NZIFF announced the final awards and special mentions during the festival’s Wellington run, with DEGANZ members Pulkit Arora and Douglas Brooks being recognised for their mahi.
Pulkit won the hearts of audiences across the country with his short film Anu, earning him the NZ’s Best 2023 Audience award. The film’s unique perspective of a widow immigrating to Aotearoa through managed isolation proved universal with its exploration of grief. With the accolade, he will receive 25% of the box office revenue from the NZ’s Best screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. This is Pulkit’s second win for Anu during NZIFF, after receiving the Creative New Zealand Emerging Talent award at the Auckland screening of the shorts programme.
Meanwhile, Douglas received a Special Mention award for Kōkako during the Wellington screening of the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts. His short follows an aspiring ornithologist into the New Zealand bush. While searching for a thought-to-be-extinct bird, she learns of her grandmother’s death and must process the loss while isolated in the wilderness.
Congrats Pulkit and Douglas; what a great way to wrap up the awards section of the festival!
NZIFF is still running throughout Aotearoa until 10 Sept; don’t miss the chance to enjoy some great cinema in your town before it closes.