Mentoring local filmmaking is an important focus for the festival team.  We have two new initiatives this year that we are excited to share with you. 

We have created a new School Connector role to provide a valuable link to deliver mentoring support to Tamariki & Rangatahi students and teachers.  If you are a school or a teacher and want to connect with us, email Amy Hanna

Note: This is a two-part workshop. Come along for either the morning or afternoon workshop or both.

Matt Hicks is a Waikato-based writer/producer/director/actor best known as the Producer of Waikato indie feature ‘Home Kills’ (which premiered at the 2023 NZIFF) and the forthcoming indie feature ‘The Tavern’ (in post-production). Matt’s workshop details the highs and lows he’s experienced making low-budget features in an honest, warts-and-all fashion. In the workshop we will cover pre-production (writing/pitching to cast/crew/investors), production and post production. Participants will be encouraged to pitch their film ideas which we will workshop into pitch-ready concepts.

This workshop is proudly presented with support from Waikato Screen.

9.30am – 12pm: Pre-production and pitching

  • Who is Matt?
  • Home Kills trailers and a montage of other projects
  • Making YouTube videos
  • How to fund the filmmaking dream.
  • Writing a script. What can you get for free/cheap – cast, crew, locations and how to get people to work on your dream for little or no money.
  • Finding and auditioning actors, pitching your idea to investors, crowdfunding tips and strategies for successful crowdfunding.
  • Q&A

12pm LUNCH – provided, all workshop attendees welcome

12.30pm – 2.30pm: Pitching and post-production

  • Planning a good shoot.
  • Scheduling, editing and critiques, post-production stuff.
  • Sourcing sound.
  • Pitching your film to cinemas, distributors, film festivals and independent distribution.
  • Developing marketing strategies.
  • Dealing with rejection.
  • Q&A

A screenwriter and Director, Michael’s short films and feature films have screened and won awards internationally, including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Locarno, New York and London.

Hosted by Maryann Tuao

A one-day rollercoaster introduction to writing for the screen. The workshop is a fun, fast-paced tour through the writing toolbox of an acclaimed screenwriter, using short films, music videos and excerpts from great movies to explore the fundamentals of storytelling for the screen. The workshop is suitable for new screenwriters, for artists coming to screenwriting from other disciplines and for experienced writers in search of a boot-camp refresher.

This workshop is made possible with funding support from Waikato Screens, Waikato District Council Creative Communities and Raglan Community Board


Check out our recent workshop held by Sue Harker on ‘The Art of Storytelling’


Check out the following videos for some great tips for filming a short video.