Grant applications

In 2012 we formed the NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust ((registration #2566732) and in July 2013 we became a registered charity (registration number  CC49344). 

Our non-profit Charitable Trust ascertains to promote, through it’s annual mountain film festival, healthy and active lifestyles, encourage youth to make small safe adventures in the outdoors, to inspire people to reach their full potential, to work cooperatively with others in the youth development area, to help people with disabilities get into outdoor activities and to promote NZ arts, film, culture, environment and outdoor lifestyles. 

The Festival hosts a National Tour and we use those funds to give away to successful applicants.

Applications open on June 21, 2024 and close on July 31.

We suggest you apply for between $500 and $1,000.

We have a grant scheme for three different causes we believe in so applications MUST fit one of these criteria!! :

  1. Fund youth (under 18) in adventure film making courses and/or adventure skills training,
  2. Financially support local environmental projects like river cleanups, native tree re-planting and other similar projects,
  3. Assist with funding people with disabilities to buy specialist sporting equipment and/or experience the outdoors.


If you’d like to apply please email or write to us before the deadline on August 30 via letter to: NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust Board of Trustees, 17 Drake Pl, Lake Hawea, Otago 9382 or via email:

Please explain in one page what you’d like the money for, how much is the total project costing and how much do you need from us? You also need to include a bank deposit form for you or your organisation.

Applications for funding open on July 1, 2023 and close on August 30. 

In 2022 we awarded $5,000 worth of grants:

• Aspiring Biodiversity
• Girls that Rock
• Kahu Youth
• M!NT Trust
• Wānaka Backyard Trapping
• Wānaka Climbing Club
• Whenua Iti Outdoors

We love hearing about what our grant recipients have been up to and how the funds have made a difference to their programmes and communities. In 2022 the MINT TRUST used their grant to run a hugely successful three-day ski programme at Cardrona for kids, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities. Here’s what they told us about their time on snow.
“Skiing is a huge cost for so many, especially for those parents who have had extra financial strain due to extra medical or therapy costs, and often skiing cannot be prioritised. The grant helped pay for adaptive instructors and adaptive equipment to make getting up the mountain possible for these young people.

“We had many accomplishments, including one five-year-old girl who has never skied, who was able to go sit skiing for two weekends. She absolutely loved it and this was huge for her family. We had some people ski in groups, with their peers which is often a challenge, but with your support we could have the correct number of instructors to make this happen. We even had one person take on stand up skiing who has been in a sit ski for six years! Just amazing, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support from NZMFF!”

The grants awarded in 2021:

In 2021 grants were awarded to Fiordland Endurance and Adventure Racing Society ($1000), Kahu Youth Trust ($1505) and M!NT Charitable Trust ($2,250). We also funded two youth positions in the five-day adventure film school.

The grants awarded in 2020:

The Alexandra Air Training Corps was awarded a grant of $800 to fund cadets to attend Operation Sparrowhawk at the Burnham Military Camp. Kahu Youth received $1,505 to support the Youth Vs Wild outdoor survival programme. MINT, an organisation supporting youth with intellectual disabilities in the Upper Clutha Region, received $1,500 to help under-18-year-olds to attend an Adventure Ski Day. Peel Forest Outdoor Centre received $500 to support its Year 8 student Holiday Programme.

The grants awarded in 2019:

The NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust’s Grant Scheme awarded over $9,000 to 9 applicants in 2019. The initiative was funded by a silent auction held during the festival and proceeds from the festival’s National Tour. Sponsors and local businesses donated items for the silent auction, raising $5,718. The National Tour charges a fee to provide a selection of films hosted around the country by local venues, clubs and community groups that support adventure films.

Three youth groups received funding. Alexandra Air Training Corps were awarded a grant of $750 to fund cadets to attend Operation Sparrowhawk at the Burnham Military Camp. Kahu Youth received $750 to support the Youth Vs Wild outdoor survival programme. The Queenstown Climbing Club received $1,000 to help fund the ‘Journey to Taniwha’ expedition. Environmental groups that received grants included the Makaroa Trapping Club; The Wanaka Multisport Trapping Group; and Protect Our Winters (POW). Craig Sutherland and Jason Conway each received funding to go towards an e-Bike for rehabilitation. Funding also supported Joel Suddaby’s whitewater kayak training.

During the 2018 NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival in Wanaka and Queenstown $4,195 was raised for our charitable causes. The Charitable Trust and registered charity that operates the Festival gives away money from this auction (as well as some funds from it’s National Tour) to three causes; funding youth in adventure skills training; support local environmental projects; and assist people with disabilities to buy specialist sporting equipment.

This year the Board of Trustees awarded funds to nine people/groups. 

First up was some outrigger skis for Kyle, a 10 years old with a disorder called the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (a degenerative nerve disease that affects both motor and sensory nerves). Because of this, Kyle uses a crutch to help him walk, and outriggers when he skis ($750).

Gemma Fletcher received $2,000 towards her new Hydra Sit-Ski. Gemma is campaigning towards the next Winter Paralympics as the first woman from NZ ever to compete. Jason Reid received $600 for Running on the Spectrum which helps kids with Autism into a running program and supplying them with new running shoes. The money with help 10 kids lives in the running program.

Kahu Youth – Youth versus Wild programme ($1,610). The programme encourages and supports young people to develop survival skills, confidence and self esteem. The activities include whitewater rafting, navigation, shelter building, knots, survival in the wild, ration packs, traps, snares, pack, layering, and environmental care. The project will run over six weeks and directly benefit 8 young people.

Makarora Trapping Group received support for a predator trapping program in an area around Makarora within Mt Aspiring National Park. Since 1997 the group has been working with DOC and has now built, set out, and currently maintain over 400 traps. There is a range of trap types installed, some which use rabbit and egg baits which are attractive to stoats, and others which are self-re-setting traps designed to catch rats and possums.

Nick Mannix received $800 for a FreeWheel (a single large pneumatic castor that after attaching to a footplate of a wheelchair), allowing the user to easily cross rough ground that would otherwise be impossible.

Funds went to POET, a Hamilton based group that equips low decile secondary schools to facilitate the delivery of outdoor education experiences for students by building capability and sustainability in the school through professional development, mentoring of teachers and direct funding to ensure no student is excluded through a lack of financial means.

Youth versus Wild Programme