Essential information

Supporting resources

The He Ara Development Fund supports established filmmakers to tell authentic and exciting Māori and Pacific Island stories on screen. 

What we fund

Filmmakers of Māori and/or Pacific Island heritage to create a range of quality New Zealand feature films shaped through their chosen development framework.

  • Grant of around $50,000 per application.
  • Projects should be feature film drama or documentary projects suitable for cinema release (although we are open to considering creative approaches to distribution).

Who can apply

New Zealand teams or companies with at least:

  • Two projects to be supported (drama or documentary)
  • One established New Zealand writer, producer or director
  • One producer of Māori or Pacific Island heritage
  • Two-thirds of the people concerned being Māori or Pacific Island writers, producers or directors.

Or teams that feature Māori or Pacific Island collaborators with significant experience in a related area of screen production or the wider arts sector.

How to apply

Please read the He Ara Guidelines before registering for an account to apply online at

Please note, only applications submitted through the online portal will be considered.

This fund is currently closed to applications. The next round of He Ara Funding will open on 8 February 2021.

You can invite team members who also have an account to collaborate on the application. Please note that only one collaborator can edit at a time. To give others access, click 'Save and Quit'. 

What you need

  • Proposal – history and vision for your business and projects
  • Budget
  • Slate – details about the proposed projects
  • Key personnel – bios of key people
  • Rights – intellectual property rights for your projects
  • Information about any other projects you have with the Film Commission.
Project type
New Zealand Filmmakers
Funding type
Last updated: 
Wednesday, 13 January 2021