Project type: 
New Zealand Filmmakers
Funding type: 

The Documentary Development Fund supports documentary films that have the potential to become compelling cinematic releases.

Upcoming application deadlines

What we fund

The development of feature-length cinematic documentaries suitable for a theatrical release.

  • Grant of up to $40,000 per project in two stages
  • Early stage - up to $20,000
  • Advanced stage – up to $20,000

Who can apply

New Zealand producers of a documentary film with significant New Zealand content. The person named as the lead producer in your application cannot be the same person as the writer of director. 

How to apply

Please read Documentary Development Financing Guidelines for Applicants before registering for an account to apply online at The person applying should be your lead producer. 

Apply now

You can invite team members who also have an account to collaborate on the application.

What you need

  • Vision – creative materials and statements from producer and director
  • Audience engagement plan
  • Background – history of the project, and other projects you have with the Film Commission
  • Budget and timeline
  • Key personnel – bios for key people
  • Warranty of copyright, access, and clearances.

Other development opportunities

Keep in mind that there are other options for assistance from the NZFC that may be more relevant to your project:   

He Ara is a devolved development scheme aimed at assisting established New Zealand writers, producers and directors of Māori and/or Pacific Island heritage to express authentic Māori and Pacific Island film perspectives. Eligible producers and creator teams can apply for support towards developing a slate of projects.

From time to time the NZFC will devolve development funds through schemes such as the Business Development Scheme (BDS), Boost and He Ara. Individual writers and directors may consider contacting successful recipients of these schemes to see if a project is of interest to them.

Clinics - a talent development initiative that prepares filmmakers to present their projects at the Doc Edge Pitching forum.

Last updated: 
Friday, 5 May 2017