Clutching the red phone, Ani pretends to be a grown woman who’s leaving her husband. Her mother departs that very night. Next morning, Ani consoles her crying father, skipping school so as not to leave him alone. Soon she has to express her own grief as well. Poignantly close to her protagonist, Māori director Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu depicts the conflicting feelings a nine-year-old girl experiences when her beloved parents separate.
by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu
with Isabella Evans, Maaku Pohatu
New Zealand 2019 English, Maori 13’ Colour empfohlen ab 10 Jahren


  • Isabella Evans (Ani)
  • Maaku Pohatu (Father)


Written and Directed by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu
Cinematography Maria Inés Manchego
Editing Anastasia Doniants
Music Lydia Cole
Sound Design James Dean
Sound Mark Williams
Production Design Samuel Evans
Costumes Olivia Dodson
Make-Up Storm Robbins
Colourist Pete Ritchie
Assistant Director Sez Neiderer
Producer Sarah Cook
Executive Producers Erina Tamepo, Tamalene Painting, Christina Asher, Ngā Aho Whakaari, Adrian Burr

Produced by

Kōtiro Iti Films

Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu

The writer and director was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1984. Her father is Māori and her mother is ‘Pākehā’, the name for the first European settlers in New Zealand. In 2016, she participated in the Script to Screen mentorship programme and was one of the nine female Māori filmmakers to work on Waru, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was awarded Best Feature Film Script at the Script Writers Awards New Zealand. In 2018, she won the Māori Screen Excellence Award from the New Zealand Film Commission. Ani is her directing debut.


2017 Waru 2018 Krystal; short film 2019 Ani; short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019