Dorthe Scheffmann began her career on the 1976 New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs. In the following decade she amassed credits as varied as continuity, props buyer, assistant director, production manager and production supervisor on many of the seminal New Zealand feature films of the 70s and 80s. A highlight of this period would include production managing her first feature film Pictures for John O'Shea at Pacific films in 1980. And completing this period as the Production Supervisor on three features films; Constance 1983, Pallet on the Floor 1983, and Came a Hot Friday in 1984.
In 1987, Dorthe formed This is it ltd with director Gregor Nicholas. They went on to make many award winning commercials. In 1991 they produced the short film Avondale Dogs' and in the following years her first two short films The Beach and The Bar as a Director. The Beach was selected in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 1996 and won the Francois Ode prize at the 1996 Hamburg Short Film Festival. During this same period Dorthe was also involved in the setting up of the Ponsonby Road Bar and Restaurant SPQR which was designed as a vehicle for self-funding of film projects.
Between 1999 and 2004, Dorthe directed television commercials winning several awards. She executive produced for the then newly devolved New Zealand Film Commission Short Film Fund. And in 2004 she Line Produced the feature film Fifty Ways of Saying Fabulous for MF Films.
In 2003, Dorthe began working on her first feature film project Belinda's Notes. This was selected for the Cinemart co production market in Amsterdam, Spa mart in Brisbane and No Borders in New York in September 2008. During the No Borders' market the Lehman Brothers Bank collapsed. Belinda's Notes', fully cast with all location work done and three major tracks composed for the film, was unable to be funded.
In 2005, Dorthe began working in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Auckland University, as a Masters Supervisor. She has now supervised more than twenty Masters film projects. In 2009 Dorthe completed her Master of Arts Management, interning at Creative New Zealand as part of her thesis. In the following two years she taught production and directing papers at Auckland University while working on research a feminine language in cinema' for her Master of Philosophy that she completed in 2012.
Dorthe is currently in development on a feature project Vermilion' which she is planning to make as part of a PHD project.