NZIFF has announced the five finalists for the New Zealand’s Best short film competition, with Perianayaki by DEGANZ member Bala Murali Shingade one of them.

Directed by Bala and edited by fellow member Shailesh Prajapati, Perianayaki follows a recent Sri Lankan immigrant as she begins another day stacking shelves at the local supermarket. With her limited grasp of English, she struggles to understand or be understood by colleagues and customers alike. The short film was written and produced by Shreya Gejji. Perianayaki is a slice of life character study that provokes audiences to pause, take notice, and rethink their assumptions about immigrants, particularly those in the service industry who are often rendered invisible.

Congratulations to Bala, Shailesh and the rest of their team on this achievement. The finalists were picked by this year’s Guest Selector, filmmaker Florian Habicht, from a shortlist curated by NZIFF’s Sandra Reid, Senior Programmer, and Michael McDonnell, Head of Programming. The winners of the three jury prizes and Audience Award will be announced during the film festival in August.