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.


Learn how to make your feature film script stand out in this in-depth scriptwriting workshop. David White will lead you through some of the things he discovered when writing and directing This Town.

Openings! Whether on the page or on screen, the opening scene needs to grab the audience. During the first half of the workshop, David will explore ways to write an impactful opening scene by sharing his experience with the scripted opening of This Town, and the vast changes made to translate the script to the screen.

Write what you know! From locations to characters, using richness from the world around you can help create depth especially when working with the lower budgets of first films. In the second half of this workshop, David will explore how using texture from places and characters you know intimately can help you build a believable world for your film.

Saturday 7th August 2021
9am – 5pm
Drama 2, Te Whaea National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newton, Wellington.

Who it is for: This workshop is aimed at beginning and emerging feature film writers. Directors and producers wanting to learn more about taking a script into production will also find this workshop valuable and are encouraged to attend. All levels of experience welcome.

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

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Snacks, tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring your own lunch or there are places to buy your lunch in the vicinity.

COVID Alert Level Note: This workshop will go ahead under Alert Level 1. If Wellington is in Alert Level 2, the workshop date will be reviewed. If Wellington is in Alert Level 3 or 4, the workshop will be postponed.


David White has produced and directed a substantial body of documentary and drama work that has enjoyed considerable national and international success, among them Meat, Shihad: Beautiful Machine, I Kill, Little Criminals, The Cleanest Pig and This Town.  His work has screened at over 50 film festivals including Sundance, AFI, SXSW, SilverDocs, Tribeca, MIFF, TRUE/FALSE, Clermont Ferrand and been commissioned and screened on BBC, Sky and PRIME TV.

He was the first New Zealander to be shortlisted for a Cinema Eye Honor for his film I Kill (2013). His next two documentaries Little Criminals (2015) and Of Decades in Colour (2017) aired on PRIME TV to strong ratings and critical acclaim. Feature documentary Meat (2017) opened to 4-star reviews and sell-out audiences throughout NZ, was released on multiple NZME platforms and has sold globally.

David’s (writer/director/producer) debut comedy film This Town was developed at the prestigious Venice Biennale College – Cinema, amongst just 12 selected from a worldwide call. It was critically acclaimed and stayed at number one at the NZ theatrical box office for 21days. World sales are being handled by The Film Sales Company.

This workshop is made possible thanks to generous support from New Zealand Film Commission and Creative Communities Wellington.


Story Camp is a unique space to live and breathe story. Every moment was a moment to be challenged on my own ideas, a space for experimentation, play and discovery, and a place to grow.”

– Nayheon Lee (2020 participant)

Story Camp Aotearoa is a residential feature film workshop that cultivates exceptional filmmaking by fostering voice, honing craft, and clarifying vision and kaupapa. Talented storytellers workshop their film project with esteemed advisors from here and abroad.

Story Camp 2021 seeks feature film projects from a well-developed treatment through to an advanced development stage. Up to eight selected writers or teams will participate in a rigorous five-day experience designed specifically to meet the development needs of their project.

Story sessions between advisors and participants form the backbone of the week. As the programme is tailored to each project, the process can also include project-based group workshops; workshopping with actors;  strengthening and clarifying the director’s vision, and making good decisions together under pressure.

Overall I think the entire Story Camp was a huge success, for me personally and for us as a team. I think the varied sessions provide a great mix of the creative and professional development for the advancement of any script.”

– Chelsea Winstanley (2020 participant)

Past advisors have included Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel), producer Philippa Campbell (Top of the Lake, Rubbings from a Live Man), director and writer Jane Campion (Top of The Lake, The Piano), producer and director Ainsley Gardiner (Cousins, Boy, The Breaker Upperers),filmmaker & Artistic Director of the Sundance Directors’ Lab Gyula Gazdag, poet and academic Anahera Gildea, Hollywood writer & longstanding Sundance mentor Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix), renowned painter Star Gossage, playwright, screenwriter and director Briar Grace-Smith (Cousins, The Strength Of Water), NZ-based Korean installation artist Yona Lee, EP and producer Andrew Mason (The Matrix Trilogy, Tomorrow When The War Began), writer/actor Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords), dramaturg and story consultant Brita McVeigh, choreographer Moss Te Ururangi Patterson (Atamira, Black Grace, Footnote), New Zealand International Film Festival Director Marten Rabarts, Australian producer Kath Shelper (Samson & Delilah, Tender), actor/writer/director Loren Taylor (Eagle vs Shark), legendary US screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury (McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Thieves Like Us, Nashville), emerging technologies artist and filmmaker Lynette Wallworth (Awavena, Collisions) and veteran NZ film producer and EP Tim White (The Luminaires, I Am Mother, The Dark Horse).

Don’t miss this opportunity to propel your film closer to production with expert support.

11:59 PM, 09 August 2021
STORY CAMP AOTEAROA DATES: 22 – 27 November 2021

Script to Screen, in partnership with Northland Youth Theatre, presents a free four-day film workshop in the July school holidays for 15 – 23 year olds.

The workshop helps young participants to develop skills in crafting a story idea, writing a script, and acting. The aim of the workshop is to foster writing talent and encourage aspiring filmmakers. No experience or prior knowledge of filmmaking is necessary.

On Day 1, participants will hear from writer/director Hamish Bennett (The Dump, Ross & Beth, Bellbird) about finding a story they want to tell and crafting a narrative that is compelling on screen. On Day 2, participants will develop their own film concept and write a scene for their film, guided by actor Laurel Devenie (Shortland Street).

On Day 3 Laurel will lead a workshop on acting for the screen, including working with the scenes written the day before. Each participant will get the chance to act in a scene. On the last day, we will tape the scenes, watch them as a group and discuss what was learned.

Tuesday 13 July – Fri 16 July

9am – 2:30pm each day

Northland Youth Theatre, 86 Bank St, Whangarei 0110

Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea provided. However, if you have special dietary requirements (gluten free, dairy free, keto, paleo, etc) please bring food with you.

The workshop is free but please register via EventBrite as spaces are limited.

This workshop is presented in partnership with Northland Youth Theatre and is made possible thanks to generous support from New Zealand Film Commission and Foundation North.

This workshop has now reached capacity. You may join the waitlist if you are still interested in attending and we will contact you if a space becomes available.


Due to popular demand, we’re excited to be bringing you another Auckland workshop! Join us for a one-day workshop in Waitākere this June to learn how to jumpstart your feature film idea or revitalise an old one. This interactive and practical one-day workshop will give you the means to propel your feature film project forward.

Over the course of one day, Hamish Bennett (Bellbird) will explore character and story and how the two are intertwined. He will use clips and examples to support the learning.

Hamish will talk about how to tap into your own knowledge and experiences to build a story that is authentic and memorable. He will also talk about his process preparing as a director and give you methods for making time for writing when you’re not a full-time writer.

No matter what your experience is, come along. The passion that drives you to create will be invigorated and you’ll come away with new knowledge and ideas to further develop your stories.


Saturday 12 June 2021
9:00am – 5:00pm
The Seminar Room, Level 1, Lopdell Precinct, 418 Titirangi Road, Titirangi, Auckland

Parking: Free parking behind the Lopdell building, entrance is off South Titirangi Road. Alternative parking is available outside the building on Titirangi Road or at the parking building opposite – off South Titirangi Road.

Who it is for: Emerging to established filmmakers. If you are at the beginning stages of writing a feature film or are interested in writing a film this workshop will be very beneficial.

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

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Please bring your own lunch or there are plenty of cafes in the area if you wish to buy lunch. Snacks, tea and coffee will be provided.


This Script to Screen workshop is made possible thanks to generous support from Auckland Council Creative Communities and the New Zealand Film Commission.


Passion, Persistence, Patience and Intense Ominous Whooshing

Script to Screen is proud to present a one-day directing workshop in Queenstown with David Stubbs (Daffodils, Black Hands, Reservoir Hill). This interactive workshop will give you the tools you need to find the best director within you.

Over one day, David will talk about his experience finding inspiration, choosing the right projects, how to build longevity in your career as a director and give you an in-depth look into the best and the hardest parts of being a director.

David will teach you how to effectively work and communicate with key collaborators and take you through the detailed journey of the director from pre-production to post.

Saturday 20th March 2021
9:00am – 5:00pm
The Stables, Sherwood Queenstown, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown

Who it is for: This workshop is aimed at beginning and emerging directors, as well as those wanting to transition from other roles in the industry into directing. Producers and writers wanting to learn more about the directing process will also find this workshop valuable and are encouraged to attend. All levels of experience welcome.

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

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Snacks, tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring your own lunch, there is a restaurant on-site or Queenstown township is a short drive away.

COVID Alert Level Note: This workshop will go ahead under Alert Level 1. It will be reviewed under Alert Level 2 and will not go ahead if the country is under Alert Level

Travel Grants
Film Otago Southland are generously offering a max of 5 x $100 travel grants to enable participants from outside Queenstown, but who reside within the Otago and Southland region, to attend.

Please email Kahli Scott ( to request this support. Confirmation of your workshop registration will be required before the grant will be offered. The first five confirmed applicants will be supported. Any person accepting the grant and failing to attend the workshop in person will be liable to return the grant.

About David Stubbs
David Stubbs is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker with an eye for the uncomfortable truths in everyday life. He has moved between drama, documentary, music videos and digital projects in a 35-year career that’s been eclectic and highly accomplished. Most notably he was the director and co-producer on feature films Daffodils (2019), Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses (2016), TV drama mini-series Black Hands (2020), and series/digital projects Reservoir Hill (2010 – 2011) and Girl versus Boy (2013-2015). David’s films and television have screened internationally on networks, Netflix and at numerous prestigious film festivals. In 2010 David won an International Emmy Award, a Qantas Media Award and in 2017 was judged Best Director Documentary at the New Zealand Film Awards.

This workshop is presented by Script to Screen and made possible thanks to generous support from  Film Otago Southland, Queenstown Lakes District Council Film Office, Queenstown Lakes Council Creative Communities and 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.

Update 19 Feb 2021 – Covid-19 Alert Level Update

Auckland has now moved into Alert Level 2. This workshop is going ahead under Alert Level 2 restrictions.

There are some important things to note:

  • Record-keeping for contact tracing is required for all attendees so please scan St Columba Centre’s QR code clearly placed at the entrance of the venue on the COVID-19 tracer app. If you arrive late please, ensure you check in with the Script to Screen staff member.
  • The room will be set up to ensure participants are socially distanced during the workshop, and we encourage you to keep a 1-metre distance from people you don’t know at other times, where practical. We also encourage you to wear a mask.
  • We will no longer be providing food at this workshop. Tea and coffee will be available for self-service, however, please observe social distancing at the tea and coffee stations. We recommend you bring your own water bottles and keep cups. You are welcome to bring snacks with you.
  • As always, practice good hygiene – frequently wash your hands with soap and water and cough and sneeze into your elbow. Use the hand sanitiser provided.

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

Script to Screen is excited to bring you our first workshop for 2021! Join us this February to jumpstart your feature film idea or revitalise an old one. This interactive and practical two-day workshop will give you the tools you need to propel your feature film project forward.

On day one, writer/director Hamish Bennett (Bellbird) will teach you how to build your screen story around interesting, original and compelling characters. Then producer Emma Slade (The Justice of Bunny King, Come To Daddy, The Changeover) will give you invaluable insight into what’s needed to produce a feature film.

On day two, Hamish Bennett will return to talk about his directing process, then producer Karin Williams will help you devise a dynamic logline that gets your project noticed.

No matter what your experience is, come along. The passion that drives you to create will be invigorated and you’ll come away with new knowledge and ideas to further develop your stories.

Saturday 20th – Sunday 21st February 2021
9:15am – 5:00pm each day
St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland
(Free off-street parking available)

Who it is for: Emerging to established filmmakers. However, if you are at the beginning stages of writing a feature film or are interested in writing a film this workshop will be very beneficial.

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

What to Bring: Pen and paper. Snacks, tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring your own lunch or there are plenty of cafes in the area if you wish to buy lunch.

Workshop Schedule

Saturday 20th Feb 2021

  • 9:15am Doors open, Welcome
  • 9:30am Writing Craft with Hamish Bennett
  • 10:30am Break
  • 11am Writing Craft with Hamish Bennett continues
  • 12pm Lunch
  • 1pm Writing Craft with Hamish Bennett continues
  • 2:30pm Break
  • 3pm Producing with Emma Slade
  • 5pm End

Sunday 21st Feb 2021

  • 9:15am Doors open
  • 9:30am Directing Craft with Hamish Bennett
  • 10:30am Break
  • 11am Directing Craft with Hamish Bennett
  • 12pm Lunch
  • 1pm Directing Craft with Hamish Bennett continues
  • 2:30pm Break
  • 3pm Writing a great logline with Karin Williams – Interactive session
  • 5pm Finish

This Script to Screen workshop is made possible thanks to generous support from Auckland Council Creative Communities and the New Zealand Film Commission.

The South Shorts Mentorship programme returns in 2021 with ten emerging filmmakers selected to take part. Under the leadership and guidance of renowned screenwriter and director Briar Grace-Smith (Cousins, The Strength of Water), participants will develop their short film projects through a script-focused mentorship.

Now in its sixth year, the programme guides emerging South Auckland affiliated talent to develop their short film scripts. Over a sixth-month period, the participants get individual script notes from Briar Grace-Smith, meet for workshops where they do group script read-throughs, and hear from guest filmmakers about their experience making short films.

“Since its inception in 2015, South Shorts has seen numerous alumni gone on to make films. The programme provides a safe space for aspiring and emerging South Auckland filmmakers to gain confidence in themselves as writers while building a sense of community within the industry,” says Eloise Veber, Script to Screen Programme Manager. “Ultimately we want to see more stories from South Auckland filmmakers produced and seen by audiences. We feel so privileged to continue to do this work thanks to support from our funders.”

The search for South Shorts Mentorship participants begins with our annual two-day South Auckland Short Film Workshop held each year in October.

Congratulations to the filmmakers selected for South Shorts 2021:


The South Shorts Mentorship Programme is made possible thanks to generous support from Foundation North with additional support from the New Zealand Film Commission.


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.


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