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 presents its most comprehensive programme in Auckland and Wellington. A substantial amount of this programme is subsequently presented in Christchurch and Dunedin, with highlights programmed to screen in several further towns and cities around New Zealand. Films may be invited to participate in NZIFF at all cities, individual cities or selected 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. Invited archival and retrospective programmes are exempted from this requirement, but 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 fundraisers may do so. NZIFF prefers to screen DCI compliant DCP whenever possible, but can also screen from 35mm and Blu-Ray. Films must screen in their original language with, where appropriate, English subtitles. Feature films, documentaries and shorts are all accepted.
Short films by New Zealand filmmakers may be eligible for the following competitive programmes:
Narrative fiction shorts under 20 minutes are eligible for New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition. Please see the New Zealand’s Best Competition Rules and Regulations for more detail.
Short films by Māori or Pacific Island filmmakers with significant Māori and/or Pacific Island content are eligible for Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Competition. Please see Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Competition Rules and Regulations for more detail.
International shorts or New Zealand shorts that are not eligible for any of these competitive programmes may still apply to screen before feature presentations or as part of a non-competitive short film programme.
Animated short films submitted to NZIFF may be invited to participate in Animation NOW!, which will screen as part of the main programme. The Animation NOW! programme is selected by animation programmer Malcolm Turner. NZIFF programmers may also invite animated short films to screen ahead of features in the main programme.
If your work is invited to screen at NZIFF in Auckland, you will be contacted before 14 June 2024. 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 New Zealand is costly and we regret that we are unable to offer fares for every participating filmmaker. We unfortunately only have budget to invite a limited number of overseas guests to attend NZIFF in person. Invitations are often prioritised by the needs of grant donors and sponsors.
5. Entries. If you would like us to consider your work for our programme, we’d like to know about it. Please complete our entry form online, including appropriate supporting documentation and an online screener of your film.
Early submissions are encouraged. Please be aware of the different deadlines for international and New Zealand submissions. The deadline for international submissions is 28 March 2024. The deadline for New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Islands submissions is 19 April 2024. Due to the large volume of entries every year we cannot guarantee consideration for any submissions received after these deadlines.
6. Preview screeners. NZIFF organisers are able to preview submissions online. We prefer entrants to submit their secure online links via Vimeo if possible. Please ensure that your password stays active until at least 1 July 2024. Please always check that your online links work correctly before submitting them.
7. Screening material. Screening materials for films accepted for NZIFF must be available to reach New Zealand by 1 July 2024 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 Logistics Manager(s). NZIFF may, when requested, pay return freight on materials. Where material is travelling internationally from one festival or institution to another we will only pay transportation one way unless otherwise arranged. We can meet incoming charges and the receiving festival or institution will need to arrange and pay for importing the film into their country. We are unable to meet international freight costs for locally based submissions.
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. Since 1976, the censor has only once requested cuts to any film submitted by NZIFF. 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 expects 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 press kit, high resolution images, posters, a trailer and scene clips, and make themselves available for interviews where requested.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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. 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.
14. NZIFF can be contacted at:
New Zealand International Film Festival
PO Box 9544
Phone + 64 4 385 0162