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Develop Your Projects

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Got a great story that would make a fantastic movie, but you don't know where to start? The Film Commission can assist you with developing your film project and help that story make the screen.

The first step of developing a film project is creating a good script. The Film Commission has a number of initiatives to assist writers in developing scripts for film projects.

Writing a script

If you haven’t ever written a script before then we encourage you to take a course in scriptwriting and attend film industry related events such as those run by Script to Screen. We also have some helpful guidelines on scriptwriting here.

Early and Advanced Development Funds

Filmmakers wanting funds to write an early draft of a feature film can apply for Seed Funding.  To develop further drafts, you can apply to the Film Commission’s Early Development Fund. For projects in a more advanced state, you can apply to the Advanced Development Fund.

Short films

Before embarking on a feature film, many filmmakers first make a short film. You can apply to make a short film through our Fresh Shorts or Catalyst He Kauahi programmes.

We recommend you read our guidelines and pointers for Fresh Shorts applications carefully before applying for short film funding.

If you would like more information about short film funding, please contact our Talent Development Coordinator at


New Zealand feature film productions can apply to the Film Commission for attachments of emerging directors and producers to be mentored on feature films made in New Zealand. Working closely with an experienced director and/or producer can be enormously rewarding for emerging talent.


Last updated: 
Monday, 11 November 2019