The NZ Film Commission has appointed the following three executive producer groups to manage the development and production of 6 short films for the 2010/2011 financial year. Applications may be made to all three executive producer groups based on the following criteria. Applications will only be accepted by POST (not courier).

The three executive producer groups are:

A Collective Intake of Breath Michael Bennett, Maile Daugherty

Tauihu Shorts Tui Ruwhiu, Poata Eruera, Bradford Haami

Tom Thumb Shorts Steven O’Meagher, Chris Dudman, Polly Fryer

Their guidelines and call for entries follow.

You can also download them from our website:


All short films funded by NZ Film Commission must contain significant New Zealand content.

In the 2010/2011 financial year, Premiere Shorts will support 6 short films at a budget of $90,000 per film.

Each film will be required to deliver on HDCAM SR (but 35mm ready). All other film delivery items including a film grade, dolby sound mix and license will still be required as part of the HD Cam delivery. If a Premiere Short is invited to an eligible A-list festival (see the NZ Film Commission short film post production guidelines for a list of qualifying festivals) it may also qualify for completion funds of up to $15,000 to finish the film to 35mm – depending on the formats required by the festival. Please email Premiere Shorts Assistant – Lizzie Dunn ( if you have any questions regarding completion funds.

A Colective Intake of Breath Call for Applications – When we saw the first moving pictures, the Lumiere Brothers’ footage of a train leaving a French station… When a small Maori girl stood in tears on a school stage… When a human eyeball was sliced open in Luis Buniel’s extreme close-up… When De Niro stared straight at us asking, “You looking at me?”… When we watched Meg Ryan orgasming in the middle of a busy New York diner… There was a collective intake of breath.

The experience of cinema is a very human experience. It’s visceral. It’s emotional. It’s physical. It’s a group of strangers in a dark room having the exact same reaction at the exact same moment to the 60 ft high celluloid images projected in front of them. It’s a sob. It’s a laugh. It’s a gasp. It’s – A Collective Intake of Breath.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

There’s a million ways to watch stories. Now, more than ever, there has to be a bloody good reason to go to the trouble of going to the cinema. A Collective Intake of Breath has a simple philosophy. Cinema is about the sob, the gasp, the laugh, the cry. We challenge filmmakers to make short films that give the audience the profound experiences only cinema can provide. We have one criterion for the films we will fund. “Stylish” isn’t enough. “Wellexecuted” isn’t enough. “Beautiful” isn’t enough. In a year’s time we want to sit in a dark cinema, we want to watch the films we’ve developed and funded, and we want to experience that collective intake of breath.

Our approach as Executive Producers is also dead simple, and born of our name. Cinema is a collective experience, in the watching and in the making. We will seek projects that live up to our philosophy, we will work with groups that show they can

deliver the goods, we will support them at every stage of the process, and we will challenge the teams to deliver the cinematic experience the audience deserves. A Collective Intake of Breath will support films where the story and the directorial vision combine to create uniquely cinematic experiences, made by filmmakers with a clear vision of their career paths towards feature films. We are especially receptive to filmmakers who demonstrate to us a clear relationship between their proposed short film and their strategy towards feature filmmaking.

The Process

Our process is about development and relationship building. We’re not interested in opening the PO Box on October 29th and finding a pile of projects we’ve never heard about, from people we’ve never spoken to. We want to interface with the filmmaking community, build relationships, identify talent and start the process of developing projects well before application time.

At the Roadshow, the new short film scheme of Fresh Shorts and the Premiere Shorts fund will be introduced. After this, savvy filmmakers must realistically set their sights on the fund which is right for them. With the emphasis on “realistically”. If you’re at the right point in your filmmaking career to apply for Premiere Shorts then start talking to us. Our process looks like this …

[1] Initial Meetings

In the last week of August we will hold meetings over a couple of days, in person in Auckland, or via Skype, with individuals or groups intending to apply to us. Bookings must be made via our website

We want to meet Writers with great stories. We want to meet Producers at the right experience level and with a thought-out path towards feature filmmaking. We want to meet eligible Directors with a proven track record, and with a committed and demonstrable strategy towards a feature film career.

This first meeting is about starting the development process that will lead to your best possible application. Part of this process will be identifying if you’re knocking on the right door. If it’s clear from this meeting that you should be turning your energy and talent towards applying to Fresh Shorts – then we’ll make that known to you. We don’t want to read scripts at this stage. We’d love to hear pitches. Keep it short. Keep it about story. A two-minute pitch is probably one minute too long.

After these initial meetings, we’ll assemble a list of existing teams, and a list of unattached Writers, Directors and Producers. You might call this the (very) long shortlist. From this we will initiate a Collective Intake of Breath Facebook page, to help you guys find each other and to build teams.

[2] Project and Team Development

For the next month you’ll be beavering away, talking to each other, Directors and Producers reading Writers’ work, brainstorming, finding your ‘tribe’.

By the end of September there will be another round of meetings in Auckland or via Skype – bookings via the website. We’ll be interested in where you’re going with your team-building, where your projects are at and where your application is headed.

Again, no scripts yet please. But if you’re feeling feedback would be useful, pitch us.

Read this!!!

We won’t accept cold-call projects for final submissions. If you wish to apply to A Collective Intake of Breath, you must meet us in at least one of the two rounds of meetings. Our process is about development and clear-headed career strategy, not throwing together an application in the last moments before deadline. And please note, additional meetings will not be scheduled outside of these dates.

Also, we’re very happy to meet with unattached individuals in the first round of meetings, and we hope teams will be formed by the second round. But for final submission we will only accept applications from full teams – ie Writer, Producer and Director.

[3] Submission

After the second round of meetings you’ve got another month to get your application ready.

The deadline is 5pm Friday October 29th 2010

The application must only include –

? Application cover sheet with name of project, team members, contact details

? Full script, industry format – no synopsis, no character pages, just the script

? CVs for Writer, Director and Producer (max. 1 page each)

? Supporting examples of the Director’s previous work (DVD only)

? Director’s Treatment (max. 2 pages)

? Confirmation that the Producer holds copyright for the screenplay, any

copyright material the screenplay is based on, and any copyright material

identified within the screenplay (music, footage, poetry, et cetera)

[4] Shortlist

At the end of November a shortlist of 5-7 projects will be announced. Congratulations!

Now the real work begins with making the script as good as it can be, refining the directorial vision, attaching key personnel, a budget and production plan. The strata-system of Premiere Shorts and Fresh Shorts is a new approach to short film financing, and the development and selection process of A Collective Intake of Breath Ltd is a new approach to project and team selection. The emphasis of the Premiere

Short Fund is to foster talent that has a clear vision of their path into feature films. Our emphasis on development and relationship building is informed by the real-world process of feature film development – and is aimed to give your project and your team the very best chance of making the short film that will launch you down your path towards feature filmmaking.

[5] Contact details


Skype: a.collective.intake.of.breath

Postal address for submissions: PO Box 78088

Grey Lynn

Auckland 1245


Call for Applications for PREMIERE SHORTS –


TAUIHU SHORTS is a team consisting of producer Tui Ruwhiu, writer/director Poata Eruera and writer/producer Bradford Haami.

TAUIHU SHORTS will executive produce two short films in 2011 with a budget of $90k each. While we are all Maori we want stories and applicants from any cultural background. We are looking for experienced auteurs (writers/directors) with the talent, ability and vision to tell powerful New Zealand stories in a distinctively original way that will push the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. You will already have a body of work that showcases your talents.

We welcome new approaches, new technologies and new ways of telling stories. Anyone with the passion, the clarity of vision, and the absolute commitment to craft a unique idea into an award-winning short film should submit their script for consideration. If this is you then TAUIHU SHORTS will support you every step of the way to help realise your vision.

The deadline for applications is 29 October, 2010. At this point you will need to submit

the following:

? 3 unbound copies of the script

? CV’s for key personnel

? director’s notes

? visual material which demonstrates the director’s experience on a single DVD to

support your application.

? a completed TAUIHU SHORTS Application Form. (Available for download from

Up to twelve applicants will be selected for discussions with the executive producers. On 3 December 2010 a short list of six projects will be asked to submit a budget, director’s and producer’s notes and a production methodology by 14 January 2011.


In February 2011 two submissions will be announced to receive production funding.


We are calling for:

? screenplays from talented, experienced auteurs (writers/directors) who have

already made at least one well-received short film or who have a quality showreel

of drama, documentaries, TVCs or self-funded projects.

? screenplays of any genre that exhibit strong, original and recognisable New

Zealand themes.

? applicants with a burning passion for their short film project and the ambition,

commitment and plan to pursue a career in feature film.

? fresh, artistic ideas and approaches.

? an experienced core team (writer/director and producer) attached to the

submission. However applications from a writer/director only will also be

accepted and matched with a producer if the project makes the shortlist.


We require:

? Three unbound, well developed screenplays in industry standard format with

title page including contact details. (Do NOT include the names of the applicant

or the team in the header or footer of the screenplay.)

? A completed TAUIHU SHORTS Application Form. (Available for download from

? CVs for key personnel (writer/director, producer).

? Director’s notes

? Visual material which demonstrates the director’s experience on a single DVD to

support your application.


? Screenplay duration no longer than 15 minutes.

? A maximum of two separate applications per individual/team.

? All projects to comply with NZ Film Commission Act Section 18 – Significant NZ Content.


Please send your applications to Tauihu Media Ltd, TAUIHU SHORTS, P.O. Box

104174, Lincoln Nth 0650, Waitakere.

Deadline for receipt is NO LATER than 5PM 29 October, 2010. Late applications will NOT be considered.

Please include a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope or courier pack if you require your submission materials returned.


The application form is available for download from our website:


? One completed Application Form.

? 3 unbound copies of the screenplay in industry standard format with

title page including contact details. (Do NOT include the names of the

applicant or the team in the header or footer of the screenplay.)

? Screenplay duration no longer than 15 minutes.

? Applicant and team CVs

? Visual material which demonstrates the director’s experience on a

single DVD to support your application.

? A maximum of two separate applications per individual/team.

? Post all applications to Tauihu Media Ltd, TAUIHU SHORTS, P.O. Box

104174, Lincoln Nth 0650, Waitakere. Deadline for receipt NO LATER

than5PM 29 October 2010. Late applications will NOT be accepted.

? If you require your submission materials returned, please provide a

self-addressed, postage-paid envelope or courier pack.


Tom Thumb Shorts is collaboration between Steven O’Meagher, Chris Dudman and Polly Fryer. We three share a similar ambition to make films of quality, talent and imagination – critical characteristics for making short films where money must be used very resourcefully… without sacrificing creativity. Tom Thumb Shorts is a mutually beneficial collaboration for the filmmakers we select… for us… and most importantly, for audiences.

Tom Thumb, a “small but perfectly formed” fairytale character, a little guy with a big personality and a great sense of adventure, he represents the kind of short films we aspire to make. Films that make their presence felt despite their limited stature. Films that are immersive, memorable, thought provoking and leave people wanting more.

Most importantly we want our short films to be CHARACTER DRIVEN and EMOTIONALLY ENGAGING. We are interested in drama, in any style or genre, with clear protagonists and antagonists driving the narrative. And in stories that connect with audiences on a visceral and/or emotional level.


? have something to say

? are there to be seen and noticed… as dynamic and explosive as the tiny


? are original and deserving of the big screen (no homages please)

? are character-driven stories, with a memorable and distinctive cast.

? belong to any dramatic genre be it a comedy, western, horror, science fiction

or based on true life (it’s the story that’s key)

? are visually and stylistically executed to the demands of the story telling

(there’s no ‘art for art sake’)

? make audiences feel something; they amuse, thrill, infuriate, scare, or

sadden… we want to feel like there’s a human being behind the story being


? know who their audiences are and respect their intelligence

? they are doable… they show an understanding of budget constraints and

respect the limited duration of the short film genre


‘You have to love something enough to be able to take risks, jump over the hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don’t have that kind of feeling for what it is you are doing, you will stop at the first giant hurdle’. – George Lucas Tom Thumb Shorts will be talent led. Our filmmakers can come from any region of the country, be of any socio-economic background, from any ethnicity, political persuasion or cultural group. If you’ve got a “small but perfectly formed” idea for the big screen then we want to help you realise this dream.

We’re looking for filmmakers who share our passion for telling stories on the big screen, who are interested in knowing and finding an audience for their films. Filmmakers who CARE about something and have something to say. We’re looking for creative people (and / or teams) who can identify their unique voice, idea and who aspire to excellence.

We expect teams to have some level of industry experience; this is not a scheme for inexperienced or first time filmmakers. We want to help build Writer – Director – Producer teams into successful creative collaborations that have the potential to work together on feature projects. We prefer teams (filmmaking is a team sport) but are open to Writers submitting scripts without Producers or Directors attached.

Directors will need to show evidence of their talent and understanding of narrative film; examples include commercials, music videos, short films, TV drama and theatre. We welcome first time and experienced Writers. We require Producers to have a body of production experience and be committed to developing these skills towards a feature film career.


Steven, Chris and Polly are committed to this process of identifying great films to make, therefore we promise to:

? Read each and every script in the first instance without knowing who are

the team behind it. We want to have clear emotional reactions to stories

without being clouded by personalities.

? Provide some notes and suggestions for script development for all teams

that we meet at the shortlist stage.

? Be open-minded and ready to be inspired!


? Up to two submissions per individual

? Films must be a maximum of 15 minutes in length

? Films will have to be delivered on HDCAM SR but be 35mm print ready


Call for submissions from Monday 9th August 2010

Deadline for all submissions is Friday 29th October 2010

The shortlist will be announced before the 25th December 2010

To be considered please submit THREE unbound hard copies of:

? A completed application form (downloadable from

? A covering letter introducing your team and project

? A well developed and formatted script (with title page and contact details)

? CVs for key personnel (Writer, Director and Producer)

? Director’s vision – a short statement or images that give us an idea of your


? One example of the Director’s work. Not a showreel but something that

demonstrates your ability to realise this story.

Please send all material to: Tom Thumb Shorts, PO Box 78/272 Grey Lynn,



Please look at FAQs at or email Polly on


  1. Madeline Cooper says:

    Hi there,

    I am unable to download copies of the application forms for the Premiere Shorts round. The page opens with an error. Is there another way to download these?

    Many thanks,

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