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9m Short, Drama 2020

Seven year old Sarah idolises her Dad. Watching his indoor cricket game is one of her favourite pastimes. She wants to be just like him.

One afternoon, at what seems to be a routine game, Sarah is cheering Dad on from the sidelines when Dad catches a ball badly, injuring his finger. His guttural scream instantly hushes the entire sports complex. Sarah is paralysed. She barely recognises him; red faced, clutching his hand and crying.

In the sanctuary of the locker changing rooms, Sarah explores and tests theories about what has happened with her Dad. She questions who her father is while struggling to grasp the concept of pain, both inside and out.

Having found an apparent conclusion, Sarah returns to an apologetic Dad, and decides to put his promises to the test.

Pain had its world premiere at the 2020 Whānau Marama New Zealand International Film Festival and has screened at a number of significant local and international film festivals - including Busan International Short Film Festival 2021, South Korea and Aspen Shortsfest 2021, USA.

Pain also won the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2022 Melbourne Women in Film Festival, and the Best International Short Film Award at the 2022 Sanfici - Santander Festival International De Cine Independiente in Colombia. Find Pain’s full festival attendance list here:

Pain is distributed by Italian distribution company Lights On.


Eva Gardner (Sarah) , Wesley Dowdell (Dad) , Brooke Petersen (Mum) , Emily Campbell (Medic) , Harley Neville (Teammate) , Mayen Mehta (Teammate)


Ilai Amar

Director of Photography

Nina Wells


Brendon Chan

Art Director

Lucy Lever

Costume Designer

Lauren Miller

Sound Designer

David Liversidge




New Zealand

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