Fresh Shorts

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Fresh Shorts aims to identify the next generation of New Zealand feature filmmakers by nurturing and inspiring up-and-coming talent.

We are considering changes to Fresh Shorts for 2014, which would involve keeping the existing $10,000 and $30,000 funding structures,while adding additional contestable funding for early stage feature film project development.  This new structure would be called “Fresh Shorts Plus”.  In line with a consultancy paper provided to industry on 7 March 2014, we are seeking feedback on Fresh Shorts Plus and would like to receive feedback by 5pm, Friday 28 March 2014.  More information is available here.”  

Fresh Shorts is a competitive low budget short film funding scheme for new directorial voices. In 2013 we received 235 submissions, shortlisted 43 projects and funded 16 short films.  

Fresh Shorts - at a glance

  • Who can apply: Fresh Shorts is open to applications for short narrative films, which may be live action, animation or documentary. 
  • Level of funding: We fund up to eight short films at $10,000 per film and up to eight short films at $30,000 per film.
  • Application deadline: 27 June 2014.

All applications must have a director attached to the project to gain funding. Projects applying for Fresh 30 must have a producer who is separate from the director.  Writers, producers and directors must be New Zealand citizens or residents.

Key dates

  • Applications open: May 12 2014
  • Applications close: June 27 2014
  • Funding decisions announced: TBA
  • Funded films to be delivered: TBA

The Process

Submissions are assessed by external industry readers, as well as the New Zealand Film Commission, to create a shortlist of projects that fit the criteria and best reflect the intentions of the scheme.

The shortlist is assessed by a panel made up of three external industry members and two NZFC staff members.  Over a two day meeting, up to 16 final films are selected for funding.

Film proposals will be assessed on the following:

  • Filmmaking talent involved
  • The idea and strength of the project
  • Director’s voice
  • Quality of the script
  • Point of difference
  • Ability to deliver the project


Please see the How To Apply page for detailed criteria and FAQ's.

If you have any queries about Fresh Shorts funding, please email