The NZFC announced the opening of the Interactive Development Fund (IDF) today at the SPADA Conference.
The IDF initiative is a practical toe-dip and sits alongside the occasional events that form the NZFC’s GPS2026 initiative. Announced at this year’s Big Screen Symposium, Frances Valintine presented a GPS2026 session on SPADA’s first day yesterday.
The toe-dipping is something the NZFC has done more of under CEO Dave Gibson than previously. Like the fund to help develop potential NZ-China co-productions, the IDF is a $200,000 pot with some fairly tight criteria. No production support, no pathway to production support for some types of project the IDF is open to, and a strong incentive to not apply for more than $25,000. (Up to $25,000, IDF support will be a grant. Every dollar over that amount will be investment, with all the additional paperwork that requires.)
What the IDF isn’t is another route to a traditional film project. The call is looking for “interactive content with strong original story aspects and significant New Zealand creative and cultural outcomes”. The intentions are not far from those of NZ On Air’s interactive doco fund, although the NZFC’s IDF isn’t doco-specific.
Just as NZ On Air is exploring a new all-encompassing funding strategy to better deliver for audiences who no longer park themselves on the sofa in front of the TV for the evening, so the NZFC is looking beyond the holy grail of a feature film.
The IDF can support development of original narrative-focussed interactive and games content “delivered on any platform (including mobile, online, console as well as virtual reality (including 360) and augmented reality)”.
The IDF is specific aboutnot accepting applications for companion pieces or extensions to uncompleted pieces of content. While that might disappoint some, it seems sensible for the pilot scheme – especially as the perceived wisdom around transmedia projects is that everything should be planned from the word go. Bolting on something because there’s now a new funding opportunity isn’t exactly best practice.
The fund is open for applications until February. Start here.
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TOp image: Alejandro Davila (left) directing NZ’s first VR film The Green Fairy