A young mma fighter Anahera, prepares for an upcoming match while caring for her terminally ill mother.

  • Thomas Webster
  • Thomas Webster
  • Nova Hey
  • Thomas Webster
  • Jaymee Walker
    Key Cast
  • Keporah Torrance
    Key Cast
    "Mum (Maia)"
  • Tulsa Saumamao
    Key Cast
  • Te Hei Pounamu Simpkins
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 6, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 NZD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
    English, Maori
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - South Seas film school
  • Japan International Film Festival
    July 23, 2023
    Awarded - Best Student film
  • Dublin World film Festival
    June 28, 2023
    Awarded - Best Student Film
  • Seattle Filmmaker Awards
    United States
    July 27, 2023
    Award - Best Student Short Film
  • Sydney World Fest
    August 4, 2023
    Award - Best Student Short Film
  • Munich New Wave Short Film Festival
    August 3, 2023
    Official Selection
  • New York Tri-State International Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    August 6, 2023
    Award - Best Student short film
  • International World Film Awards
    United Kingdom
    July 7, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Seoul International Short Film Festival
    Korea, Republic of
    August 4, 2023
    Official selection
Director Biography - Thomas Webster

Thomas Webster, is a kiwi born and raised aspiring writer and director of kiwi stories. With a vast range of experience from a young age through to his late 20s in performance as an on stage theatre actor, singer and dancer, Toms background in the creative world does not fall short of experience. As a child, he was fully immersed in the world of film and its history, quickly teaching himself as he approached his early twenties that this was the career he wanted to expand and succeed in. Growing up surrounded by strong female figures, being heavily whānau based and growing up in the diverse suburb of Beach Haven , Tamaki Makurau; Toms observations as a young adult have inspired his determination to tell stories that connect to this upbringing and the culture of Aotearoa. In hopes to form diverse film crews in the future, of all backgrounds, ethnicities and stories, his main objective is not only to write and direct film but make an impactful change in the production process with an open mind and inclusivity. His debut short film “Embrace” is the first of many, one that he hopes can speak to audiences through the use of authentic story telling.

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Director Statement

This film is dedicated to my partner Laura, who co-produced, advised and composed all the music for this film.
The story is built around themes of love (aroha), grief and strength. In the making of this tale, our kaupapa was lead in a joint partnership with our tikanga Māori advisors to ensure the cultural and spiritual treatment in all aspects were treated with the utmost respect.
This tale is a raw and intimate insight into the life of a young fighter. Who must balance her responsibilities as a dutiful loving daughter, with the sacrifices she must make in the grueling trials as a warrior.
This is my debut short film, created entirely with a student crew from South Seas school of film and television. A completely self funded project with a budget of 5 grand (NZD).
It is a tremendous honor to work with so many young talented kiwi film makers, in bringing our little tale from Aotearoa - New Zealand to the world.