Sapna Samant

Debts We Pay

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Short film, independently produced. We have completed principle photography and are seeking funding for post production.

Debts We Pay is the story of a migrant Indian family in Wellington; of displacement, cultural clash, negotiating life, parenting and growing up.

I wrote the script and am a first time director. Brett Mills my co-producer, and I, put in our own money towards production because we believe that stories about ethnic migrants should be told by and from the community. We should not wait for funding from the film commission or be part of a process that ticks boxes. We want to set an example by taking charge and empowering ourselves. Put our money where our mouth is. We also made deliberate choices with our crew, seeking women and a diverse group of people. A casting call was sent out across the South Asian community in Aotearoa seeking actors (or wannabes) who would not normally have the know-how to get into agent's books. It has worked out very well. We have a diverse cast from within the South Asian community in New Zealand from across the sub-continent and diaspora. Our actors are from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Fiji.

Filmmaking is an expensive process and there is only so much money one can invest. So we are seeking funds for post production from the community because this is their story. We want to submit this film into various international film festivals and for that we should have a beautifully finished product.

You can check other work at and our first award winning short film facebook page.




  • Post production update



    First of all, thank you to all those who have donated so far. Please tell your friends andspread the word through your networks. Making films is not easy. A lot of work goes into making even a five minute film. Sweat and blood. So all donations are like a hug, like love, like faith.

    Even while we continue with our crowdfunding campaign we have got on with the editing. Our editor Angela Boyd has assembled the images and now we know we have to do pick ups. Not exactly a fun thing to do but necessary. That is scheduled for September.

    We are also talking to a music composer. Sapna, the director, knows what she wants. Just because it is an Indian film does not mean the sitar does it?

    Our deadline to have a decent cut, good enough for a first screening/showing, is the first week of November.

    Meanwhile all the donations we can get to make up the $5000 are helpful. So thank you again.