Submit A Film

Submissions for the 2014 Festival are now open.

The deadline for international submissions is MARCH 28, 2014.

The deadline for submissions from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands is APRIL 17, 2014.

Please find our entry forms and regulations below. If you have any questions about submissions please contact us here.


1. The purpose of NZIFF. To present a non-competitive, invited season of new films in a wide variety of styles and genres. To demonstrate the development of the art and contribute to a knowledge of new styles and trends in filmmaking. To encourage the screening of films which might not otherwise be brought to New Zealand. To encourage and promote widespread discussion of these films. NZIFF screens in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin each year and also tours a selection of highlights around other cities.

2. Film selection and eligibility. NZIFF will only screen films which have not previously been screened or broadcast in New Zealand. Films that have already screened in New Zealand or that are available in New Zealand for purchase or rental on DVD, Blu-Ray or VOD are ineligible. The only exemptions are for invited archival and retrospective programmes. Any other exemptions are entirely at the discretion of NZIFF. Private screenings for cast and crew do not disqualify your film, but wider industry screenings or private fund-raisers may do so. NZIFF prefers to screen from DCP whenever possible, but can also screen from 35mm, Blu-Ray and HDCAM (but not HDCAM-SR). Films must screen in their original language with, where appropriate, English subtitles. Feature films, documentaries and shorts are all accepted.

Animated films are selected for NZIFF by Malcolm Turner. You can submit your film to Malcolm though the standard submission procedure. Please just make sure to indicate that your film is an animation by using the appropriate tick box.

If your work is invited to screen on the NZIFF programme in Auckland, you will be contacted before June 10. Selections for subsequent centres are finalised weekly thereafter.

3. Payments. The main strand of NZIFF is non-competitive and has always observed the principle that all participating films should receive a measure of financial reward. We return 25% of the box office from all feature-length screenings to entrants. We may ask you to waive this payment if we are meeting substantial travel and accommodation costs relating to your screenings. Box office declarations and payment can be expected within six weeks of screening.

4. Travel. Air travel to and from the South Pacific is costly and we regret that we are unable to offer fares for every participating filmmaker. Invitations are often prioritised by the needs of grant donors and sponsors. Guests are generally expected to spend at least six days in New Zealand in order to attend both the Auckland and Wellington events. If you’re attending the Melbourne International Film Festival we may be able to pool resources with them for a round-trip ticket.

5. Entries. If you would like us to consider your work for our programme, we’d like to know about it. Please send us a completed entry form (and appropriate supporting documentation) along with a DVD or Blu-Ray copy of your film.

Early submissions are encouraged. Please be aware of the different deadlines for international and New Zealand/ Australian submissions. The deadline for international submissions is MARCH 28 2014. The deadline for New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Islands submissions is APRIL 17 2014. Due to the large volume of entries every year we cannot guarantee consideration for any submissions received after the appropriate deadline.

6. Preview screeners. NZIFF organisers are able to preview submissions on DVD or Blu-Ray. Please always check that your DVDs work before sending them. The organisers will not accept collect or landing charges on airfreighted materials. The organisers will take no responsibility for the return of submission material which we have not specifically requested. If your work is selected NZIFF may wish to retain your preview material. Please do not submit your film via online link unless requested by the organisers.

7. Screening material. Screening materials for films accepted for NZIFF must be available to reach New Zealand by June 23 unless other arrangements have been made with the organisers.

8. Transportation of selected films. Despatch of screening materials for films selected for NZIFF must be co-ordinated with our content manager(s). NZIFF may, when requested, pay return freight on materials. Where material is travelling internationally from one festival to another we prefer to arrange the despatch to New Zealand and meet incoming charges; and for the receiving festival to arrange and pay for importing the film into their country.

9. Censorship. With the exception of some documentaries, all films screened in NZIFF must be classified by New Zealand film censorship authorities. NZIFF will meet all censorship charges and associated costs. The censor has only once requested cuts to any film submitted by NZIFF since 1976. In the unlikely event of any such request from the censor in the future, the final decision will rest with the filmmaker or the filmmaker's nominated representative who will be given the opportunity to withdraw the film from NZIFF. If your film has been approved by the Films Censorship Board of Australia (M or lower) or by the British Board of Film Classification (12 or lower) it will probably be spared examination by censorship authorities in New Zealand. If your film is invited and falls into this category we will request a photocopy of the classification certificate.

10. Information and publicity. NZIFF expect entrants to supply the submission material and information listed on the entry form. Entrants whose films are selected for participation in NZIFF will be asked subsequently to supply a presskit, high resolution images, posters and if required a trailer and scene clips.

11. Certificate of participation. A certificate of participation is issued for every film screened by NZIFF.

12. Scheduling. The films will be shown in the order decided by NZIFF. No film will be shown more than four times in any city without the permission of the entrant.

13. Sales. When requested by the entrant, NZIFF will endeavour to introduce a film to prospective buyers in New Zealand. NZIFF will act only as liaison, charging no fee and taking no direct responsibility for any subsequent dealings between seller and buyer.

14. Media coverage. Filmmakers are expected to participate in NZIFF arranged publicity where possible. NZIFF retains the right to promote films for the benefit of its screenings. This includes, but is not limited to, one key press, radio and television interview per film. NZIFF will endeavour to supply copies of all Festival-related print media coverage of invited films. NZIFF will provide audience statistics and reports on all screenings.

15. NZIFF can be contacted at:

New Zealand International Film Festival
PO Box 9544
Marion Square
Wellington 6141
Phone + (64 4) 385 0162
Fax + (64 4) 801 7304



1. Films must be New Zealand productions. For the purpose of the competition, NZIFF determines that the New Zealand nationality of the film will be determined by:

(a) the nationality of the person or persons who have the copyright in the film;

(b) the nationality of the director and/or the majority of the authors, scriptwriters, composers, producers, actors, technicians, editors, and other persons who took part in the making of the film.

2. Films must have been completed after 1 January 2013.

3. Films must be 20 minutes or less (including credits). Longer films may be accepted at the discretion of the NZIFF.

4. Films must be in English, or with English subtitles if the original language is not English. Films with unsubtitled Te Reo will be accepted at the discretion of NZIFF.

5. Films must not have screened publically in New Zealand prior to NZIFF.

(a) private cast and crew screenings are excepted;

(b) films broadcast on television or released on DVD/Blu-Ray or uploaded publically to the Internet prior to NZIFF are ineligible.

6. Films must be the final finished work.

(a) NZIFF can, at its discretion, consider films prior to completion. Such entrants should contact the Festival with a realistic project time line prior to April 7.

7. Declaration of conflict of interest must accompany submission of films made by or in any way connected with Madman Entertainment or NZIFF staff and trustees or their families.

8. Films must be received by the NZIFF office by 5pm, Thursday 17 April.


1. The NZIFF will select a shortlist of twelve films, which will be viewed by an appointed selector. The selector will then select the finalists

2. Entrants will be informed if their film is shortlisted, but the shortlist will not be made public.

3. Finalists’ work will be exhibited in the “New Zealand’s Best” programme at NZIFF.

4. Each finalist will receive a total of ten complimentary tickets to the NZIFF screenings. Tickets will be made available to the person nominated as the film’s entrant on their entry form.

5. Finalists will be eligible for the following awards

(a) The Madman Entertainment Jury Award for Best New Zealand Short Film will be a cash prize of $5000 granted to the production company or copyright holder and donated by the Australasian distribution company. The winner will be determined by a three-person jury as outlined in #6 below.

(b) The Friends of the Civic Jury Award will be a cash prize of $3000 granted by the Friends. The winner of this prize will also be determined by a three-person jury as outlined in #6 below.

(c) The Audience Choice Award will be selected by audience members who attend the New Zealand’s Best screenings in Auckland and Wellington. Audience members will be invited to rank the finalists and the film that receives the highest rating will be declared the winner. The prize will be a 25% share of the box office takings from the New Zealand’s Best screenings in the four main centres, which will be granted to the winning film.

6. Two jurors will be appointed by the NZIFF and one juror will be appointed by Madman Entertainment. The jurors will be required to attend a public screening of the competing films and to determine the winners in time for an award announcement at the Closing Night screening of NZIFF in Auckland. The jury will only select one award in each category. Under no circumstances will a prize be split between or amongst films.

7. All three prize-winners will be announced on the Closing Night of NZIFF in Auckland. The New Zealand’s Best short film programme will then screen at all further NZIFF locations around New Zealand.