Generations of Family Stories Shape a New Zealand Boy’s School Life in ‘Sparrow’

"The kind of story that is normally hidden from New Zealand's grand narratives of war..."
Indiewire's Project of the Day: 'Sparrow'

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Logline: “Sparrow” is the beautiful story of a small boy who is teased because he thinks he can fly. When a family myth about his war veteran grandfather is exploded, he discovers strength to stand up to the school bullies in a very unusual way.

Elevator Pitch:

“Sparrow” is a distinctive New Zealand story located in the beautiful, slightly surreal world of blasted quarries, gravel roads, abandoned psychiatric hospitals and wooden schools. Here, hypnotic and graceful camera movement seduces us into the almost magical realism of the narrative.

Welby Ings is an award-winning artist, educator and filmmaker whose unique visual style combines arthouse sensibilities with a deeply visceral narrative to produce a truly cinematic experience. His previous shorts, “Boy” and “Munted” were selected in competition in over 50 international film festivals and have won numerous awards, “Boy” was long-listed for the 2006 Academy Awards.

Production Team:

Writer/Director/Designer – Welby Ings
Producer – Robin Murphy
DP – Grant McKinnon
Art Director – Gary McKay
Editor – Paul Maxwell
Composer – Paul McLaney

About the Film:

“Sparrow” tells the kind of story that is normally hidden from New Zealand’s grand narratives of war … stories of ordinary men whose experiences and reactions didn’t fit the sanctioned picture of heroic sacrifice. Many such stories still lie hidden in our families and “Sparrow” attempts to bring one to the surface. Men who committed suicide, defied orders, deserted, or came back psychologically shattered, have been largely expunged from history. These were ordinary men and their stories deserve to be heard and understood as part of the broader reality. Films like “Sparrow” strive to make accessible what has been silenced.

Current Status: Fundraising to complete post-production, and if we can exceed our target, spend money on advanced development of Welby’s feature film “Punch.”

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