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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Watch the Ask Us Anything Seed Session

Answering your questions about applying to Seed.

Below you will find answers for the most frequently asked questions about the Seed grants. If you still can't find the answer you are looking for, click on the Full Grant Guidelines OR in the quick guide on Seed and Seed Advanced Eligibility buttons below.

Still stuck? ask us a question directly HERE.

Can I enter a project if I have a producer attached?

If a producer has been attached and you have signed the rights to them in your contract. No, you cannot enter that project.

Can I enter a project if I have a director attached?

Yes, as long as you (the writer/s) still hold the rights to the screenplay, you can enter that project.

How long is there between a Seed round opening until the deadline?

Six weeks between opening the Round and the closing date for entries.

Am I eligible for Seed Advanced if I am experienced writer in other genres, e.g.’ novels, poetry? Or if I have worked in the industry for a long time?

No. Applicants must have the following Written by Credit to be eligible to apply for Seed Advanced:

  • Produced – Over 90 cumulative minutes of; Film, Television, and Theatre where the applicant has a Written By credit produced by a recognised production company, platform, or authority or has been theatrically performed.

If I am applying with a project that is an adaptation of existing work (e.g. a novel or a play) do I have to option the rights to the work before applying?

Yes. You (the writer) must hold the rights to the project in order to be eligible for Seed Funding. The fund is not intended to cover the cost of optioning the rights.

Can I use images in the treatment if I think it is important to portray a visual of the type of film I want to make?

No. The Treatment is a written summary of your script described in prose, including the beginning, the middle and the end. If there is imagery you feel is important to portray, this must be done within the prose.

Can I apply for Seed funding for a TV series, documentary or a short film?

No. Seed funding is for scripted feature films only.

Can I submit a Treatment that is shorter than the 5 pages requested (10 pages for Seed Advanced)?

Yes. The 5 page treatment is a maximum length. If you feel confident you have outlined your story (beginning, middle and end) in fewer pages, you can submit.

If I am successful in getting a Seed grant can I spend the $2500 on more than one script consultant?

Yes. You may be able to work with two approved assessors. This can be discussed and agreed in the first meeting with NZWG after you have been awarded the grant.

Do all the documents I attach have to be in PDF format?

Yes, all attachments must be PDF files. There are four attachments - Bio, Budget, Treatment, and Script Pages. All four should be PDF files. 

Does the size and style of the font in the treatment need to be the same as the script pages?

Yes. This is preferred as both of these key judging materials need to be the same to ensure fair and equitable length of content across all entries. Need help with formatting? Check out the How To Guides underneath the entry checklist HERE.

Are there different judges for each round of Seed funding?

Yes, NZWG selects a different diverse and experience range of judges every round. 

Did you know, in 2018 NZWG made a commitment to support diverse screenwriters and stories through the Seed and Seed Advanced programme. The blind-read process is the foundation of the Seed programme, so diversity and inclusion outcomes in blind-read scenarios were researched and confirmed that the best way to achieve this was through the judges themselves! Since then, NZWG have continued that commitment to diversity of judges and support positive outcomes with the following evolutions:

  • 2018 At least 50% female or at least 50% Māori judges in all rounds of Seed & Seed Advanced

  • 2019 At least 50% female or at least 50% Māori, Pacific Island, Asian and non-Pakeha judges in all rounds of Seed & Seed Advanced.

  • 2021 At Least 50% female or at least 50% Māori, Pacific Island, Asian and non-Pakeha judges, and at least 1 LGBTQIA+ judge in all rounds of Seed & Seed Advanced.

Do the ten pages of script need to be consecutive pages, or can they be from different parts of the screenplay?

No. They do not have to be consecutive; you may use scenes from different parts in your script as long as they are clearly delineated. As per the Full Guidelines above the script sample must contain some dialogue.

Can I enter with the same project more than once?

Yes. You can enter with the same project up to three times.

How should I structure my budget? What can the money be used for?

For Seed, your budget can be as simple as you like. The $7,500 can be your 'writers fee', with the remaining as a 'consultant fee'. Unless you have specific costs to cover such as research and travel for example. In particular it is important to make clear that you understand how much of the Grant goes directly to the writer, and how much of it is for consultancy services and will be paid directly to a consultant or development process.

Can I use an AI programme to write my Treatment or other elements of my entry?

Some writers may be considering using AI programmes such as ChatGPT, WordTune, and ChatSonic, to assist them in the writing of their Seed applications. It is important to note that there has been no establishment of copyright for any works written by an AI programme. Which means you may be putting your 'Rights / Chain of Title' at risk when you use material generated by AI. As you will be aware, there is a declaration you must tick on your Seed Application stating you hold these rights - please make sure that you do continue to hold these rights when creating your application, or your application may be denied.

With thanks to the

New Zealand Film Commission

for their support. 

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