A widow arrives in New Zealand to meet her son, but must be sequestered in dreaded hotel quarantine. With the grief of her husband’s passing still as fresh as the fragrance of his overcoat, she is eager to perform an auspicious Hindu ritual that will release his soul. When her priest in India is unable to perform the ceremony due to lockdown, she becomes determined to perform a DIY version of the demanding multi-step ritual within the confines of her sterile room. What could go wrong?

With every frame expertly detailing its own story while advancing the overall arc, Indian Kiwi filmmaker Pulkit Arora packs humor and gravitas into scenes as compact as the rice balls that a fine Prabha Ravi must cook up for her character. A wry and witty distillation of the bizarre loneliness of the covid-19 pandemic, Anu is as brief, fervent and light-winged as a prayer.

Fiction, Drama, Female-centered

Pulkit Arora
Pulkit Arora

Pulkit Arora is an Indian-origin writer and director based in New Zealand. His short film debut, Milk Toffee, traveled to eight international festivals after its world premiere at New York’s 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. His follow-up, Anu, has recently won the Audience Award and the Creative New Zealand Emerging Talent Award at the 2023 New Zealand International Film Festival. Among other festivals, it has also screened in competition at the Melbourne International Film Festival. As a screenwriter, Arora has led writers’ rooms for Disney+ and written for the Netflix India anthology series Home Stories. He is currently developing several feature films set in both India and New Zealand.

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North American Premiere

Pulkit Arora

Rachel Fawcett

Pulkit Arora

Adam Luxton

Lisa Greenfield, Jolin Lee

Prabha Ravi