Essential information

Supporting resources

The Documentary Development Fund (DDF) supports the development of documentary films that have the potential to become compelling cinematic releases.

What we fund

Early and advanced development of feature-length documentaries suitable for a theatrical release.

  • Grants of up to $40,000 per project with $20,000 available per application.

Who can apply

New Zealand producers, writers or writer/directors of a documentary film with significant New Zealand content. Applicants can apply as an individual or as a representative of a company. 

When to apply

Applications close at 1pm on the following deadlines:

  • Monday, 16 October 2023 
  • Producer Notification 11 December 2023 
  • Monday, 15 January 2024 
  • Producer Notification 11 March 2024  
  • Monday, 18 March 2024 
  • Producer Notification 13 May 2024 
  • Monday, 20 May 2024 
  • Producer Notification 15 July 2024 
  • Monday, 22 July 2024 
  • Producer Notification 16 September 2024  
  • Monday, 23 September 2024 
  • Producer Notification 18 November 2024  

How to apply

Please read Documentary Development Financing Guidelines and Documentary Development Checklist before registering for an account to apply online at

Apply now

You can invite team members who also have an account to collaborate on the application.

What you need

  • Creative materials - treatment and visual materials
  • Team vision - statements from key creatives
  • Audience engagement plan
  • Background – history of the project, and other projects you have with the Film Commission
  • Budget and timeline
  • Key personnel – bios for key people
  • Te Rautaki Māori - If your project has Māori content, provide details of relevant consultation or engagement with Māori



Project type
New Zealand Filmmakers
Funding type
Last updated: 
Tuesday, 26 March 2024