Someday Stories

Request for Proposals

Someday Stories 8 (in production 2024)

This Request for Proposals (RFP) invites; 

  • funding applications from emerging young filmmakers under 29 years old in Aotearoa to make their first funded short film with urgent themes that matter to them


  • applications from aspiring young filmmakers in Aotearoa to take on an unpaid New Filmmaker Placement to shadow one of the commissioned Someday Stories productions

You are welcome to apply for both of these. 

The deadline for Someday Stories 8 applications is 5pm, Friday 20th October 2023

The deadline for Someday Stories New Filmmaker Placement applications is 5pm, Friday 20th October 2023

There is a list of FAQs here.

Application to make a Someday Stories Short Film

Production teams who would like to make one of the eight funded films need to email the following to no later than 5pm, Friday 20th October 2023.

  1. A completed application form
    Someday Stories 8 - Application Form
  2. A proposal (PDF preferred) of up to 10 pages, including:
    • Logline
      The logline is a statement, in 35 words or less, that reflects the narrative ‘hook’, premise or essential dramatic dilemma inherent in the proposed short film. This is not a tagline for a movie poster, but rather a one or two-line summary of the film’s essential storyline. Keep in mind that we publish the title and sometimes the logline of all projects we fund. If you want to keep any details confidential please let us know, and provide us with another version we can publish.
    • Brief synopsis
      The synopsis is a highly condensed story outline of no more than 200 words. Ideally it will convey the tone & genre of the film, and reflect the key emotional journey of the film. Please note that your synopsis must include the film’s ending.
    • Detailed narrative outline up to one page.
      The narrative outline should touch on every key beat of the story; clearly reflecting the thematic spine of the film.
    • Director’s Treatment
      Your director's vision shows us how you see the project coming to life on screen. We expect the director's vision to touch on:
      - Interpretation of, and engagement with concept themes.
      - Approach to working with actors: casting, rehearsing and performance.
      - Genre/sub-genre and why you have chosen this form.
      - Style and look (mood, tone, costume, setting, locations).
      - Soundscape and Music.
      - Methodology (approach to filming).
      - This could also incorporate a look-book, visual references, location overview and/or costuming plans.
    • Creative Team Statement
      This is a brief statement (e.g. half a page) that covers the creative teams’ (ie director, writer, producer) personal connection to the story and/or subject matter.
    • Team Bios
      Short bios of 300 words max, highlighting the professional and life experience of the key production team members, containing information relevant to their proposed role. Please list at the end of your bio all work, study or other relevant commitments of the key production team members (i.e, director, writer, producer) during 2024 and how those commitments are compatible with both the production schedule and the selection process for Someday Stories. Please take note that we require these bios and commitment declarations to be supplied both in the Application Form, and in the 10 page .pdf proposal
    • Links to previous films by key production team members
      If anyone in your key production team has made self-funded short films, music videos, 48Hours short films, school/university films, please provide links with password (if applicable) for us to watch.
    • Production schedule or timeline indicating how the film can be produced to final cut stage from February to mid-June 2023
      Please make sure this timeline covers;
      - Development time between funding, and pre production; working with your appointed industry mentor to strengthen your story and production plans
      - Your proposed overall production schedule (pre-production and shoot)
      - Your post-production schedule, including three opportunities for our team to review your fully assembled film cuts and provide feedback, and meaningful time in between for you to implement our feedback.
    • Audience Engagement and Marketing Plan identifying the audiences for the film, and how the production team plans to engage audiences and promote their film
      In one page cover target audience, digital and social media marketing plan. This could also include marketing concepts (key art, sketches, infographics) and information about an Impact Campaign you might be planning to run alongside the distribution of this film. For target audience, please be reasonably specific, for example:
      - Primary audience: 18-39 years, female skewed, urban, digital native
      - Secondary audience: 40-60 years, male/female, progressive, arts-literate
  3. A production budget using the Budget Template:
    The link below opens a Google Drive folder where you will find the budget template available either in Google Sheet or .XLSX form for you to download or save and modify to suit your purposes. You should not be able to edit these in the folder - only after you have downloaded them. When you send the application in, we require an Excel spreadsheet. I.e, not pdf or numbers file.
    Someday Stories 8 - Budget Template
    If the link doesn't work please send an email to subject: budget template and we will send it to you.
  4. Whether the film is to be a scripted drama, documentary or other genre, one of the following: (PDF preferred)

Please note that if your film is shortlisted, a full drama or documentary script will be required in the re-submission process.  

     5. One letter of support for each member of the key production team from someone who knows them and can comment on their capacity to deliver on schedule. (PDF preferred)

What we're looking for in the films we commission

The idea is that Someday Stories are:

  • Innovative, imaginative, relevant or thought-provoking.
  • We are looking for short films that articulate the change and impact on society the makers want for the future. Previous films have covered topics to the environment, climate change, society, culture, body image, health, gender identity, human rights, mental health, cultural issues including preservation as well as integration into NZ society, war or peace and more.
  • A curated programme of films and film-makers that are diverse in content and in personnel.

Any genre is welcome - drama, documentary, music video, dance film or whatever - and so is live-action, AI intervention, animation, or anything that you feel has not been seen or represented before.
The films might be edgy, enchanting, funny, inspiring, reflective, experimental… and together they will spark ideas, stimulate debate and convey important information.

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. We want to hear from members of any underrepresented community in Aotearoa.

For Someday Stories 8, we will be aiming to commission at least two films that convey te ao Māori and ideally have at least 50% te reo Māori content.

Story sovereignty is important to us here at Someday Stories. Before you dive deep into your film, ask yourself if you have the authority, the responsibility, the perspective and the permission to use the elements in your film, or tell this story. How are you treating them? Does your work contain cultural references that don’t belong to you; and do you need to connect with the guardians of that culture, the kaitiaki, to have a more complete understanding, or to get clearance to use those things?


This initiative is targeted towards emerging young film-makers. Someday Stories exists to provide a platform for the next generation of voices in New Zealand’s media landscape. Our mission is to support these fledgling film and screen makers with their first professional funding experience, all the while encouraging them to explore the themes that are most important to them, and begin to discover and articulate their unique voice along the way.

The contracted production teams will include;

  • a Director
  • a Producer

There may be variations on the above (e.g Writer/Director or Co-Producers) but the team must comprise a producer who is separate to the director.

Applications are invited only from teams whose Director:

  • Is aged 18 - 29
    i.e born between 1 July 1994 and 1 February 2006
  • Is currently a New Zealand citizen or resident
  • Has not previously received production funding from NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho or the New Zealand Film Commission
    This includes either directly or via another scheme for emerging film-makers funded by either of those agencies.
    Exceptions to this rule include where a film-maker 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 the Writer, Producer, key HOD’s, and cast & crew members are not required to meet the above age eligibility requirements.

If you have questions or you would like to discuss these eligibility requirements please email

Production Budgets

Each commissioned production team will work with The Someday Stories team, who will manage and executive produce the series.

Each production will have a contracted budget of $15,000 for documentary, and $20,000 for a scripted drama, which will be provided to the production teams in five instalments to finance their films from pre-production to final cut and online release.

The production budget;

  • is expected to include payment for everyone involved in making the film (including those in key roles such as Producer, Director, Producer/Director, Co-Producer and/or Writer).
  • is not expected to include grading and audio mixing, which will be organised separately with the film-makers by The Outlook for Someday team.

Here is a video to explain what a film budget is and going through the Someday Stories budget template.


Each director, writer and producer from each production team will attend a two-day workshop in Auckland that covers the process of making their film. This workshop will give them the opportunity to meet, connect and network with the other film-makers alongside participating in focused talent-development workshop labs.

The two-day (in-person) workshop covers the challenges inherent in producing a film within a tight time-frame, information about all the requirements teams will need to meet including; health and safety plans, scheduling, cost reports, professional directors sharing their insights around directing actors, and directing documentary subjects, and more.

Production Mentors & Script Consultants

Each production team will be assigned a production mentor from the New Zealand film industry. The mentors will support them as they navigate their creative and logistical journey from commissioned proposal to final cut.

The scripted drama teams will also be given the opportunity to work with a professional script consultant from the New Zealand film industry.

Someday Stories New Filmmaker Placement

An important part of the kaupapa of Someday Stories is to create pathways and opportunities for new and emerging filmmakers to learn, upskill and meet new collaborators. In line with this aim we have a placement available to new filmmakers (18-24yrs old) to join the filmmaking teams on set and be privy to the process of collaborating with a commissioning partner. If successful, your team may be assigned a New Filmmaker to observe you on set. This is an unpaid role and the focus is learning through observation.

Application to be a Someday Stories New Filmmaker Placement

If you’d like to apply for the Someday Stories New Filmmaker Placement, complete this form Someday Stories 8 - New Filmmaker Application Form before the deadline of 5pm, Friday 20th October 2023.

Selection Process

Producers for shortlisted applications will be contacted by 5pm on 22nd November 2023.

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to a meeting with our team sometime between 27th November - 7th December 2023 at our offices in Auckland, or over a video call - to discuss our feedback for your resubmission. Each meeting will last approximately one hour.

In those meetings the production team for each shortlisted application will have an opportunity to pitch their project face-to-face. There will also be discussion regarding further development of the application/proposal.

Producers for shortlisted applications will need to provide an evolved or updated document by 12pm on Fri 5th January 2024.

The eight Someday Stories will then be selected in consultation with the Screen Partners (RNZ & Whakaata Māori) and commissioned in late January 2024.

Availability for Key Production Events

If you are commissioned, you will need to be available to;

  • engage in our contracting process 23rd - 30th January 2024
  • attend a two-day (in-person) Workshop in Auckland 9th & 10th February 2024

Please ensure you have these dates pencilled in your calendar now.

Production teams will need to be able to commit sufficient time and availability to complete their productions in accordance with the Someday Stories 8 production schedule.

In addition to being available to meet the needs of their own productions, this will also mean being available for:

  • Shortlisted application meetings: 27th November - 7th December 2023
  • Someday Stories 8, Two-Day Workshop in Tāmaki Makaurau: 9th & 10th February 2024
  • Colour Grading and Sound Mixing sessions in Tāmaki Makaurau: late June - early July 2024
  • A Premiere Screening event in Tāmaki Makaurau: 31st August 2024

Timeline for Someday Stories 8 (2024)

Application Deadline: 5pm Friday 20th October 2023

Shortlisted applications contacted: Wednesday 22nd November 2023

Meetings with Shortlisted Production Teams: 27th November - 7th December 2023

Deadline for Resubmission: 12pm, Friday 5th January 2024

Contracting: 23rd - 30th January 2024

Someday Stories 8, Two-Day Workshop in Tāmaki Makaurau: 9th & 10th February 2024

Production to Rough Cut stage: February - May 2024

Sign off of Final Cuts: Late May - Mid June 2024

Grading and Audio Post-Production: Late June - Early June 2024

Completion of Delivery Requirements: July 2024

Premiere, Promotion and Online Release: August - September 2024


Please email any enquiries about Request for Proposals to

Before emailing your enquiry - make sure to check out our FAQs page, and see if your question has already been answered there.