Script to Screen is delighted to announce the 12 participants selected for Strength in Numbers – Growth 2022. They will participate in a series of workshops run by Script to Screen and led by David Court of Compton School.

Strength in Numbers offers a unique opportunity for practitioners in the screen industry to work together on the building blocks of business models that will sustain their future and ultimately shape the industry itself. Participants are given the time and tools they need to make strategic choices for their creative enterprises and plan the way ahead.

Three experienced industry practitioners including course leader David Court read each of the 46 applications, taking into consideration the applicant’s track record and the stage the business is at when making their selection. Of the 10 screen businesses selected three are from Wellington, one is from Christchurch, another from Marlborough, and the remaining five are Tamaki Makaurau based.

Strength in Numbers is made possible thanks to financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission and an Auckland Council Regional Arts and Culture Grant. Screen Auckland provides a workshop venue and Screen Canterbury covers travel costs for the Cantabrian participant.

The 13 participants and their businesses selected for Strength in Numbers 2022 are:


Strength in Numbers is a Script to Screen initiative run in partnership with Compton School.





Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts is on the search for the next generation of up-and-coming NZ filmmakers.

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts is an NZFC initiative run in partnership with Script to Screen. The programme’s aim is to nurture, challenge, and inspire short filmmaking talent through a development and industry mentoring process. The focus is on the development of both people and stories.

Six teams will be selected to receive up to $15,000 to facilitate the cost of making a short narrative film. The films can be live-action, animation or documentary, with a duration of between four and 25 minutes. The teams behind each of these projects will attend a two-day development workshop in March 2022 and be matched with an experienced industry practitioner to receive six weeks of mentoring to get their project ‘shoot ready’.

Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts 2021 applications open Monday 30 August and close at 1pm on 11 October. There are two stages to the application process.

At Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One you will need to have a writer, director and producer, and to submit  the following:

A shortlist of 18 teams will be invited to submit a Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage Two application in mid-November. From the shortlist, six projects will receive $15,000 grants. The teams behind each of these projects will attend a two-day development workshop from 19-20 March 2022 and be matched with an experienced industry practitioner to receive six weeks of mentoring to get their project ‘shoot ready’.

Criteria and requirements for the assessment of both Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage One and Whiringa Tuatahi – Stage Two can be viewed on our website.

Script to Screen and the NZFC will hold an online Q&A about this new application process for Kōpere Hou – Fresh Shorts on 16 September 2021, at 5.30 pm. 

If you have any questions please contact Script to Screen:

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.

“Nōku te whiwhi ki te mahi i runga i tēnei kaupapa whakamīharo. FilmUp was a game-changer for me and my career – the intensives allowed me to work with incredible mentors, peers and form relationships which lead to me directing on a prime-time drama and developing my feature film. I highly recommend this amazing opportunity!”

– Cian Elyse White,
FilmUp 2020 participant (mentor Louise Gough)

“FilmUp is brilliant! It’s the knowledge that someone has your back, and you aren’t doing this filmmaking thing alone. That support is invaluable especially at the beginning of a project when filmmaking often feels very solo.”

Vanessa Wells,
FilmUp 2020 participant (Mentor Justin Pemberton)

Want to build momentum in your career and push yourself to your full potential?

The FilmUp Mentorship programme returns for its ninth year to support and empower up to eight tenacious and talented filmmakers to reach the next stage in their creative careers. If you are developing a feature film or documentary this programme could be just what you need to progress your work to the next stage.

A mentor for each filmmaker forms the cornerstone of the programme, along with six FilmUp Hub days when the participants come together for group work.

Applicants must have a feature project in development, and be able to demonstrate that their project and career are at the right stage for mentorship and wrap-around support.

Successful applicants will take part in 20 hours of mentorship with an experienced film practitioner over an eight-month period and six FilmUp hubs spread between August 2021 and February 2022. These hubs are tailored to meet the needs of the selected filmmakers and include workshops, peer discussions and round tables with industry leaders.

Participants are the driving force of a successful mentorship as they take hold of their own learning and development. This autonomy is fostered from the start of the programme when participants are actively involved in the selection of their mentor. Throughout the programme there is wrap-around support from Script to Screen.

Since its inception in 2013, FilmUp has gone from strength to strength, with a growing alumni of talented local filmmakers who have benefitted from the programme including Briar March (The Coffin Club, There Once Was An Island: Te Henua A Nnoho)Chelsea Winstanley (Jojo Rabbit, MERATA: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, What We Do in the Shadows)Florian Habicht (James & Isey, Spookers, Love Story)Gaysorn Thavat (The Justice of Bunny King)Jake Mahaffy (Free in Deed)Nic Gorman (Human Traces)Sophie Henderson (Baby Done, Fantail) and Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa (Take Home Pay, Three Wise Cousins). You can read about other participants and an impressive list of mentors who have helped these filmmakers take a step up in their careers here.

To apply you need to be working on a feature film or documentary. Here’s what’s required for the application:

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Tues 18 May, 11:59pm

Make sure you read our Top Tips to make your FilmUp application shine while crafting your application.

FilmUp is made possible thanks to financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission

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.

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.

Script to Screen and the New Zealand Film Commission have partnered on the development of 16 short films. The teams behind the films were selected from a very competitive round of 106 applications; and will attend a three-day residential development lab this November as part of the Fresh Shorts initiative. 

The Fresh Shorts programme offers grants of up to $15,000 to six new or emerging filmmaker teams to make a short film. The selection also includes experienced filmmakers in new roles. As part of the selection process, each team will attend a three-day development lab in the Auckland region where they will receive tailored script feedback from industry mentors and participate in group workshops to further develop their scripts and strengthen their skills for future projects.

Following the lab and submission of the re-worked projects, six teams will be selected to receive a grant of up to $15,000 to make their short film. An announcement will be made early February 2020.

The 16 selected teams and their projects are (L-R):




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

Thank you to everyone who applied to our first ever EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA this May. Over 95 teams submitted 116 series concepts, showing a real hunger for development opportunities in writing for the small screen.

The selection panel of Australian-based writer/development producer Katherine Fry, writer/director/actor Oscar Kightley and writer/director Fiona Samuel were impressed by the calibre of the ideas and the talented teams behind them. They had a very difficult job choosing only eight projects to be developed in the lab.

Fiona Samuel said on behalf of the selection panel, “We could easily have chosen twice the number of proposals from this crowded and talented field. There are so many entertaining and compelling stories waiting to be told and so many writers with the potential to take on episodic drama and bring something new to our screens.”

The eight selected teams will develop their skills and their projects with guidance from experienced television writers from New Zealand, Australia, USA and Denmark during the five-day immersive lab.
Writers and teams who will be participating in the inaugural Episodic Lab in Auckland July 23-27 are:

Participants biographies can be found at here

The Episodic Lab Aotearoa is made possible thanks to the generous support from NZ on AirLightboxNZ Film Commission and Images & Sound.

Script to Screen and Show Me Shorts Film Festival have announced the names of eight screenwriters who have been selected from 72 applicants, to participate in the 2018 Aotearoa Short Film Lab.

Congratulations to

Aotearoa Short Film Lab is 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 eight New Zealand short filmmakers the opportunity to develop their short film concepts and scripts with the guidance and advice of experienced industry mentors during a full-day workshop.

Two international short film makers will also participate in the workshop. Sofia Rodriguez from Chile and Ragini Bhasin from USA will fly to Auckland to develop their scripts with the expertise of local mentors.

Festival Director of Show Me Shorts, Gina Dellabarca, who was among the selection panel commented: “After reading this year’s Lab applications, there is no doubt that our short film screenwriters are leading the way in putting forward an increasingly diverse range of types of story. Hollywood could learn a lot from these bold and talented filmmakers. It is heartening for the industry that screenwriters and aspiring screenwriters are working on such a variety of stories. I only wish we could include more of them in our Lab.”

The mentors guiding participants to develop their stories are experienced short film and feature film screenwriters: Michael Bennett (CowMatariki), Shuchi Kothari (Coffee & Allah, Apron Strings), Jake Mahaffy (Wellness, Free in Deed), Gerard Johnstone (HouseboundThe Jaquie Brown Diaries), Kathryn Burnett (ShelvedThe CultThe Strip) and Dianne Taylor (Apron Strings, Beyond the Known World).

Previous Short Film Lab participants have described the interactive workshop as “invaluable” and many projects have gone on to be funded and produced. Films developed with the assistance of the Lab have premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival (I’m Going to Mum’s), NZ International Film Festival (Tree) and Show Me Shorts Festival (ZinzanBaby?).

The Aotearoa Short Film Lab is possible thanks to support from The Wallace Foundation and the Media, Film and Television department of the University of Auckland.

Script to Screen is delighted to launch a brand new pilot programme to develop distinctive writing talent in television drama. EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA is the first programme of its kind in New Zealand.

“Globally, this century has seen an explosion of television storytelling. In New Zealand we have diverse talent coming through in the web sphere and the question is, where next? The Episodic Lab will increase the number of New Zealand writers – and the types of writers – creating longer form work that reaches the screen” says Script to Screen’s Executive Director Esther Cahill-Chiaroni.

“NZ On Air is supporting the Episodic Lab initiative as a way to encourage writers with fresh ideas that add to the range of television storytelling options. Better options for development was a key theme that came through the industry drama day we hosted last year,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson. “We hope to see great New Zealand stories come through this initiative that win platform and financing support.”

Writers and/or teams with a track record will compete for 8 places in the pilot Episodic Lab, where they will workshop their concepts with experienced television writer advisors from New Zealand, Australia and beyond. The programme starts with five immersive days working on story after which participants go on to receive follow up mentoring and support, including introductions to the executives of episodic television platforms, production houses and funders.

NZ streaming service Lightbox, announced earlier this year, their commitment to invest in local content and continued support of homegrown talent. Lightbox Head of Content Charlotte Hill commented, “As fellow lovers of TV storytelling, Lightbox is delighted to play a part in cultivating the next generation of New Zealand writing talent and fostering the important growth of NZ voices on screen. We are proud to support the inaugural Episodic Lab and applaud Script to Screen for developing this groundbreaking initiative.”

Applications will be open from late March until the end of April, and the five-day lab takes place in Auckland July 23-27.

Esteemed international and local Episodic Lab advisors will be announced over the coming months.

The EPIDOSIC LAB AOTEAROA is made possible thanks to generous support from NZ On Air, Lightbox, the New Zealand Film Commission and Images and Sound.

  • NEWS
  • Development Programmes
  • Talks
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Script Development Service
  • JOIN
  • Big Screen Symposium