Fresh Shorts is open for applications now.

Key dates

Friday 19 January 2018, 5pm deadline for submissions
(Development Lab 6, 7, 8 April 2018)

Fresh Shorts – At a glance

  •  Who can apply: Fresh Shorts is open to applications for short narrative films, which may be live action, animation or documentary.
  • Level of funding: We fund up to seven short films at $10,000 per film and up to seven short films at $30,000 per film.

What’s Involved?

All applications must have a director attached to the project to gain funding. Projects applying for Fresh 30 must have a producer who is separate from the director.  Writers, producers and directors must be New Zealand citizens or residents. Writer, director and producer must be available to attend the Fresh Shorts Development Labs.

Read the Fresh Shorts Guidelines for more information. Applications must be made through the NZFC’s Online Application Portal.  You will first need to set up an User Account which you can do here.

The Process

Applications are assessed by external industry readers, as well as the NZFC, to create a shortlist of projects that fit the criteria and best reflect the intentions of the scheme.

All shortlisted teams are notified and invited to a three-day, fully funded residential Fresh Shorts Development Lab.

Applicants are required to be available to attend the three-day lab to be eligible for funding.

Following the lab, applicants are mentored by experienced industry members over a one-month period to further develop scripts, budgets and applications.

After this period, revised applications are resubmitted. Industry mentors make recommendations for funding to the Talent Development team.

A final assessment is made by an NZFC panel and up to seven final films are selected for funding at each round.

Film proposals will be assessed on the following:

  • Filmmaking talent involved
  • The idea and strength of the project
  • Director’s voice
  • Quality of the script
  • Point of difference
  • Ability to deliver the project


Each project can be submitted up to three times. If a project is unsuccessful in Round 1, you are welcome to reapply with the original project the following Round, but only if you can provide strong evidence of further development since your original application. All project applications must adhere to Worksafe health and safety regulations. For more information please visit Screensafe.

If you have any queries about Fresh Shorts funding, please email