Regional Creative Development Support

Film Otago Southland is not primarily a production funding agency, but we do have a limited amount of creative development support we're able to provide to regional film projects and regional filmmakers, including our Screenwriters in Residence programme and our Bespoke Creative Development Support.

The purpose of these programmes is to support Otago and Southland-based screen projects in their early creative development phase. For a project to be eligible, the majority of the story and/or locations must be set in Otago and/or Southland. We can receive applications for Screenwriters In Residence programme or Creative Development support at any time, and applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Full guidelines are available to download here.

To apply:

We welcome an overview of the project in development, which should include:

  • A summary of the project – project type, synopsis
  • Who is attached to the project and their experience/credits
  • Where the project is at in the development process
  • Where/when it’s set (the regional connection)
  • A description of what kind of support is being requested – if it’s a Bespoke Creative Development request, an explanation of what the funding would go towards and how much is being requested is required
  • Details of any other investment and support secured or being investigated

A Writer in Residence programme normally takes the form of a writer visiting a district/s to write and research a regional project. Costs covered can include: domestic flights, accommodation, and car hire up to a total cost of approximately $2000. The film offices can help to facilitate introductions to local contacts to help with the project.

If a Writer in Residence isn’t suitable for this project, FOS can consider other modes of Creative Development support, such as: research trips, script consultancy services, travel grants to attend pitching workshops or events, or some other kind of ring-fenced cost that would help support a project in its development phase. These grants are also $2000 max.

Where the application is for professional fee, such as a script consultant, the applicant will need to provide evidence that a consultant has been engaged.

What we don’t fund:

  • General expenses or professional fees for writers who have their permanent residence in Otago or Southland.
  • Legal costs
  • Option payments
  • Short film development
  • Project-related overheads
  • Costs already incurred (retrospective)
  • Capital works or acquisitions or equipment purchases
  • Projects that are part of formal academic assessment
  • Advertising programmes, commercials, news or current affairs programmes
  • Productions of a public event or live event, including sports events, stage plays, music concerts, dance performances or comedy shows

Is it at the discretion of the Chair and/or Board to accept grant applications that are outside of the criteria set out in this document if they are of significant benefit to the Otago and Southland screen industry.

Please get in touch to find out more.

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