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Entries for 2014 round of short film production now open

May 4, 2014

Entries for 2014 round of short film production now open

Short Film Otago is now calling for scripts in its 2014 round of production. Entries will close on Friday 1 August 2014.

The call for new scripts follows the premiere of the latest films produced by Short Film Otago – Inc’d, Bleat, Kia ora Miguel and A Dog’s Tale – which screened tonight at Dunedin’s Rialto Cinemas (Sunday, 4 May). Other short films produced under Short Film Otago include Paradise and Eden – both selected for the New Zealand International Film Festival, while Eden was also selected for the ION International Film Festival in 2009 and the Africa International Film Festival in 2010.

Short Film Otago – a registered charitable trust – is funded by the Otago Community Trust and aims to invigorate screenwriting in the region, generating quality writing, and overseeing full production of two or three of the best scripts each year.

Short Film Otago is a “first step” initiative for local film makers. Similar to the New Zealand Film Commission $10,000 fresh shorts scheme, Short Film Otago also offers budgets of up to $10,000 to produce films by writers and film makers early in their career, to help build experience and talent.

Short Film Otago uses a “blind” assessment process to determine which scripts will proceed to production. A Selection Committee (appointed by the SFO Board) is provided with copies of all scripts with an identifying number attached and no details of the author/s.

The Selection Committee makes recommendations to the full Board on which scripts will proceed to further development and potential production. Writers of scripts approved for further development will be provided with a $500 grant.

Says Short Film Otago board chairperson Doug Lilly: “We’re pleased to be able to again give Otago writers the opportunity to showcase their skills in this latest call for short film scripts.

“We hope to receive a large number of entries again, and look forward to finding some great new talent in the region. We also provide feedback on all scripts to help aspiring screenwriters hone their writing skills.”

Entries are open to anyone living in, or with a strong connection to, the Otago region and can be anything from fully finished scripts to one-page outlines – or works in-between. The scripts themselves must be strong, original stories that are visually interesting and have an ideal length of 10 to 15 minutes.

Entrants may wish to use the free scriptwriting software Celtx to draft and submit their script (

More information about the initiative is available at or by email to


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