

Moderator Emma Slade talks to the panelists about what they look for and why, including genre and story elements, team, and at what stage of development they like to get on board.

Be you a writer, director or a producer, if you are developing a feature film project this event is not to be missed!

Thursday 9 November at the Basement Theatre.
Doors open at 5pm. Talk starts at 6:15pm – 7:15pm.
$5 suggested koha. Stay afterwards for pizza on us!

“That seemingly casual connection between life an mythology, between flesh-and-blood reality and its parallel spiritual dimensions, informs this meditative drama about the redemption of a man whose healing hands have also inflicted scars on his family.”

– David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

When Tusi Tamasese’s ONE THOUSAND ROPES premiered to critical acclaim in Berlinale’s prestigious Panorama section and at home, the co-existence of social realism and mysticism was consistently identified as striking, effective and unusual.

In this special session, Tamasese is joined by producer Catherine Fitzgerald, editor Annie Collins, colourist Clare Burlinson and VFX Supervisor Darwin Go to explore how post elements and music came together to tell the powerful story of ONE THOUSAND ROPES.

A section of the film is granularly analysed to demonstrate the composition of pictures, colour palette, sound design and music. Points of discussion include how a ‘purgatory’ feel for Maea’s world, and the threatening feel of character Seipua were achieved.

Join us to hear about how the creative power of post can enhance character and world, whilst serving story. If feedback from the BSS is anything to go by, this session is not to be missed!

Please RSVP at: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/one-thousand-ropes-case-study-tickets-39063472899

Park Road Post, 141 Park Road, Mirimar, Wellington, Thurs 02 November. Drinks 5:30pm – 6:30pm, talk 6:30pm-7:30pm, $5 suggested koha.

Script to Screen, Ngā Aho Whakaari and PIFT present the 2017 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 2018 South Shorts Mentoring Programme. This is a tailored programme that pairs writers and producers with experienced industry mentors.

When? Sat 18 and Sun 19 November, 9am-5pm both days

Where? Faculty of Creative Arts, Manukau Institute of Technology, 50 Lovegrove Cresent, Otara

How much? The workshop is free. We provide a picnic style lunch and suggest $15 cash to cover lunch on both days – if you are able to contribute please bring this cash along with you to the workshop.

Register: Places are limited. Please email sjionel@script-to-screen.co.nz or cal 09) 3605400 to register.

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.

You could write a synopsis which 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 (usually 5 – 15 mins long), the genre of your film (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 and a panel of industry mentors. The pitch is to be kept to 3 minutes.

Image from short film WAITING.  Written by Samuel Kamu and directed by Amberley Jo Aumua.

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


Saturday 18 November

9am-9:15am – Tea/coffee/introduction

9:15am-10:45am – Kaupapa of Story with Renae Maihi (WARU, MANAHATTA)

10:45am-12:15pm – Producing with Orlando Stewart (FIRE IN CARDBOARD CITY, THE DUMP)

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 Shuchi Kothari (COFFEE & ALLAH, APRON STRINGS)

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

Sunday 19 November

9.15am-10:45am – Directing with Sima Urale  (APRON STRINGS, O TAMAITI)

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

10:45am – 11am – Morning Tea

11am – Work on Pitch

11:30am – 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.

In addition to the 2017 South Auckland Short Film Workshop, Script to Screen is proud to reintroduce the South Shorts Mentoring Programme.

Six participants of the South Auckland Short Film Workshop will be chosen to participate in a 6 month programme, which offers over 20 hours of mentoring on a short film project.

The programme will guide emerging writers and producers through the process of developing a short film, whether the filmmakers aim to make the film on their own, or getting a script ready to apply for the New Zealand Film Commission Fresh Shorts scheme. We are looking for distinctive new voices with a passion for storytelling. Participants may have some, little or no prior knowledge of filmmaking.

How do I apply?

The participants will be chosen based on a combination of their pitch during the 2017 South Auckland Short Film Workshop, and a written statement submitted to Script to Screen after the workshop outlining why the mentoring programme is for them.

Apply here: https://form.jotform.co/73235710827860

Programme Outline

The South Shorts Mentoring Programme will start in early 2018, and participants will need to be available to attend the following days. Dates have not yet been set and will be discussed with the participants in December 2017.

Kick-off Lab (7 hours) – All mentors and participants attend a one day intensive lab to launch the programme.

Hubs (6 hours) – The participants come together for two 3 hour hub meetings during the six month period. This is a chance for the writers to discuss their experiences, what they are learning and hear from a guest speaker about a particular topic.

Ongoing Mentoring (6 hours over a six month period) – Participants are each offered 6 hours of one-on-one sessions with their mentor over the course of six months. The content of these sessions will be tailored to suit the needs of each team, but centre around developing the story and script, ready for either shooting the film or applying for funding.

Wrap-up Lab (3 hours) – A half-day wrap up workshop completes the six-month journey. Teams will chart progress, discuss challenges they encountered and plan the way forward for their film.

Image from Loading Docs TIHEI. Directed by Hamish Bennett and produced by Orlando Stewart.

This initiative is made possible with assistance from Foundation North.

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

Established in 2010 as a partnership between Show Me Shorts and Script to Screen, the Lab offers six local and up to two international, short filmmakers 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 in Auckland in March 2018. The mentors in previous years have included: Ainsley Gardiner (Boy, Two Cars One Night), Jackie van Beek (UphillGo the Dogs), Jake Mahaffy (Free in DeedWellnessA.D. 1363 The End of Chivalry), Zia Mandviwalla (Night Shift)Roseanne Liang (Do No Harm, Friday Night Bites)Michael Bennett (The Confessions of Prisoner T, Matariki)Dianne Taylor (Beyond the Known World, Apron Strings) 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. Travel costs are the responsibility of the selected participants.

The Lab is generously supported by the New Zealand Film Commission, Wallace Foundation, The Trusts Community Foundation and The University of Auckland.

To apply, complete the online application form.

This will ask you to provide:

Applications close on Thursday 14 December 2017, 5pm.


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

Image: TREEDir. Lauren Jackson, Photo: Still from shoot (DOP: Simon Raby)

Script to Screen is thrilled to partner with the NZ International Film Festival to present a series of TALKS with the filmmakers behind: MY YEAR WITH HELENMOUNTAINWARU and GOD’S OWN COUNTRY.

Join us after each screening to hear firsthand from both international and local filmmakers about the challenges and intrigues of bringing these much anticipated films to the screen.

Entry to the TALKS is free but to see the film beforehand, please book your tickets through the NZIFF website.

Director, Gaylene Preston.
Fresh from the World Premiere in Sydney, join legendary filmmaker, Gaylene Preston as she reveals what she discovered about Helen Clark, and the challenges she faced when making a documentary across multiple continents with a high profile subject.
“Preston’s cameras explore the cracks between the diplomats, the embedded press and feminist activists as they push for change, (at the U.N.), while caught up in a power process as secretive and patriarchal as the selection of the Pope.” Kip Brook (makelemonade.nz)
23 July with Paula Morris after 1.00pm screening
25 July with Helene Wong after 11.00am screening
VENUE: Wintergarden at the Civic Theatre

Directors: Casey KaaAinsley GardinerKatie WolfeRenae MaihiPaula Whetu JonesAwanui Simich-Pene and writer Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu in conversation with Mihingarangi Forbes
This is the World Premiere of a powerful NZ film. WARU brings eight talented Māori women to the director’s chair to address one of the most important issues facing NZ society right now.  If the exceptional feedback from the moving conversation at last year’s Big Screen Symposium is anything to go by, this is a film and a discussion not to be missed.
These sessions were made possible thanks to additional support from the New Zealand Film Commission.
2 Aug after 6.15pm screening
6 Aug after 4.00pm screening
VENUE: ASB Waterfront Theatre

Please note: As this TALK is in the cinema, you must purchase a ticket to the film to attend.

Director, Jennifer Peedom
MOUNTAIN is described by The Guardian as“a 70-minute rush of adrenaline; a safari into the sublime; a vertiginous voyage to the top of the world”. Director, Jennifer Peedom (SHERPA) visits Auckland to share stories about her experience working for the second time with high altitude cinematographer Renan Ozturk; her collaborations with writer Robert Macfarlane and narrator Willem Defoe; creating an atmospheric score with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and wrangling more than 2,000 hours of footage shot in 15 countries to make her spectacular new movie.
1 Aug with Leanne Pooley after 6.30pm screening.
VENUE: Wintergarden at the Civic Theatre

Writer/Director Francis Lee
Francis Lee
 joins us from the UK to share stories about the making of his first feature, GOD’S OWN COUNTRY, winner of Best British Feature Film at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, Best Director prize in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition and the Männer Jury Award for Best Film at Berlin Film Festival. BFI describes the film as “one of the most assured, fully-formed British debuts of recent years”. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear from Francis who started his directing career at 40 when he quit acting to make three self-financed short films.
2 Aug with Max Currie after 6.30pm screening
3 Aug with Shuchi Kothari 
after 1.00pm screening
VENUE: Wintergarden at the Civic Theatre

“Don’t be fooled. Story Camp takes place in a beautifully simple, stripped-back setting by the sea – but man it’s tough.  My script was expertly interrogated with care and without mercy – but unlike notes and feedback delivered via email, this was a living process.  Story Camp’s no holiday, it was often uncomfortable, but I am undoubtedly a better writer for the experience.”

– Max Currie

Applications open soon for Script to Screen’s Story Camp, an immersive feature film development workshop that fosters craft, imagination and voice. Over five days exceptional local and international practitioners engage in a robust exchange with talented NZ screenwriters and filmmakers to help their feature film projects be the best they can be.

Kathryn Burnett prompts 2016 participants Armagan Ballantyne, Florian Habicht, Jesse Griffin and Josephine Stewart Te-Whiu to share their Story Camp learnings.

Join us to hear direct how the experience changed these filmmakers approach to story, writing process and development. Find out how the selection process works and how your application can stand out from the crowd.

International advisors have included Artistic Director of the Sundance Directors’ Lab Gyula Gazdag, longstanding Sundance mentor screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury (NASHVILLE), and screenwriters Guillermo Arriaga (21 GRAMS), David Seidler (THE KINGS SPEECH, Michael Goldernburg (HARRY POTTER: THE GOBLET OF FIRE).

The Basement, Thurs 22 June, bar opens 5pm, talk 6-7, $5 koha appreciated.

Story Camp Aotearoa is made possible with financial assistance from the New Zealand Film Commission.

The creators of many of our recent most loved and successful films are being brought together for a pioneering new programme focused on building sustainable businesses in our film industry.

The programme is called Strength in Numbers and will be delivered in a series of two-day workshops beginning in Auckland June 5-6. Ten of New Zealand’s most exciting up and coming producers, including those who brought us HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, BOY, THE DARK HORSE, LOVE STORY, THREE WISE COUSINS, and LOADING DOCS are the first participants in the programme.

This trans-Tasman partnership is run by Script to Screen and led by David Court. David recently founded Compton School, a new business school for creative people.  He will be familiar to New Zealand filmmakers from his former role as Head of Screen Business at AFTRS and his work on the Jackson/Court review of the NZ Film Commission.

Script to Screen is thrilled to be working with David Court and Compton School, strengthening ties between the two countries. Strength in Numbers will foster crucial discussion within New Zealand’s filmmaking community about how practitioners can work together to build sustainable creative businesses.

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