The two day Adventure Film School at the NZ Mountain Film Festival has been running since 2011 and has an impressive reputation. This has been a popular introduction course.

New for 2021 is our five day advanced Adventure Film School.


The Adventure Filmmakers School is an amazing opportunity for independent and emerging filmmakers to advance their skills under the instruction and guidance of industry leading professionals in their fields. No less than six highly skilled film industry professionals will run modules on topics like: producing/development/storytelling, directing/safety/interviews, audio, camera work, editing, special effects, with a final day of student editing and mentorship.

During this 5 day programme participants will learn insider skills to hone their craft, strengthen their narratives, interact with fellow filmmakers, and will receive tutoring throughout the course.

The school has a definite adventure focus. So filming in the outdoors, around and in water, up and down mountains, in the backcountry.

By the end of the course you should have a good understanding of how to plan an adventure film, write a story, apply for funding, compose and film it, do interviews and record quality sound, edit the footage, adding basic animation and effects then polish off the film for submitting to Film Festivals, or just to show your family or friends. You will be able to produce a film to submit to our Film Competition and potentially be screen at the festival.

Who is the Course For?

The course is aimed at people who have done some basic film making, who know how to run a camera and do basic editing on FCPX or Adobe Premiere Pro. People with a little camera experience.

Advanced amateurs, or starting out professionals. Past 2 day AFS students.


The 5 day course fee is $795. The actual cost per person is $1,330 but we were lucky enough to get a grant from the regional Development Fund so the course is heavily subsidised.

Once accepted you pay a $150 deposit (non-refundable) and the balance is due on May 28.

Course Size

The student numbers will be limited to 15 and you must be 16 years or older.

June 1 UPDATE: There is just 1 position left, please let us know if you are considering applying!


Monday June 28 to Friday July 2, 2021.


The classroom has been supplied by our friends at new The Studio Space, upstairs in Spencer Mall, 31 Dunmore Street (which has wheelchair access).

How to Register

Contact us to apply to join this course. Send us a brief summary of your filming/editing experience.



Gus Roxburgh is an Emmy-nominated and Oscar shortlisted producer, award-winning writer and popular TV presenter. He has enjoyed a wide-ranging career encompassing television, film, print and online media. Most recently Gus spent 7 years as Head of Formats and Series for the Red Bull Media House in the USA – and he continues to work as Executive Producer on many of their global projects.

Trinity Ludlow-Hudson is an award winning editing specialist with over 20 years experience. Her dedication to her craft, drive for excellence and passion for story telling are the values she founded Monarch Post Production. Trinity prides herself on her professionalism and technical prowess, but it is the art of communicating ideas, turning concepts into stories and infusing creativity and emotion into every project that sets us her apart from the rest.

Scott Simper is an award-winning director of photography in film and video, working on all seven continents. Specialising in remote documentary-style adventure, natural history, sport and science projects, Scott’s creativity is most adept in remote and challenging locations. An accomplished skier, climber and kayaker, Scott has climbed Mt Everest twice, has won an Emmy for NBC’s Ironman 2011 World Championship and has been nominated for numerous other Emmy’s. He’s won several Banff film festival audience awards as well as a National Museum Award for his work at the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian museum in Washington DC. 

Hugh Barnard is an experienced director who’s recent experience includes the role of Director of Aerial Filming on the documentary series New Zealand From Above and the series ‘I Shouldn’t Be Alive’. Hugh won the Best Director award at the Mammoth Mountain Film Festival (2011) for his own film In The Shadow of the Mountain.

Joseph Veale has over 20 years of experience in the audio world. All aspects of production sound; location to studio, documentary to multi-tracked performances. Joseph  cut his audio teeth touring NZ and the world with some of NZ’s most popular and eclectic bands. The natural progression from there was senioring fast moving live TV mixes, then on to audio HOD for shows with Discovery, MTV and more. From dive bars, to days deep into caves or white outs on mountain tops, delivering the best possible audio whatever the weather is always the goal.

Lindsay Horner – special effects. Lindsay is a motion graphic designer, creating animated graphics for broadcast and digital. He likes to ponder the ways in which animation can help us tell stories and illustrate complex ideas. Lindsay has worked at studios in Melbourne, Shanghai and London. Recent clients include the BBC, MTV, Air New Zealand, Discovery Channel, Google and NHNZ.

See for a showreel.

Ross Mackay specialises in remote access video and photo, aerial video and photography. Based in the heart of the Southern Alps of New Zealand he has grown up being integrated into this beautiful and rugged part of the world which has shaped the way he approaches the work he does. He loves to ski, kite, fly, ride and walk his way around the mountains of New Zealand. His experience spans a multitude of projects including art department, pre-production, aerial videography, data wrangling and management. He has worked on a variety of projects from Discovery channel segments, Air New Zealand online advertising content to shooting Television series and long form content.

See YouTube videos of two past two day AFS projects here and here.


Contact us to apply to join this course.