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.

2017/18 Fresh Shorts

We have $280,000 available for the production of up to fourteen Fresh 10 and Fresh 30 short films. We have two rounds per year. Both rounds are open to Fresh 10 and Fresh 30 submissions.  We’ll be looking to fund between three - four Fresh 10 and Fresh 30 films in each round.  That said, we may choose to fund fewer or more films in a single round, depending on the calibre of applications.

Key dates



Friday 9 June 2017, 9am deadline for submissions
(Development Lab, 25,26,27 August 2017) 


Friday 3 November 2017, 9am deadline for submissions
(Development Lab 10,11,12 February 2018)

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 seven short films at $10,000 per film and up to seven short films at $30,000 per film.

What's Involved?

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. Writer, director and producer must be available to attend the Fresh Shorts Development Labs.

Read the Fresh Shorts Guidelines for more information, and download the application form below.

The Process

Applications are assessed by external industry readers, as well as the NZFC, to create a shortlist of projects that fit the criteria and best reflect the intentions of the scheme.

All shortlisted teams are notified and invited to a three-day, fully funded residential Fresh Shorts Development Lab.

Applicants are required to be available to attend the three-day lab to be eligible for funding.

Following the lab, applicants are mentored by experienced industry members over a one-month period to further develop scripts, budgets and applications.

After this period, revised applications are resubmitted. Industry mentors make recommendations for funding to the Talent Development team.

A final assessment is made by an NZFC panel and up to seven final films are selected for funding at each round.

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


Each project can be submitted up to three times. If a project is unsuccessful in Round 1, you are welcome to reapply with the original project the following Round, but only if you can provide strong evidence of further development since your original application. All project applications must adhere to Worksafe health and safety regulations. For more information please visit Screensafe

Please note that our application forms are writable PDFs. You must download and save them to your computer before you can type into them (right click, then save as). Many browsers (including Chrome and Firefox) will automatically open these documents in a ‘preview’ form that will not allow you to type into them or will not allow you to save what you have written.

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