Premiere Pathways

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Premiere Pathways assists feature-focused filmmaking teams make moving image material that showcases their talent and will help get a feature made.

At a glance

You can apply for funding to create striking moving image material provided it will directly contribute to getting a feature-length film financed and into production.

  • Who can apply: Filmmakers at any career stage – whether preparing for their first feature, or seeking to change tack and work in a different feature genre.  You must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and your project must have significant New Zealand content, see our NZ Content information sheet below. You must have a producer, writer, director or writer/director.
  • Level of funding: Up to $70,000 for a standalone short film linked to the proposed feature; and considerably less for other forms of moving image material. You are more likely to get a grant if you have other sources of confirmed funding and/or other forms of support.
  • Type of funding: Grant
  • Application deadlines for the year can be found below. Applications are due at 9am on the deadline date.

What’s involved

Premiere Pathways was created with flexibility in mind.  It’s up to each applicant to convince us what is most relevant for moving their career and their proposed feature forward in a significant way.  For example, you may seek funding for creative exploration and refining the director’s craft (e.g. a standalone short film linked to the feature or a scene/s from the feature); to assist the producer with generating market interest in the proposed feature (e.g. a mood reel or teaser trailer that might enable pre-sales for the feature); to assist a documentary director to refine their ability to direct actors; or enable an experienced horror director to prove their ability with comedy. 

Your application should include:

  • Creative material for the proposed feature project (see application checklist below for details)
  • An overview of how creating this material will help the proposed feature film project get made;
  • a compelling statement of the career benefit of receiving Premiere Pathways funding;
  • details of the type of material to be created for example:
    • proof of concept reel;
    • scene/s from the proposed feature film;
    • teaser trailer;
    • or other relevant project-specific moving image material (on a case-by-case basis).
  • information about your team, how you propose to engage an audience in your feature, your budget and production schedule, and background on any other NZFC projects you are involved with (see application checklist below for details).

The process

Applications will be assessed by the Chief Executive, Head of Talent Development and other relevant senior staff.  We may involve external assessors.  We will assess both the proposed feature film project and the proposed moving image material in tandem. We will look at the credibility of the materials and how well they are likely to support the advancement of the proposed feature film.

You can expect to hear our decision about six weeks after the deadline.


If your application is successful you will be required to sign a contract with us.

You will have to report back to us on what you have done with the money and your contract will include a report-back date. You may be considered ineligible for funding if you have outstanding reports or deliverables relating to other NZFC funding, or are in breach of any contract with NZFC.

Our investment is discretionary and our decisions are final.  The criteria we apply may change from time to time but our decisions will be consistent with the NZFC Act 1978.

It is important to note that receiving Premiere Pathways funding in no way guarantees that the proposed feature film will be produced, whether with or without NZFC production investment or other government funds.  However, there is a strong expectation on the part of the NZFC that we are supporting projects through Premiere Pathways that have a high likelihood of being produced and released as theatrical feature films for local and international viewership.

How to apply

Please fill out the application coversheet and checklist below. Send your completed application to [email protected] before 9 am on the due date.

Contact us

For more information contact our Talent Development Team, Email [email protected] or phone 0800 659 754.