Trainee Director Internship Scheme

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This scheme aims to expose emerging directors to feature film directing experience before they embark on their first feature.

A grant of NZ$10,000 is available to be used for a trainee director to do a directing internship on a feature film with a production budget of more than NZ$500,000. The grant will cover costs directly related to engaging the trainee to complete a minimum 14 weeks' work on the film. The trainee will work closely with the director unit assisting, supporting, and shadowing the director throughout the production process.

At a glance

Who can apply: Emerging directors or the producer/director of a feature film going into production

Level of funding: Usually up to $10,000 (although the amount may be reviewed depending on the scale and needs of the production)

Type of funding: Grant

Application deadline: Applications may be submitted at any time

As every production is different, applications are considered on a case by case basis.  The role must demonstrate clear benefits for both the production and for the candidate's development as a future feature film director.


To be eligible, the trainee director must meet the following criteria:

  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident;

and either:

  • have directed a short film that has screened at an A-list festival;
  • have a feature film in development with us.

The process

Applications are considered by the Professional Development Executive in conjunction with the CEO.  We will consider candidates put forward by the producer or director of the film in question or, if requested, can help to find a well-suited candidate.  If the internship is approved we expect to be in regular communication with all parties during the production and will require an extensive report from the producer and intern upon completion of the internship.

Key dates

Applications may be submitted at any time.


If you are a producer or director of an NZFC-funded feature film nearing production and you would like to attach a trainee director, you can either:

  • suggest a well-suited candidate of your choice; or
  • ask to discuss potential candidates on our register.

If you are an emerging director that would like to be considered as a trainee director, please contact our Professional Development Executive to be added to our register.

For more information, please email