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.

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.


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

The South Shorts Mentorship programme returns for 2020 with nine emerging filmmakers selected to take part. Under the leadership and guidance of renowned screenwriter Briar Grace-Smith, participants will develop their short film projects through a script-focused mentorship. Over a sixth-month period, the participants will get individual script notes from their mentor, do group script reads for peer feedback, and hear from experienced filmmakers about their process making short films.

Now in its sixth year, the programme is aimed at guiding emerging South Auckland affiliated talent to develop their short film scripts. The search for South Shorts participants begins with our annual two-day South Auckland Short Film Workshop, after which participants can apply for the mentorship programme.

“This group includes an exciting mix of experiences with participants coming from acting, playwriting, tertiary film courses and filmmaking, as well as those with a passion to tell stories.” says Programme Manager, Eloise Veber “We’re thrilled to find such talented storytellers for our South Shorts Mentorship Programme.”

The nine filmmakers (L – R) selected for South Shorts 2020 are:

Filmmakers who have been through this programme include Vea Mafileo (For My Father’s Kingdom), Jeremiah Tauamiti (Liliu), Hanelle Harris (Sis, Baby Mama’s Club) and Vela Manusaute (The Messiah).

South Shorts is made possible thanks to generous support from Foundation North and New Zealand Film Commission.

Script to Screen, in partnership with Northland Youth Theatre, presents a free four-day film workshop in the July school holidays for 16-25 year olds.

The workshop will help participants 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 Days 1 and 2, participants will hear from writer/director Michael Bennett (In Dark Places, Matariki) about finding a story, crafting the story so that it is compelling on screen, and writing a scene.

On Days 3 and 4, actor Laurel Devenie (Shortland Street), will lead an acting workshop, using the scenes that were written earlier in the week. Each participant will get a chance to act in a scene. On the last day we will tape the scenes and watch them back.

When: Tuesday 9th – Friday 12th July, 9am-2pm

Light morning tea and snacks are provided. Please bring lunch with you.

Where: Northland Youth Theatre, 86 Bank St, Whangarei 0110

How much: Free!

Registration: Places are limited – please register via EventBrite

Presented in partnership with:


Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker and author. Michael’s second feature-length drama, IN DARK PLACES, tells the story of Teina Pora’s imprisonment for 21 years for crimes he did not commit. The television film is based on Michael’s book In Dark Places which won the Ngaio Marsh Award for best non-fiction book, and Michael made an award-winning documentary about Teina’s story. Michael’s short films COW and KEROSENE CREEK screened at numerous film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, London and New York, and his debut feature MATARIKI premiered at Toronto Film Festival and won awards in New Zealand and internationally.

Michael has written and directed for many television drama series. As well as his own film and TV and book work, Michael works in communities around New Zealand with Script to Screen working with locals to tell their stories on film, he works with developing filmmakers through the NZ Film Commission and Ngā Aho Whakaari, and is head of the screenwriting programme at South Seas Film School. Michael’s second book, Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas (a post-apocalyptic time travel graphic novel co-authored with Ant Sang) was published by Penguin / Random House June 2018.

In 2015 Michael founded 10000 COMPANY with Jane Holland to create and develop original film and television projects. Their first production was In Dark Places.

Laurel Devenie works as an actor, director, teacher and theatre-maker and is a graduate of Toi Whakaari and the John Bolton Theatre School. She has played the role of Kate Nathan on SHORTLAND STREET for the last three and a half years and has worked consistently throughout the country in many different theatrical arenas, involved in both professional and community theatre projects. She has worked with ATC, Silo Theatre, Capital E, Unitec, Prayas, Downstage Theatre, Red Leap and NYT. She teaches regularly and works with actors in one on one sessions. She is director and founder of Company of Giants and co-instigator of ONEONESIX and is deeply committed to developing an audience and contributing to the growth of a professional performing arts framework in Whangarei, as well as generating youth based opportunities within the arts. She has facilitated arts based community programmes to work with different sectors of the community, most recently a collaboration with the NDHB facilitating an Arts programme to support a diverse group of young people living with T1 Diabetes in Northland, co-ordinating performance, photography, song, sound artists and visual arts into a cohesive year long process.

Northland Film Workshop is made possible thanks to
New Zealand Film Commission and Foundation North.


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