Bala represents a distinctive and new voice in film and theatre in Aotearoa right now. Having graduated from the University of Auckland with an MA in screen production, he has freelanced as a writer, director and actor both on stage and for screen. His work has been well-received within the film industry, particularly his short film 800 Lunches which was commissioned by Someday Stories. Bala will benefit in a pivotal way at this stage in his development from the Springboard package. His sensitive and intelligent cinematic voice represents a young Kiwi's vision, one that eloquently connects his Indian cultural roots to his experience of Aotearoa. He has an original approach to film, a great eye for detail and a knack for exposing stories that deserve to be shared with integrity and humour.
Bala will be mentored by Oscar Kightley MNZM
Oscar Kightley is a critically acclaimed writer, actor, director and television presenter renowned for his comedy work, particularly with The Naked Samoans. Born in 1969 in Apia in Samoa, he emigrated to New Zealand aged four and grew up in West Auckland.
We check-in with Bala and Oscar to see how the award has impacted their lives one-year down the track.