Submit a Film



To submit online please download the pdf of our entry form below. Complete it and save it. Please rename the saved file using the name of your film. Then email it to with the name of your film in the subject line. You should include a press kit with a brief synopsis or description of your film and the key credits for your film. Please do not include any large files with your emailed submission or it will not be accepted.

To submit on DVD or Blu-ray please download the pdf of our entry form below. Print it out and complete it. Then post or courier the entry form to us along with a screener of your film and any supporting materials.

Send your physical submissions by mail to:

New Zealand Film Festival Trust
Attn. Submissions
PO Box 9544
Marion Square
Wellington 6141, NZ

OR by courier to:

New Zealand Film Festival Trust
Attn. Submissions
Level 2, 2 Majoribanks St
Wellington 6011, NZ

Entry Forms and Regulations

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 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 a further ten 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. 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 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 selected for screening before feature presentations and/or as part of NZIFF’s short film programmes. New Zealand short films under 20 minutes are eligible for our “New Zealand’s Best” Short Film Competition. Please see the Competition Rules and Regulations below.
Short films by Maori or Pacific Island filmmakers or short films with significant Maori and/or Pacific Island content are eligible for our “Nga Whanaunga Maori Pasifika Shorts” programme. Curation of this programme is overseen by Leo Koziol of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival. You can submit your film for this programme through the standard submission process. Please indicate that your film is eligible using the appropriate tick box on the entry form.

Animated short films submitted to NZIFF may be invited to participate in Animation NOW!, a competitive festival programme presented by NZIFF in Auckland immediately following NZIFF, while a highlights programme features at NZIFF in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The Animation NOW! programme is selected by our longstanding animation programmer Malcolm Turner. NZIFF programmers may also invite animated short films to screen ahead of features on the main programme.

Please make sure to indicate that your film is an animation using the appropriate tick box on page one.

If your work is invited to screen on the NZIFF programme in Auckland, you will be contacted before 18 June. 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 screener 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 3 APRIL 2020. The deadline for New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Islands submissions is 24 APRIL 2020. 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 online or on DVD/Blu-ray. We prefer entrants to submit their secure online links via Vimeo. Please ensure that your password stays active until at least 1 July 2020. For posted submissions, 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. Please always check that your online links and discs 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 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 or institution to another we will only pay transportation oneway 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. 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, 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

“New Zealand’s Best” Short Film Competition Rules and Regulations


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 2019.

3. Films must be 20 minutes or less (including credits). Longer films may be accepted at the discretion of 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/VOD 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 6 April.

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

8. Films must be received by the NZIFF office by 5pm, Friday 24 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

Details on the awards and prizes on offer will be announced at a later date and published on our website here.