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.

In 2015 we’re taking a different approach to the Fresh Shorts scheme.

Up to $320,000 will still be available for the production of up to 16 Fresh 10 and Fresh 30 short films annually.  The application and selection process will also remain the same.

What’s changing is that we’ll now be doing two rounds per year, rather than just one as has been the case in years to date.  Both rounds will be open to Fresh 10 and Fresh 30 submissions.  We’ll be looking to fund up to four Fresh 10 films and up to four 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.

Each project can only be submitted once per funding year. If a project is unsuccessful in Round 1, you may not submit it again in Round 2.  You’re welcome to apply with a different project in Round 2.  You’re also welcome to reapply with the original project the following year but only if you can provide strong evidence of further development since your original application.

We’re adopting this approach as a result of industry feedback and because we feel having two rounds creates more flexibility, means less time between rounds and better supports filmmakers.

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.

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


1 May 2015 Deadline for submissions

17 July 2015 public announcement of funded shorts


15 October 2015 Deadline for submissions

29 January 2016 Public announcement of funded shorts

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


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



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