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 byArmağan Ballantyne
ScreenplayMaría Inés Manchego
CinematographyMaría Inés Manchego
EditingDan Kircher
MusicCam Ballantyne
Sound DesignCam Ballantyne
SoundRichard Flynn
Production DesignGuy Treadgold
CostumesKatie Rogers
Make-upKatie Rogers
Motion Graphics DesignerJon Baxter
DramaturgyBrita McVeigh
ColouristHannah Walker
Production ManagerSarah Sibun
ProducerLarisa Tiffin
Executive ProducerChristian Penny
Associate ProducerSharlene George

Produced by

Perceptual Engineering

Auckland, New Zealand

World sales

New Zealand Film Commission

Wellington, New Zealand

+64 21 630368

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


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