Robin Murphy Productions Limited

Sparrow - a short film

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Welby Ings is an award winning filmmaker whose unique visual style combines art house sensibilities with a deeply visceral narrative to produce a truly cinematic experience. His previous two shorts, "Boy" and "Munted" have been selected in competition in over 50 international film festivals and have won numerous awards, with "Boy" being long listed for the 2006 Academy Awards.

Welby makes films by a unique process he describes as "drawing out" his ideas: there is no storyboard and no script - until he needs something to show funders.

"When making films, I create the worlds and stories in pictures, I don't write scripts. This is because I see film as 'talking pictures'. So rather than drafts of scripts, I have hundreds of notebooks full of drawings. I want to create a visually rich experience for the audience, thinking in pictures takes you to places that words can't.

Welby's films are hard hitting, beautiful, clear, stories that touch what it is to be a human being. They are all based on true events but told in lyrical ways.

He also has a distinguished career as an educator. He's currently a professor of graphic design at AUT University, he was awarded the Prime Ministers inaugural, supreme award for tertiary teaching excellence in 2001. His unique approach to creative creating, dubbed by him as "disobedient thinking" sees him being invited to lecture to audiences around the world.

See Welby's previous shorts "Boy" and "Munted" here:

Welby's Ted Talk in Auckland 2013 can be found here: 

"Sparrow" - a short film:
Welby's third short film Sparrow is a beautiful, non-spoken 15-minute story set in the 1960's, and is told from the perspective of Jim, a small boy who believes he can fly.

Jim's life is overshadowed by a story about his grandfather who died a hero in World War 2, but he discovers that the legend that his father so adamantly clings to, is a lie. His grandfather was gay man who saw the futility of war and deserted in protest when his lover was shot in the dugouts of Egypt.

In unraveling the truth behind what happened, Jim discovers strength in his grandfather's actions and stands up to the bullies at his school in an unexpected way.

WATCH THE VIDEO to see our teaser for "Sparrow", and Welby talks about why this project is important to him.

What the money is for:
Attracting conventional funding for Welby's work has proved to be elusive, but we've been lucky enough to receive some arts grants and private investment, combined with self funding, that has allowed us to complete principal photography for "Sparrow", and the film has been shot.

Filmed in May 2016, the production involved 50 cast members, multiple locations and all 79 scenes set in either the 60's or 40's. In order to attain the high production values we were seeking, the modest budget was stretched to the absolute limit, and we now need some help to complete the process of post production and get the film out to audiences.

Where to from here?
We have an amazing post production team lined up including the excited people at Images and Sound who helped us produce our beautiful teaser. Along with the editors they'll be working on the film between August and October. We'll be sending the completed film to the Berlin Film Festival in November for consideration by their selection panel. From there we'll be entering all the international A list film festivals to get "Sparrow" to the widest audience possible in 2017.

The making of "Sparrow" also takes us one step closer to the feature film that Welby has been working on for the past 10 years, "Punch". This film takes the character of Jim into adulthood and looks at the challenges he experiences in 1980's small town New Zealand when he is forced to fight against the dreams of his father and the insistent locals.

Sparrow has been supported by:
AUT University
Welby Ings
Wallace Media
Rule Foundation
NZFC talent development fund


  • Sparrow screenings coming up!


    Hi Sparrow supporters!

    Thanks for your patience, and after several international film festival screenings last year we’re bringing Sparrow back to New Zealand audiences in partnership with the Auckland and Wellington Pride Festivals, with sponsorship from the NZ AIDS Foundation Ending HIV campaign and Nga Taonga Sound & Vision.

    Welby will talk about his journey as a filmmaker and how his short films are leading him towards his feature film debut PUNCH. The screening and presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

    If you would like to attend either of these screenings (we also hope to bring this event to Christchurch and Dunedin, so watch this space!) you can email us on to reserve some seats.

    Details are in the attached poster, but just in case you can't see it:

    Auckland - Monday 12th February, 6.00pm, Academy Cinema

    Wellington - Saturday 3rd March, 4.30pm, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

    Thanks again, we couldn't have finished it without you!

    Hope to see you there!


    Robin and Welby

    Sparrow screenings coming up!
  • Sparrow - cast & crew screening


    Hullo Boosted donors!

    Sparrow is finished and we've just created our first DCP drive for a cinematic viewing experience, and we looking forward to sharing the film with everyone.

    While we're waiting for the film to be accepted into a major international festival, its the perfect time to share the film with the people who made it possible.

    If you've been involved in the film's production, you'll probably have heard about this already, but for those who simply made a donation (very important!), Welby and I would like to thank you for your contribution to  Sparrow by inviting you to a cast and crew screening:

    Date: Tuesday 13th December
    Time: 8.30pm
    Venue: Academy Cinema, 44 Lorne Street, Auckland City.

    We can offer you 1-2 seats depending on your requirements.

    You must RSVP to to confirm your interest in attending, as seats are limited.

    We looking forward to seeing you there!


    Robin and Welby


    Sparrow - cast & crew screening
  • Sparrow aiming for Film Festival success


    Hi Boosted donators……

    Things are starting to move ahead with Sparrow. Post production is complete (thanks to you) and we've submitted to upcoming top festivals, Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin, so waiting with bated breath for those outcomes.

    You may have heard Welby’s interview with Kathryn Ryan on RNZ National a couple of weeks ago, and there’s an article out this week in The Listener, so the film is getting some media attention already!

    There’s likely to be a cast and crew screening in Auckland in December, and an invitation will be extended to our Boosted donors to attend. Details to come………

    Thanks again for your contribution!


    Robin and Welby



    Sparrow aiming for Film Festival success
  • Sparrow update


    Hi Sparrow supporters

    Thanks so much for your support for Sparrow during Indiewire’s Project of the Month. Unfortunately we weren’t able to top a 700 vote lead by our main competitor, Riverment, in the final 12 hours. We were neck and neck for most of the campaign, with Sparrow slightly in the lead 12 hours before the end of voting, so real nail biting stuff!!

    Welby and I were blown away and very grateful for the support of an amazing 1800 votes for Sparrow!! We think that’s a pretty extraordinary achievement for a small NZ short film...!

    We now have a few months of post production ahead of us, and we plan to have a beautiful film to show for it by the end of the year. We look forward to announcing some screenings in 2017.......

    Keep in touch with Sparrow by following our Facebook page 


    Welby, Robin and the Sparrow team

    Sparrow update
  • Sparrow reaches target/needs votes on Indiewire


    Hi Sparrow supporters

    It’s official, our BOOSTED campaign has ended and we’ve reached 107% of our target, and we have the money we need to complete post production. We’re looking forward to working with our editors Paul Maxwell and Kerri Roggio, and the enthusiastic team at Images and Sound.

    Welby Ings' films are about outsiders who win against all odds, this could describe Sparrow's position against some very talented US filmmakers for IndieWire's PROJECT OF THE MONTH.

    We need your VOTE to win a feature article in the US's pre-eminent independent online film magazine Indiewire. We're currently in Second place, holding steady at 40% of the can help us win this...! VOTE HERE

    Its a numbers game, so we’d love you to share our link on your social media and other any other networks you have......

    Thanks heaps for your ongoing support....

    Welby, Robin and the Sparrow team

    Sparrow reaches target/needs votes on Indiewire
  • Sparrow is up for Indiewire PROJECT OF THE MONTH


    Hi Sparrow Supporters

    We’re very grateful for your support in raising the post production money we needed to complete Sparrow, now we need your VOTE in Indiewire’s PROJECT OF THE MONTH which has now begun. You can vote easily by clicking on this link.

    It’s important to vote early as the higher our numbers are at the beginning, the more chance we’ll have of winning. VOTE REALLY SOON, if not NOW.....!

    We also need much LARGER NUMBERS of votes this time, if we’re to have any chance against our US counterparts. Please SHARE this link with your friends and on social media. Let’s get the message out...

    Thanks again, and as usual we wouldn’t have got this far if it wasn’t for your support.

    Welby, Robin and the Sparrow team

    Sparrow is up for Indiewire PROJECT OF THE MONTH
  • Sparrow update


    Hi Sparrow supporters

    We're really chuffed that we've reached our funding target and are now sitting at 102%! The Sparrow team are eternally grateful to you for supporting this wee project.

    We still have 4+ days left to run on the campaign, and we hope that we can still get a few more donations, as any additional funds raised will go towards the development of Welby's feature film PUNCH, which we're aiming to shoot in September 2017, so please keep engaging with our Facebook page and liking and sharing our posts.

    The Boosted crowd funding campaign finishes at midnight on Thursday 4th August.

    More about PUNCH:
    It is 1984 and the age of AIDS. Jim is a small town boxing hero. As he falls from grace protecting those he loves, he discovers and loses what he holds most dear. In a world of homophobia, fear and manipulation he realises that fighting for the truth takes more than beating your opponent in the ring.

    Thanks again for all your support, we couldn't have done it without you!

    Welby, Robin and the Sparrow team

    Sparrow update
  • Sparrow update


    Hullo again Sparrow supporters

    Just 7 days to go until the end of the crowd funding campaign, and we’ve reached 87% of our target. Thanks heaps for your contribution and for spreading the word. Just so you know we do need to reach 100% to get any of the funds, as it’s an all or nothing funding platform., so keep liking and sharing and telling all your friends....!

    You may have already heard, but we WON IndieWire’s Project of the Week, thanks very much for all of your votes, we couldn’t have done it without you..... and if you didn’t get around to voting, then you still have a chance to do so, as we’ll now be competing for PROJECT OF THE MONTH which starts next week. Dates for voting are yet to be announced, but we’ll let you know when voting starts.

    We couldn’t have done it without you!


    Robin and Welby and the Sparrow team

    Sparrow update
  • Vote for Sparrow in IndieWire's Project of the Week


    Hi again supporters

    Voting is NOW OPEN for Sparrow to be voted IndieWire’s PROJECT OF THE WEEK! Voting runs until Tuesday 26th July 10.00am (NZ time) so make sure you vote for Sparrow so we can be eligible for Project of the Month, and maybe even Project of the Year!!

    Project of the Week votes here



    Welby, Robin and the Sparrow team

    Vote for Sparrow in IndieWire's Project of the Week
  • Sparrow is on IndieWire!


    Hi “Sparrow” supporters

    Fantastic news! Sparrow has been selected for PROJECT OF THE DAY ( on the preeminent independent US film news website, INDIEWIRE. This means we’re up for Project of the Week, which is voted for by the public, on line. Voting starts on Friday 22nd July and runs until Monday 25th July. We’ll be sending out a reminder about this on Friday, as we’re hoping we can rely on you to vote for us!!

    Thanks to all of your support so far, as we’ve managed to reach 68% of our target in just over three weeks. With two weeks left to run, we’re aiming to get the rest of those funds in so we can finish post production on “Sparrow”, so keep liking and sharing on our Facebook page and telling your friends what a fantastic project this is....

    Keep up the good work!

    Welby, Robin and the Sparrow team

    Sparrow is on IndieWire!
  • Sparrow short film - update


    Hullo to all our wonderful supporters!

    Because of all of you, we’ve managed to reach 56% of our target in the first week! This is wonderfully encouraging to Welby and the Sparrow team who are gearing up to start post production in earnest, in August.

    We’re really enjoying sharing the stories of the film and it’s creator Welby Ings on our Facebook page:

    There are loads more stories, and beautiful images to come, so keep an eye out for these. We hope you’ll keep supporting the campaign by continuing to visit our Facebook page when you can, and sharing and liking our posts (and gently encouraging others to donate).

    We need your help to keep the story alive all the way through our Boosted journey......

    Keep spreading the love!

    Welby, Robin and the Sparrow team


    Sparrow short film - update

Other Projects by Robin Murphy Productions Limited

Image for Food For Thought - a short film

Robin Murphy Productions Limited

"Food For Thought" is a short film written and directed by Patricia (Pat) Robins, based on the short story "The Assassin Bug" by Sue McCauley. A black comedy centred around a dysfunctional family with a big secret. Synopsis - Merran’s elderly father Angus has died suddenly, and as she helps prepare for the funeral, the contents of her mother’s freezer raise some questions about the cause of Angus’s death.