Having trouble reading this email? View it on your browser.



Friday, 2 August 2019


Production Funding Decisions

The Board approved one application for production financing at the July meeting and a conditional offer has been made to:

In the near future, the military controls post-war America and children are property of the State. A desperate Cree woman joins a band of vigilantes to infiltrate the State children's academy and get her daughter back. A New Zealand-Canada co-production, Night Raiders is directed and written by Danis Goulet, produced by Ainsley Gardiner, Georgina Conder, Paul Barkin and Tara Woodbury. 

Please note that where a NZFC Board member has declared an actual or potential conflict of interest with a project applying for production funding, that Board member is not provided with access to any papers on that particular project, nor is that Board member involved in any discussion or decision-making in relation to that particular project.


2019 New Zealand International Film Festival

New Zealand films feature prominently in the programme for the 2019 New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) with eight New Zealand features having world premieres, and a further four having their New Zealand premieres.

Herbs: Songs of Freedom, directed by Tearepa Kahi and produced by Cliff Curtis and Reikura Kahi will have its world premiere as Auckland's closing night film and Helen Kelly: Together, directed by Tony Sutorius and produced by Sutorius and Catherine Fitzgerald will have its world premiere in Wellington.

Other films having world premieres in the festival include Births, Deaths and Marriages, written and directed by Bea Joblin and produced by Joblin and Sophie Lloyd, A Seat at the Table written, directed and produced by David Nash and Simon Mark-Brown and MO TE IWI - Carving for the People directed by Robin Greenberg and produced by Greenberg and Lilian Hetet Owen. These three films received finishing funding from the NZFC.

Peter Peryer: The Art of Seeing directed and produced by Shirley Horrocks, By the Balls, directed by Charlotte Purdy and Simon Coldrick and produced by Purdy and Billy and The Kids, directed by Mark Albiston and produced by Sharlene George also have world premieres in the Festival.

Films receiving New Zealand premieres at the NZIFF are Bellbird, directed by Hamish Bennett and produced by Orlando Stewart and Catherine Fitzgerald, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, directed by Justin Pemberton and produced by Matthew Metcalfe, For My Father's Kingdom, directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti and Vea Mafile'o and produced by Sandra Kailahi and Come to Daddy, written by Toby Harvard, directed by Ant Timpson and produced by Emma Slade, Mette-Marie Kongsved, Laura Tunstall, Daniel Bekerman and Katie Holly.

Six short films have been selected by Dame Jane Campion as finalists for the NZIFF's annual New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition.

The finalists will compete for a total of three prizes, with winners to be announced at the closing night event of the Auckland leg of NZIFF.

The six finalists are Nancy From Now On, written and directed by Keely Meechan and produced by Alesha Adhar, Krystal, written by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu, directed by Briar Grace-Smith and produced by Jaimee Poipoi and Rosie Jones, Egg Cup Requiem directed by Prisca Bouchet and Nick Mayow, Golden Boy, written and directed by Alex Plumb and produced by Plumb and Gorjan Markovski, Our Father, directed by Esther Mauga and produced by Shani McLeod Bennett and Hinekura, directed by Becs Arahanga and produced by Sharlene George and Kathryn Akuhata-Brown.



Alt Alt Alt Alt  

Festival News

Come to Daddy continues its festival success, screening In Competition in two world-renowned genre-focused film festivals, the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) in late June and Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Switzerland in early July. Come to Daddy also screened at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival in July and will screen as the opening night film at the UK’s Frightfest in August.

Merata Mita’s seminal film, Mauri, has been selected to screen In Competition in the Venice Classics section of the 2019 Venice Film Festival. Venice will be the world premiere of the newly re-mastered film. You can read more about Mauri and the Venice Film Festival here.

Six New Zealand features, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Daffodils, Come to Daddy, Bellbird, Vai and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, and three shorts, Liliu, Daniel and Falling Up will screen in the Melbourne International Film Festival in August.  

Upcoming festival submission deadlines:

Sundance Film Festival (Features) – Earlybird deadline August 5, Official deadline August 26
Rome Film Festival – August 5
Zagreb International Film Festival – August 12
San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival – August 15
Sundance Film Festival (Shorts) – Official deadline August 16
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival – August 17
SXSW Film Festival – Earlybird deadline August 22
Rotterdam Film Festival – Shorts completed before July 1 2019: deadline August 23, Shorts completed after July 1 2019: September 20
Slamdance Film Festival – August 26
Tampere Film Festival (Shorts) – August 31
Minimalen Short Film Festival – September 1
New York International Children’s Film Festival – September 9
Gijon International Film Festival (Shorts) – September 13
Tribeca Film Festival – September 25


Alt Alt Alt Alt  

More Speakers Announced For Power of Inclusion Summit

Award-winning writer-directors Hope Dickson Leach and Jackie van Beek are the latest speakers to join New Zealand's pioneering The Power of Inclusion Summit, which will be held in Auckland on Oct. 3-4.

The inaugural two-day program will feature case studies, panels and keynotes addressing issues related to inclusion and representation, with the aim of positing new action to create a more inclusive industry — and world at large.

Dickson Leach and van Beek join an already impressive roster of some 35 speakers from around the world.

The Power of Inclusion Summit will employ inclusion practices during its two-day duration. A complimentary crèche, or nursery, will run throughout the Summit and be available to children under five. Breastfeeding wherever mothers feel comfortable is welcomed and the Summit will also provide a breastfeeding space.

You can read more about Hope Dickson Leach and Jackie van Beek at the Summit here.

You can find out more about the Summit, including how to purchase tickets, here.


2019 Gender Scholarship Recipients Announced

Malo lava to Samoan screenwriter Sima Urale who is the recipient of the NZFC’s 2019 Gender Scholarship.  She will receive a grant of $50,000 to help progress her filmmaking career.

Congratulations also go to Matasila Freshwater who was awarded a special grant of $15,000.

The NZFC’s annual gender scholarship award is a way of recognising and celebrating women in the filmmaking community who have displayed a high level of achievement and aims to support their career progression.

The 2019 scholarship was for Pacific Island women screenwriters.  Applications for this award were by nomination and the twelve nominees were assessed by a panel of internal and external industry experts.  The standard of applications was high with the top four applicants all alumni of NZFC short film funding. Additionally, six of the applicants were filmmakers from the Vai portmanteau film.

You can read more about the gender scholarship programme and the 2019 recipients here.


In Cinemas

Herbs: Songs of Freedom
Herbs: Songs of Freedom is being released in New Zealand cinemas on 15 August by Rialto Distribution. You can view the trailer here.

Director Tearepa Kahi (Poi E: The Story of Our Song) adds to his exploration of New Zealand’s vibrant musical history with the story of Herbs. The much-loved pioneers of Pacific Reggae were creators of uniquely Kiwi protest songs like “Nuclear Free Pacific”, the now classic “Sensitive to a Smile” and the garage-party good-times anthem “Long Ago”.

40 years on from the formation of the band in the
heat of the 1970s Dawn Raids and the Bastion Point
occupation, the film documents the band in the context
of music as social activism. Herbs: Songs of Freedom brings together some of the band’s key members in an emotional round of interviews, jams and memories culminating in a 2017
reunion concert in which Herbs past and present share
their musical talents, energy and aroha.


Congratulations Go To...

Pietra Brettkelly on becoming the the inaugural Arts Foundation Laureate to receive the Dame Gaylene Preston Arts Laureate Award in Documentary Filmmaking. Dame Gaylene Preston awarded Pietra this honour at the New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland on 27 June.

Bill Sheat, on receiving a Wellington Gold Award for his long standing leadership in the arts and film industries. Sheat was pivotal in setting up the NZFC and served as its inaugural chair for seven years.

The team behind Vai on winning the Best Narrative Feature award at the Roxbury International Film Festival.

Kiwi actors Anna Sawai and Vinnie Bennett (Human Traces) who have earned roles in Fast & Furious 9.

Writer-director Dustin Feneley who was awarded Best New Director at the Brooklyn Film Festival for Stray.

The team behind For My Father's Kingdom for receiving the Best International Documentary award at the Los Angeles Asia Pacific Film Festival in May.

All the deserving New Zealanders appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit over the Queen's Birthday weekend, including and especially: Fran Walsh for services to film, Roger Hall for services to theatre, Robyn Malcolm for services to television and theatre and Rodney Morris for services to documentary filmmaking, natural history and conservation.

Alt Alt Alt  

Asia News

Chris Payne (Head of International Relations) visited Shanghai in June for the Belt & Road Film Week.

While there, he re-connected with the Alliance members, in particular those from New Zealand's co-production treaty partners – Canada, China, India, Italy and Poland – on opportunities to showcase New Zealand screen talents, films and projects, along with New Zealand as a world-class production partner.

Chris also presented at the Shanghai International Film Festival's Global Film Production Incentives Showcase, highlighting New Zealand’s capabilities and advantages in screen production and our extensive collaboration with Chinese and wider international partners.

Andrew Robinson, New Zealand's Consul General in Shanghai announced the launch of the second New Zealand Film Festival in Shanghai on July 17. A Chinese-themed film, Yellow is Forbidden (2018) by director/producer Pietra Brettkelly screened at the festival with the filmmaker in attendance.  Other New Zealand films that screened in the festival are The Inland Road, Kobi and Wilbur: King of the Ring.

You can read more about the festival here.

Alt Alt  

Christchurch Roadshow Save the Date

Christchurch people – HODs, crew, vendors, producers, directors, writers, investors – please join the NZFC for an industry information evening and drinks in Christchurch on Friday 30 August.

Invitation with venue and other information to come. 

Please hold the date for now and send your details to allyc@nzfilm.co.nz with Christchurch Industry Event in the subject line, to register your interest.


Catalyst He Kauahi Funding Announcement

Catalyst He Kauahi supports New Zealand filmmakers to progress their talents to the next stage and make exceptional, high end narrative short films that will ignite the flame and be the catalyst for change in their career.

Three teams were offered funding in the April 2019 round. Each project will receive a grant of $90,000 towards their short film, and $10,000 towards development of their feature concept.

The Meek
Writer/Director: Gillian Ashurst
Producer: Catherine Fitzgerald, Nadia Maxwell

Writer/Director: Gabriel Reid
Producer: Craig Gainsborough-Waring
Executive Producer: William McKegg

Writer/Director: Rachel Ross
Producer: Morgan Leigh Stewart, Samantha Dutton

You can read more about the selected projects here.

The next round of Catalyst funding will open on 19 August and close on 30 September. You can find the guidelines here.


International Co-Development Fund (ICF) Opens

The New Zealand Film Commission’s (NZFC) new International Co-Development Fund (ICF) is now open to applications.

Following industry consultation, the fund will offer two strands:

  • ICF – Series Drama Matched Funding (Series Drama Market Partnerships); and
  • ICF – Feature Film (Official Feature Film Co-Productions).

New Zealand producers can apply for matched development funding from the ICF for either a feature film or series drama project.  The Fund has an annual allocation of NZ$400,000 available on a contestable basis until it has all been allocated. It is anticipated that projects applying to either strand will be structured to qualify for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) for New Zealand Productions and Official Co-Productions either as a) containing significant New Zealand content or b) an official co-production.

New Zealand has 18 official co-production treaties, encompassing key film and television industries in Asia and Europe, along with Australia, Canada, Israel and South Africa.  In addition to approving official co-productions, the NZFC also administers the NZSPG.

You can find more information about the fund, including guidelines, here.


Fresh Shorts Open for Applications

The NZFC, in partnership with Script to Screen, are pleased to announce that Fresh Shorts is now open to applications.

The Fresh Shorts programme offers grants of up to $15,000 to six new or emerging filmmaker teams to make a short film. 

As part of the Fresh Shorts development process, shortlisted teams of filmmakers will be supported to attend a three-day residential lab between 8-10 November, and to receive mentoring while they refine their scripts and proposals.  Filmmakers who have attended previous development labs have been overwhelmingly positive about the experience.

You will find more about Fresh Shorts, including guidelines, here.

Applications close 1pm Monday 19 August.


Producer International Travel Fund

There have been some changes to the Producer International Travel Fund (PITF).

From July 2019 all PITF grants will be to a maximum of $5,000 with the exception of grants to travel to the 37°South Market which will be capped at $2,500.

In exceptional circumstances travel support to key international series drama markets may be considered on a case-by-case, discretionary and non-precedential basis.

You can find out more about this fund, including how to apply, here.


Statement of Intent and Statement of Performance Expectations Released

The NZFC has released Statement of Intent (SOI) outlining the organisation’s strategic objectives for the period 2019-2023 and its Statement of Performance Expectations (SPE) which reflects the organisation’s proposed performance targets and forecast financial information for the twelve months to 30 June 2020.

The SOI outlines the NZFC’s commitment to empowering and attracting distinctive and diverse screen productions for all audiences.  Five medium-term goals feed into this long-term goal: 

  •  Activate high impact, authentic and culturally significant screen stories
  • Sustain and strengthen economic growth for our thriving screen industry
  • Facilitate dynamic pathways for outstanding people, projects and businesses
  • Maximise interest and audiences for New Zealand screen stories here and overseas
  • Build and maintain stakeholder relationships to generate excellence in partnerships.

You can read the NZFC’s Statement of Intent here, and the Statement of Performance Expectations here.


Farewell to Pua Magasiva

After Pua Magasiva's sudden passing in May, our thoughts and best wishes remain with the Magasiva family.

And we would like to take a moment to commemorate his work in film and television. Best known for his role as Vinnie Kruse-Miller in long-running soap Shortland Street, Magasiva played the title role in 2006 film, Sione's Wedding alongside his brother, Robbie, a role he reprised in the 2012 sequel, Sione's 2: Unfinished Business. Other leading roles included the Red Wind Ranger in Power Rangers Ninja Storm and Power Rangers Dino Thunder.

Off-screen, Pua worked for Flava, one of New Zealand's leading hip hop radio stations, where he co-hosted the Breakfast show along with Sela Alo.

If someone you know is experiencing mental distress, talking about it can be awkward. Do it anyway.  Just ask.  Just listen.  Help is available at likeminds.org.nz


New to NZ Film On Demand

New films added to NZ Film On Demand include Orphans and Kingdoms and The Inland Road.

There are over 160  New Zealand feature and short films available to stream at NZ Film On Demand.


Upcoming International Activity

NZFC staff are preparing for offshore festival and market activity during the remainder of 2019.  If you’re planning to attend Venice, Toronto, Busan, AFM, IDFA, Macau or any other international festival or market through until the end of December 2019, we’d love to hear from you. 

Drop us a line via international@nzfilm.co.nz with details of your planned festival/market attendance, so we can ensure you’re looped into all relevant communications and event planning.

Singapore Media Festival – ScreenSingapore/EAVE Ties That Bind (December 2019)
As part of activity aimed at stimulating New Zealand-Singapore co-production—and wider New Zealand-Asia co-production—the NZFC will have a presence at ScreenSingapore in December 2019.  We’ve partnered with European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) to secure places for experienced New Zealand producers in that organisation’s acclaimed Ties That Bind Asia-Europe co-production workshop.  This workshop is open to New Zealand feature film producers with a minimum of one lead producer credit on a theatrically released feature film.

A formal call for applications with all details will be announced shortly.  In advance of this, eligible producers should register their interest by emailing the International Team.

Separate to this, we’d encourage interested and eligible parties to consider applications to:

Southeast Asian Film Financing Forum (SAFF) Project Market (deadline: 1 September 2019)
Southeast Asian Film Lab (deadline: 19 August 2019)

Content London (3-6 December 2019)
Following the launch of Raupapa Whakaari: Drama to the World and the International Co-Development Fund, the NZFC is partnering with SPADA on an official New Zealand presence at Content London, the four-day scripted series conference to be held 3-6 December 2019. 

More details will be announced shortly.  If you’re planning to attend Content London, please email the International Team.

Also, a reminder that Content London is currently accepting applications for:

C21 Drama Series Pitch (deadline: 30 September 2019)
C21 Drama Series Script Competition (deadline: 4 October 2019)


Berlinale Talents 2020

The NZFC's Talent Development team encourage filmmakers from Aotearoa to apply for Berlinale Talents 2020 The deadline is 2 September 2019.

The talent campus runs for six days across February (22 – 27) in parallel with the Berlin International Film Festival. In addition to the extensive summit programme of master classes and panel discussions with international experts, Berlinale Talents offers a range of Project Labs in which you can further develop and present your own project. Berlinale Talents also provides Studio programmes and workshops for specific groups of film professionals.

You can read about how to apply here.

Check out previous New Zealand filmmakers who are a part of the Berlinale Talents Alumni here.



Feel free to send any questions, feedback or comments regarding this newsletter info@nzfilm.co.nz.

Forward to a Friend!

You can forward the email to up to 5 friends at a time with your own personal message.



This newsletter was sent to [email address suppressed]. You may unsubscribe at any time. To change your email please go to the Preference Centre.

New Zealand Film Commission