Someday Stories


How many films are funded in a Someday Stories series?

Since 2017, Someday Stories has funded six films per series. In 2024, we are pleased to be funding eight films for the first time.

How long can my short film be?

Typically the screentime is between 9-12 minutes in duration. Refer to our former Someday Stories docos and dramas via our website for reference.  Scripts typically represent one minute of screen time, so a 9-12 page scripted screenplay is welcome. Of course, some scripts can be longer or shorter in length yet still meet the 9-12 minute required duration. 

The Outlook for Someday is a sustainability film project. Do I need to make an environmental film?

We love environmental films. That said, if you take a look at films from earlier series of Someday Stories, they cover many different perspectives and broad takes on sustainability. We want you to make a film that has meaning for you and articulates the change and impact on society you want for the future.

Age Eligibility

There are age restriction variations for specific production roles listed below but a team must comprise a producer who is separate to the director.  If you are applying as a sole Director or Director/Writer, you need to be aged between 18 - 29 yrs, i.e born between 1 July 1994 and 1 February 2006. If you are applying as a sole writer (and not director) in any team, you can be any age.  If you are applying as Producer or Co-Producer within a team, you may exceed the 29yr age limit, as we acknowledge this role is the most challenging to fulfill and therefore we reserve the right to ease the age restriction for this particular role. If a producer is aged 29 or over, please let us know.  Remembering, Someday Stories is a youth-focused project targeted towards uplifting the voices of our youth. It is intended to provide opportunities for new and emerging filmmakers.

What if I don’t have a producer?

Please get in touch with us before you apply - we will try our best to connect you with a person who might be interested. You can still apply without a producer but if shortlisted you will need to find a producer in order to move forward.

If I produce, can I also co-direct?

We encourage lead producers to commit themselves to producing 100%. Why? Because experienced producers are hard to find, and we want all emerging producers in our initiative to get as much as they can out of the experience of producing their short film. If you are a producer interested in learning to direct then we encourage you to apply as a director - if you meet the age eligibility of course.

Is it true your films release online? Will this make them ineligible to film festivals here and internationally?

All our films are contracted to release online via our screen partner's platforms; RNZ and Whakaata Māori, as well as our website, Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube channels. Each of our screen partners have a 3 month exclusivity period where any additional distribution needs to be signed off.  It’s true that this will make the films ineligible to enter some film festivals here and overseas, however we encourage you to check the eligibility criteria for the festivals you’re interested in, as many film festivals already accept short films that are available to watch online. As Someday Stories is a web series, the films are technically web series’ episodes and are therefore eligible for all web series festival categories.

Does our submitted proposal need to have a design component?

We highly recommend your proposal have a design component that is highly visual and reflects the mood / tone / world of what you want to achieve through the medium of film. Put your best foot forward. A plain word document with no imagery at all makes it very hard for ourselves and our screen partners to imagine. We want to be excited and inspired by your proposal.

If my genre is animation, experimental, or AI… can  I include some test footage in my proposal? 

Absolutely, yes. The more we get a sense of your filmic vision and world the better. 

I’ve written an amazing script that I want to direct but I have no experience of the iwi and gender the story relates to, can I still submit it?

We are big on supporting filmmakers directing and creating films that are authentic to their lived experience. E.g, if a filmmaker is not of the specific culture, gender, iwi perspective they are exploring in their script or documentary concept, we would want a strong justification for why they feel this is their story to tell.

Multiple Submissions?

Individual film-makers may be involved in more than one application but upon being selected may only participate in one key role (e.g, Producer, Director, Writer etc) within one production team.

Compatible with Full-Time Study?

Making a film for Someday Stories is unlikely to be compatible with full-time study.  Exceptions may include films being made as part of course requirements however they would still need to be made within the timeframe required for Someday Stories. A letter may need to be provided by the tertiary institution outlining how making the film will be compatible with course requirements and commitments. The Someday Stories team would also need to liaise directly with relevant course personnel both prior to commissioning and during production of the film.

Compatible with Full-Time Work?

While making a film for Someday Stories can be compatible with full-time work - it requires flexibility from your employer. But you will need to understand that it will take up the majority of your time outside of work.

Help! I don’t know how to do a budget!

Please just do what you can and submit your application with an attempt at a budget. Depending on the strength of your application and your team, we will support you as best we can to craft a realistic budget. (Hint: if there is a helicopter in your script, it’s likely to blow the budget). Here is a video that goes through what a film budget is and specifically the Someday Stories template.

What if I’ve been funded before?

Directors applying to Someday Stories who have previously received production funding from either NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho or the New Zealand Film Commission are ineligible to apply for Someday Stories.  Exceptions to this rule include where a Director has received a commission to make a music video that has been funded by NZ On Air or where a filmmaker has received talent development or mentorship funding from one of the above funding bodies. We reserve the right to make further exceptions where appropriate. NB: Additional people working on the film such as Writer, Producer, key HOD’s, and cast & crew members are not required to meet the above funding eligibility requirement. If you have questions or you would like to discuss this in more detail, please email

How do you select a Someday Stories film?

We select films in consultation with our screen partners from RNZ and Whakaata Māori. Someday Stories is a curated series whereby each film is carefully chosen to create a balanced selection of films. In 2024 this will include at least two films that convey te ao Māori and ideally have at least 50% te reo Māori content. We are always looking to commission films from underrepresented communities within Aotearoa;  Folks who are queer, trans, non-binary, Māori, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, Latin American, African, people of colour, disabled, parents, are/have been system-impacted, live rurally in NZ, are immigrants, and anyone who has experienced systemic oppression and/or gender-based violence are encouraged to apply.

What stories do Someday Stories want to see being submitted?

First and foremost we want to see scripts that have the most meaning for you. We like films that have a strong ‘why’ behind why you want to tell them. We welcome all genres and perspectives.

My script has helicopters, stunts and special effects. Do I need to say anything about that in my proposal?

Yes! If your film relies on elements that are traditionally expensive or dangerous to shoot, then we will need to understand how you plan to achieve your aims on the budget we provide. You may have a good plan and access to what you need at low or no cost, but unless we are made aware of your plan, we won't know about it which could affect your chances of being selected.

How much funding do dramas and docos receive?

  • Dramas receive $20,000
  • Documentary’s receive $15,000