Script to Screen is proud to be partnering with Compton School once again to deliver Strength in Numbers – a programme designed to teach screen practitioners about growing a sustainable and profitable business while doing the work they want to do.

Strength in Numbers offers a unique opportunity for screen practitioners to work together on the building blocks of business models that will sustain their future and ultimately shape the industry itself.  The programme aims to cultivate a super-smart community of businesspeople in the screen industry that support each other over time, which is especially important for filmmakers who often work in isolation.

Run by Script to Screen, and led by Australian screen business expert David Court, Strength in Numbers comprises a series of workshops that arms participants with the tools they need to build a sustainable business in the screen industry.  The programme is for screen practitioners with a slate of projects and a screen industry business already underway and will be delivered over several workshop days held in Auckland and online in the first half of 2022.

Selected participants will be emerging to mid-career, and have a proven track record that demonstrates considerable talent and tenacity in their field.

To encourage screen practitioners from the regions to apply we have support from some of New Zealand’s regional offices: Film Otago SouthlandFilm DunedinFilm Queenstown Lakes and Screen Canterbury.

Past participants of Strength in Numbers are creators behind many of our most loved and successful screen projects Coming Home In The Dark, The Justice of Bunny King, Creamery, Kura, The Panthers, Savage, Bellbird, James & Isey, Reunion, Jojo Rabbit and Loading Docs.

“Strength in Numbers is an exceptional course that dramatically altered the way I look at my business. The programme not only provides great business tools but also shifts mindsets when it comes to growth. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

– Orlando Stewart producer of Bellbird

What you’ll need to submit: 

  • One paragraph biography about you as a screen practitioner
  • A statement about why Strength in Numbers Growth would be beneficial to you and your business at this time
  • A statement about what you would like to get out of the Programme.
  • A list of two to three projects you have in development along with a one-paragraph synopsis or logline for each project and what stage they are at.
  • Links to prior work (up to your two best)
  • Optional: Your screen CV

Applications Open: Mon 20 Sep 2021
Applications Close: Mon 01 Nov 2021, 1pm.

Dates of delivery:

  • February 21 & 22 – Workshops in Auckland
  • March 22 – 90-min online session
  • April 26 – 90-min online session
  • May 9 – Workshop in Auckland
  • June 27 – Workshop in Auckland
  • One-on-one meetings will be held between the last two workshops.

Travel costs for participants who live outside Auckland are covered.

Preview the Full Application Form

Learn more about previous participants

Strength in Numbers is made possible thanks to generous support from the New Zealand Film Commission and Auckland Council– Regional Arts and Culture Grant.


and New Zealand Regional Film Offices; Film Otago SouthlandFilm DunedinScreen Canterbury and Film Queenstown Lakes.


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:


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

Script to Screen and the New Zealand Film Commission take great pleasure in announcing the 18 projects and teams who have been shortlisted for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 2020.

A panel of external film industry assessors shortlisted 18 projects out of a total of 97 applications. These shortlisted teams have been invited to apply for Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two where they submit a full application. The 18 teams will be supported throughout the Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two process to help them put their best foot forward.

Six projects from the 18 shortlisted teams will be selected, giving the teams a one in three chance of workshopping their project with industry experts and receiving a grant of $15,000 to make their film.

Script to Screen and the New Zealand Film Commission thank all the filmmakers who applied, there was a wealth of great ideas and some extremely strong filmmaking teams to select from.

Congratulations to the 18 teams shortlisted for Whiringa Tuarua – Stage Two:


Script to Screen and New Zealand Film Commission work in partnership to deliver the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts programme.


Image: Ways to See dir. Jessica Sanderson. Stills Photography by Jen Raoult

Script to Screen is delighted to announce the projects and teams selected to take part in Series Bootcamp 2020, a programme created to nurture emerging and mid-career writers and producers as they develop their series concepts.

The teams will workshop their series concepts over two stages. At stage one, each team will have an online session with an advisor from the U.S. The two advisors, Laurence Andries (VP of Programming at the Writer’s Guild Foundation, How to Get Away with Murder, Blue Bloods, Six Feet Under) and Jill Goldsmith (Boston Legal, Law & Order, Rizzoli & Isles), will give feedback on how to further develop the concept to appeal to an international audience. The teams will bring that feedback to stage two and attend a two-day intensive workshop to continue to develop their concepts with exceptional local story and producer advisors. Some participants are experienced in other formats so the workshop will also cover the nuances of writing and producing series for the screen.

For this first Series Bootcamp, Script to Screen received 61 applications. Three external selectors went through a robust process compiling a shortlist of 15 and ultimately selected seven projects to be developed. They said “there was so much evident talent – freshness, originality & skill. We wished there were more places to offer. To have made the shortlist was a real mark of quality, and the selection was passionately argued. Our congratulations to all the chosen teams – the future is bright!”

Script to Screen thanks all the filmmakers who applied.

Congratulations to the teams whose series concepts will be developed at Series Bootcamp 2020:


Series Bootcamp is made possible thanks to generous support from the New Zealand Film Commission, US Embassy and the US Arts Envoy.


Calling all aspiring filmmakers, storytellers and creatives! Want to learn how to use the power of cinema to tell your stories?


The 2020 South Auckland Short Film Workshop is a two-day workshop to learn the art of making short films. Whether you’re new to filmmaking or have some experience, we are calling everyone who aspires to tell their stories on screen to come and learn what it takes to bring your film to life.

This workshop is intended for people who either live in South Auckland or have a connection with the area.

Over one weekend you will be guided by experienced filmmakers about the principles of how to write a short film, the role of the director, what it takes to get your short film off the ground, and pitching to funders and collaborators. Speakers include Marina McCartney (Milk & Honey, Vai), Todd Karehana (Ahikāroa, My Brother Mitchell) and Nikki Si’ulepa (Same But Different, Mā, Snow in Paradise)

Who it is for: New and emerging creatives from any industry or background with a connection to the South Auckland community who have an interest in short filmmaking.

When: Saturday 31 Oct – Sunday 1 Nov 2020, 9am – 5pm each day

Where: Te Haa o Manukau – Ground Floor, 2 Osterley Way, Manukau.
$5 all-day parking is available at 50 Manukau Station Road – an Auckland Transport carpark next to the bus station which is a short walk to the venue.

Cost: General Admission $5.75 (incl GST). Tickets via Eventbrite.

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Morning and afternoon tea will be provided. Please bring lunch with you or there are plenty of cafes in the area to buy lunch and there is space available to eat your lunch if you bring it with you.

Participants from this workshop will be eligible to apply for Script to Screen’s South Shorts 2021 Mentorship Programme. Read more about South Shorts 2021.

Image: Money Honey written and directed by Isaac Knights-Washbourn. Winner of NZIFF Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Best Film Award and Show Me Shorts 2020 Best Director Award.




Marina was born and raised in Manukau City, New Zealand. From a Geordie Father, Samoan Mother and Cook Islands step-Mother, she is interested in how cultural heritage effects the way we are viewed and how we view others. She holds an MA in Screen Production (First Class Honours) and is an award-winning filmmaker and academic. Her areas of expertise are Pacific Studies, Pacific filmmaking, Pacific representation on screen and of the Pacific woman. She is a PhD candidate and Vice Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholar exploring Pacific filmmaking and is developing a range of projects including her next feature film, The Return.

Todd Karehana (Ngai Te Rangi, Ngāti Awa, Ngati Ruapani) is an experimental storyteller with a passion for creating new images of minorities. He has five years’ experience in the New Zealand film and television industry with companies such as Kura Productions, Pango Productions, and Piki Films. Alumni of the Masters in Screen Production programme at The University of Auckland, Karehana was the writer and director on several short films such as The Kweenz of Kelston, and My Brother Mitchell – which screened at numerous international film festivals. His recent credits include; storyliner, writer, script editor and Social Media Manager on drama series Ahikāroa, storyliner and writer on children’s animated series The Exceptional Squad, Social Media Manager on animated series Aroha Bridge, and, writing support on feature film Ngā Pouwhenua.

Nikki Si’ulepa is an award winning actor, writer, director and camera operator of Samoan heritage from the villages of Sātalo and Solaūa. Nikki’s short films have screened at international film festivals including Berlinale, Tribeca, Sydney, NZIFF, and imagineNATIVE. Her debut NZFC funded short film, Snow in Paradise was shot entirely on location in Aitutaki, Cook Islands and was selected for the Berlinale in 2011 and again for the NATIVe program in 2019. Nikki was one of 250 participants and the only Kiwi/Pacific Islander selected from over 7,000 applicants for the Berlinale Talents program in 2017. Nikki’s self funded her next short film, Ma, and Aroha was one of ten short films in the K’Rd Stories collection. Nikki next short, Counting Cars (post production), was an experiment to test her working relationship with her wife, Rachel Aneta Wills, in anticipation of their romantic comedy feature film Same But Different: A True NZ Love Story. Nikki is currently in post production with short film, This is Your Half Hour Call and is developing a television series and two feature films. Nikki likes vegan Magnum ice-cream.


Saturday 31st October

Sunday 1st November

Script to Screen is delighted to announce the projects and filmmakers awarded places at Story Camp Aotearoa 2020, a residential feature film lab that fosters craft, voice and vision. The lab, which takes place in Port Waikato, is tailored to meet the specific development needs of each project. Nine selected projects with 11 writers and six producers will workshop their feature films over the week with exceptional local advisors, and international advisors who are attending virtually.

This year Script to Screen received an astounding 116 applications. Three experienced independent practitioners went through a rigorous process compiling a shortlist of 19 and ultimately selecting nine projects to be developed at Story Camp in November. We would like to thank all the filmmakers who applied.

“The calibre of applications this year surpassed expectations, making the selection process both tough and rewarding for the selectors. We are delighted with the breadth of exceptional stories selected, and particularly excited to see emerging filmmakers secure places within this highly competitive round” says Story Camp Programme Director Esther Cahill-Chiaroni.

Congratulations to the filmmakers whose feature film projects will be developed at Story Camp Aotearoa 2020:

Still have questions about Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Stage One applications? Then this webinar is for you!

Join us for our second live webinar on Thursday 08 October at 5:30pm to ask all your last-minute questions about Whiringa Tauatahi – Stage One and how to make your 2020 Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts application shine ✨.

Teams needs to register on the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Portal to access the application. If you are considering applying, register now and familiarise yourself with the application portal. If it raises any questions for you they can be answered next Thursday.

You need to sign up for the webinar in advance. There will be an opportunity to send questions during the webinar but you can also submit your question ahead of time to help shape the discussion.

The webinar will be available for you to view on Script to Screen’s YouTube and Facebook afterwards if you are unable to join the discussion live, and for you to refer to afterwards.



APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW(Apply via Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Portal)
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 1pm, Monday 19 October 2020
ANNOUNCEMENT OF SHORTLISTED TEAMS: Week commencing 16 November 2020


APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 1pm, Monday 11 January 2021
ANNOUNCEMENT OF FUNDED TEAMS: Week commencing 8 February 2021

Read Guidelines
Read Application Pointers


Here’s the news you have been waiting for – Kōpere Hou Fresh Shorts opens for applications this Thursday 10 September.

This year the application process for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts has been changed making it simpler for teams to apply. Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts is now a two-stage application process.

At Stage One you will continue to need a writer, director and producer, and a written script is still required.

The rest of the Stage One application consists of:

Criteria and requirements for the assessment of both Stage One and Stage Two are laid out in the guidelines which will be uploaded to the Script to Screen website by Thursday 10 September.

A shortlist of 18 teams will be invited to submit a Stage Two application. This detailed application is the same as previous years to ensure all bases are covered, from pre-production to delivery, that health and safety is addressed, and the team have all the support they require to make the film.

From the shortlist, six projects will receive $15,000 grants. The teams behind each of these projects will attend a two-day development workshop in March 2021 and then be matched with an experienced industry practitioner and receive six weeks’ mentoring to get their project ‘shoot ready’.

Script to Screen and the NZFC will hold an online Q&A about this new application process for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts on Thursday 17 September at 5:30 pm. 

If you have any questions please contact Miriam Smith, the Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts Facilitator at Script to Screen: or ph: 09 360 5400.

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts is a New Zealand Film Commission Short Film Fund and Script to Screen manages the reading, assessment, workshop and mentoring aspects of the Fresh Shorts Development Programme.

COVID-19 Update as at 25/08/20.
Covid-19 Level 3 Restrictions in Auckland means Hamish Bennett will no longer be able to travel to Wellington to present this workshop. We are pleased to say that educator and script consultant Gavin McGibbon is stepping in to present a workshop on what it takes to build a screen story that connects with people.This means the Wellington Workshop will go ahead but with some safety precautions in place. There are only a few tickets left so if you no longer wish to attend, please request a refund through Eventbrite to make your place available for someone else. See below for more information and instructions.

The Foundations of Story and Character with Gavin McGibbon

Great stories create an umbilical cord between the screen and the audience, where we feel everything that the character does.

This one day workshop will look at the elements we need to consider as writers to build that level of engagement with our own stories, through writing exercises, viewing and discussing scenes. We will look at a wide range of aspects of story and character from how we hook an audience from the first moment they meet our protagonist to ensuring that our stories don’t run out of momentum.

To gain the most out of the workshop, please come with a film concept in mind.

Don’t miss this interactive and practical workshop that will help you navigate through the complexities of writing a feature film.

Sat 29 Aug 2020, 9am – 5pm

Where: Drama 3, Te Whaea National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newton, Wellington.

Who it is for: All levels of writing experience – emerging to established filmmakers. The workshop will largely refer to the feature film format, but will be valuable to those developing shorts, features and series.

Cost: General Admission $23 (incl. GST). Tickets via Eventbrite.

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Tea and Coffee will be provided. There are plenty of cafes in the area to buy lunch.


Gavin McGibbon until his recent return back to New Zealand, was the Programme Leader of the MA Screenwriting programme at Liverpool John Moores University. He has taught playwriting at Victoria University of Wellington for the International Institute of Modern Letters, where he also worked as an MA Supervisor on Ken Duncum’s MA Scriptwriting Course. Students that Gavin has taught have gone on to win numerous awards for their writing and are currently working on major television shows in the UK.

Gavin has also worked for the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Film School, Massey University, Victoria Continuing Education and he is a freelance script consultant.

Gavin has a very different take on scriptwriting and what it takes to build a story that connects with people. He doesn’t believe in formula – he believes in craft meeting art, and using that combination to create an engaging, emotional journey for an audience.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 Update

As Wellington is at Alert Level 2, there are some important things to note:

Do not attend the workshop if you are feeling unwell, are a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, waiting for a COVID-19 test result or are self-isolating.

These workshops are made possible thanks to generous support from New Zealand Film CommissionCreative Communities Wellington and our venue sponsor Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre.



We’ve been busy zooming, emailing and texting as a team every day, creating a future for Script to Screen that can respond to and embrace change; and exploring new ways to connect our community and support our alumni’s wellbeing during these extraordinary times and we’re pleased to be launching our initiative, Awhi: Peer to Peer Conversations.

Script to Screen is establishing Awhi for alumni to draw on each other when a situation calls for an impartial phone conversation. It can give them a sounding board for an issue to be talked through, an idea tested, a problem solved or to simply have someone to call on that might have been in the same position as you.

Awhi is a safe space available to our whānau of filmmakers where they can be open and honest, get guidance in their careers, suggestions to progress their work and encouragement from someone who understands what it’s like in our film industry. Everyone who signs up to Awhi can be the maker and/or receiver of a call. This is the beginning of a community that supports each other through conversation – even if they have never met.

If you are an Alumni of one of our programmes we invite you to register here.


If you feel like your mental health is in crisis or are worried about the mental health of someone you know, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website for a list of some of the services available in New Zealand that offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.

National helplines

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

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