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Short film shot at Cape Palliser wins an award

A 35-minute film titled ‘The Lascar’ that was partly shot near Cape Palliser, has won the jury award for best short film at the Alameda International Film Festival in Oakland, California.

Bulled as “a groundbreaking trilingual Kiwi film”, thanks to being the first instance of Urdu, te reo Māori and English being used together in an NZ film, the dramatic short draws on the history of sailors from India who served on Britain’s East Indian Company ships.

The film is directed by Adi Parige, who recently undertook a master’s in fine arts in Wellington and created the short film to highlight a lesser-known part of Aotearoa’s rich history.

In a conversation with Times-Age, Parige said the Cape Palliser filming location was chosen for a few reasons.

“We chose to shoot at Manurewa Point and Tora because we wanted to capture that iconic Kiwi landscape, but we also didn’t want to give away the location,” he said.

“It was also important as many of us, including the students who helped with production, are based in Wellington and needed to be able to get there easily.”

According to Parige, his inspiration came from reading India and the Antipode: Networks, Boundaries and Circulation, which covers the 250-year history of Indian migrants in Australia and New Zealand and from which he learned the story of the Lascar people from the Indian subcontinent who came as sailors to NZ.

“By bringing this short film to life, we can finally give a face to the many men who have nearly been erased from the history books,” he said.

Parige also noted that ‘The Lascar’ was made on a “humble budget” of $50,000, which was raised via crowdfunding on the Boosted website and investments from the Indian High Commission, New Zealand Indian Central Association, Auckland Tamil Association, and Victoria University.

While the film has already debuted in the United States, Parige said he hopes to get it screened in some film festivals in New Zealand soon.

‘The Lascar’ was shot at Manurewa Point/Tora near Cape Palliser over a few days in December 2021, with forest scenes shot north of Wellington in early 2022.

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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