Ava seems to be in something of a trance, barely registering what is happening around her. On the bus she slowly starts coming to as she makes her way towards her home town. Her brother and a few friends are still living there; she just wants to spend one or two days in familiar surroundings. After she gets drunk in the evening around a campfire and her brother Isaac has to put her to bed, the true reason for her visit comes spilling out.
by Armağan Ballantyne
with Margaret Sydenham, Anthony Crum, Conan Hayes, Marshayla Christie, Jane Wills
New Zealand 2019 English 15’ Colour World premiere


  • Margaret Sydenham (Ava)
  • Anthony Crum (Isaac)
  • Conan Hayes (Jake)
  • Marshayla Christie (Maria)
  • Jane Wills (Maddie)


Written and Directed by Armağan Ballantyne
Screenplay María Inés Manchego
Cinematography María Inés Manchego
Editing Dan Kircher
Music Cam Ballantyne
Sound Design Cam Ballantyne
Sound Richard Flynn
Production Design Guy Treadgold
Costumes Katie Rogers
Make-Up Katie Rogers
Motion Graphics Designer Jon Baxter
Dramaturgy Brita McVeigh
Colourist Hannah Walker
Production Manager Sarah Sibun
Producer Larisa Tiffin
Executive Producer Christian Penny
Associate Producer Sharlene George

World sales

New Zealand Film Commission

Produced by

Perceptual Engineering

Armağan Ballantyne

Born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1972, she studied film in Prague where she made her first short film, Whistle She Rolls, which went on to screen at Venice. Her second short, Little Echo Lost, was shown at film festivals in New York, Telluride and Sydney. Her debut feature film, The Strength of Water, screened in the 2009 Generation section of the Berlinale. She directed the short film Lily and Ra for the UN Commission on Human Rights’ ‘Art for the World’ project. She has recently returned from Iran where she served on the jury of the International Film Festival for Children and Youth.


1998 Whistle She Rolls; short film 2000 Little Echo Lost; short film 2008 Lily and Ra; short film 2009 The Strength of Water (Die Magie des Wassers) 2018 Hush; short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019