Project type: 
Project stage: 
Audience: 
New Zealand Filmmakers, Screenwriter
Funding type: 
Grant

The Early Development Fund supports the development of treatments or early drafts of scripts that have the potential to make great New Zealand feature films.

Upcoming application deadlines

What we fund

The development of draft feature film scripts or treatments.

  • Grant up to $25,000 per application
  • Up to a total amount of $60,000 per project
  • New Zealand-specific development costs.

Who can apply

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

How to apply

Please read the Development Financing Guidelines for Applicants before registering for an account to apply online at https://funding.nzfilm.co.nz/. 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.

If you are using the online application portal for the first time, be aware there can be up to a 24 hour wait while we approve your account. However, in most cases the wait will be much shorter than this.

What you need

  • Creative material - including a script or treatment
  • Team vision – statements from the writer, director, and producer
  • Background – history of the project, and any other projects you have with the Film Commission
  • Budget and timeline
  • Key personnel – bios of key people
  • Rights – confirmation that you have the rights to develop the screenplay

Other development opportunities

NZFC development funds are just some of the options for development assistance. Other options include the following:

The International Co-Development Fund (ICF) provides support for New Zealand screen practitioners who are working with an overseas partner on developing feature films and series drama.

Seed Grants are funds the NZFC has devolved to the New Zealand Writers Guild as a writer-focused early development fund. 

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.

Script to Screen’s Story Camp Aotearoa is a residential feature film workshop that fosters craft, voice and vision, while FilmUp Mentorship programme supports up to eight talented filmmakers to reach the next stage in their creative careers.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 14 February 2019