The Film Festival Fund

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The New Zealand Film Commission supports New Zealand based film festivals through the Film Festival Fund.

Film Festivals are integral to New Zealand’s cultural landscape, not just because they offer New Zealand filmmakers a platform on which to showcase their films to local audiences, but also to provide opportunities for New Zealanders  to see high calibre international films that may not otherwise be released in cinemas.

International films screened in festivals offer insight into cultures and ideas different to our own.  These films promote discussion as they broaden and inform our perspective on the world and its people.

Festivals invite international filmmakers to introduce and discuss their films, providing valuable opportunities for our filmmaking talent to learn and network and to establish connections with the worldwide filmmaking community.

Having a film screened in a New Zealand film festival can be an important stepping stone for filmmakers getting selected for international festivals. Experience gained through being screened in a local festival, in front of a local audience, can be valuable when taking films to larger international festivals and markets.

Attending film festival screenings is a communal experience.  In a world where we increasingly access moving image material on personal screens, film festivals foster community and remind audiences of the power and beauty films can have when shown on a big screen.  This, in turn, supports the exhibition business which relies on people attending films in cinemas.

About the Festival Fund

The Film Festival Fund has been allocated $110,000 per year to support film festivals throughout New Zealand between July 2016 and June 2019.  Applications must be for a three year period and funding is discretionary – that is, the NZFC chooses where best to allocate the available funds.

Our decisions are final. The criteria we apply may change from time to time, but our decisions will be consistent with the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978.

Who can apply?

Recognised individuals or organisations programming film festivals based in New Zealand which offer a diverse selection of New Zealand and international films and encourage and support theatrical audiences of all ages and ethnicities.

Who can not apply?

  •  Individuals
  • Organisations based outside New Zealand
  • Film festivals that take place outside New Zealand
  • Film festivals focused on a single genre, style or format

Application Requirements

To be eligible for the Film Festival Fund your application must address how your festival proposes to achieve the following goals:

  • Proven experience in the management and organisation of a film festival or similar event
  • Audience growth – we would expect to see increased year on year audience numbers for the festival across the funding period
  • Increased and more diverse audiences for the New Zealand films included in film festival programmes
  • Strong programming vision for diverse and high-calibre New Zealand and international film content across a mixture of genres and styles
  • Increased audience engagement with film culture
  • Opportunities for New Zealand filmmakers to connect and network with international filmmakers and film markets
  • Ongoing sustainability – will the  festival have the ability to continue if or when this funding comes to and end?

Your application must include:

  • A comprehensive overview of the festival and its objectives
  • A marketing plan in which you identify the audience for your festival and how you propose to reach them
  • A comprehensive and realistic budget. 

Applications are now open and must be received by 15 July 2016. Applications will be assessed by representatives from the Marketing, Production and Development and Talent Development teams, and we aim to respond to all applicants within six weeks.

All applications should be sent as PDF’s to [email protected].