A Film by Welby Ings


Sparrow is the lyrical story of a small boy who believes he can fly. However, his life is overshadowed by the legend of his grandfather who died a hero in World War two. One night he discovers the tale that his father so adamantly clings to, is a lie. His grandfather was a gay man, who seeing the futility of war, deserted in protest when his lover was shot in the dugouts of Egypt. In unravelling the truth behind what happened, the boy discovers the strength to stand up to the bullies in his world, in an unexpected way.


  • Picture of Welby Ings © Welby Ings

    Welby Ings

    Welby Ings is a Professor in Design at Auckland University of Technology. He is an elected Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts, and a consultant to many international organisations on issues of creativity and learning. He is an award-winning designer, film-maker and playwright. His short films have been long-listed for the Oscars and selected in competition at over 50 international film festivals. Welby is also a long-time activist for LGBTQ rights. He was arrested numerous times during the 1980s law reform campaigns and he continues to advocate both in New Zealand and overseas for the rights of sexual minorities. In 2001 Welby was awarded the Prime Minister’s inaugural, Supreme Award for University Teaching Excellence and in 2013 the inaugural AUT University medal for his contributions to research, narrative design and education. Early in 2017 Welby published the best-selling non-fiction book “Disobedient Teaching” which resulted in substantial media coverage, and invitations to speak on the subject at numerous conferences and seminars in NZ and overseas.

Awards + Festivals

  • REELING: CHICAGO INT'L LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Chicago, United States)September 26, 2017
  • OUT ON FILM - ATLANTA'S LGBT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Atlanta, United States)October 8, 2017
  • CHÉRIES CHÉRIS - PARIS LESBIAN & GAY FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Paris, France)November 18, 2017
  • INTERFILM SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Berlin, Germany)November 23, 2017
  • IMAGE+NATION LGBTQUEER FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Montreal, Canada)November 23, 2017
  • QFLIX PHILADELPHIA (Official Selection, Philadelphia, United States)March 24, 2018
    OUTSHINE - MIAMI GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Miami, United States) April 23, 2018
    BEYOND BORDERS: DIVERSITY IN CANNES SHOWCASE (Official Selection, Cannes, France) May 22, 2018
    7th KOLKATA SHORTS INT’L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, India)July 22, 2018
  • 15th DC SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Washington, USA)September 7, 2018
  • 16th ZEBRA POETRY FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Münster, Germany)September 27, 2018
  • 3rd CUZCO UNDERGROUND CINEMA FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Cuzco, Peru)October 3, 2018
  • 8th FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE CINE FINE ARTS (Official Selection, Miramar, Puerto Rico)October 4, 2018
  • 26th IMAGEOUT - THE ROCHESTER LGBT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Rochester, NY, USA)October 7, 2018
  • 10th OUTSHINE FILM FESTIVAL - FOR LAUDERDALE (Official Selection, Miami, FL, USA)October 12, 2018
  • 4th DURHAM REGION INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Oshawa, ON, Canada)October 17, 2018
  • 19th KERRY FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Kerry, Ireland)October 17, 2018
  • 16th TOFIFEST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Torun, Poland)October 20, 2018
    7th DELHI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Delhi, India)October 28, 2018
  • 4th BAHIA INDEPENDENT CINEMA FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Bahia, Brazil)November 1, 2018
  • SAN FRANCISCO LGBTQ - COMING OF AGE SHORT-FILMS FESTIVAL (Official Selection, San Francisco, CA, USA)November 2, 2018
  • PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Chicago, IL, USA)November 6, 2018
    11th AMARCORT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Rimini, Italy)November 14, 2018
  • FACE À FACE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Saint Etienne, France)November 19, 2018
  • 5th TAMPA BAY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Tampa, FL, USA)December 6, 2018
  • 2nd COLLATERAL 102 FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Torino, Italy)December 6, 2018
  • 7th SMITA PATIL DOCUMENTARY AND SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Pune, India)December 6, 2018
    BEYOND EARTH FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Kolkata, India)December 22, 2018
  • 1st KAARYAT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Jaipur, India)December 28, 2018
  • 1st INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF SRIGANGANAGAR (Official Selection, Sriganganagar, India)January 19, 2019
  • TELS QUELS FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Bruxelles, Belgium)February 1, 2019
    1st LOVE STORY FILM FESTIVAL LONDON (Official Selection, London, UK)February 13, 2019
    OPEN WINDOW FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Kolkata, India)February 17, 2019
  • 2nd MOSCOW SHORT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Moscow, Russia)February 28, 2019
  • 3rd NEW RENAISSANCE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)March 1, 2019
  • 4th RAPIDLION - THE SOUTH AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Johannesburg, South Africa)March 1, 2019
    3rd INDIAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Hyderabad, India)March 10, 2019
  • 5th BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Beeston Nottingham, United Kingdom)March 13, 2019
  • 22nd ROZE FILMDAGEN - AMSTERDAM LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Amsterdam, Netherlands)March 14, 2019
  • 2nd GLOBAL INDIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Pune, India)March 23, 2019
  • 3rd JAIPUR FILM WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, PinkCity, Jaipur, India)April 5, 2019
  • 16th INDY FILM FEST (Official Selection, Indianapolis, IN, USA)May 2, 2019
  • 5th INTERNATIONAL MOTION FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Nicosia, Cyprus)May 6, 2019
    51st FOTOGRAMMA D'ORO SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Messina, ME, Italy)May 22, 2019
  • FAIRY TALES QUEER FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Calgary, AB, Canada)May 23, 2019
  • 2nd UNKNOWN FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Russia)June 8, 2019
  • 10th SHANGHAIPRIDE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Shanghai, China)June 9, 2019
  • 10th KASHISH MUMBAI INTERNATIONAL QUEER FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Mumbai, India)June 12, 2019
  • 6th MIND THE INDIE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Plovidv, Bulgaria)June 14, 2019
  • 8th CARDIFF MINI FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Cardiff, United Kingdom)June 22, 2019
    3rd MARACAY INTERNATIONAL FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Maracay, Venezuela)June 23, 2019
    5th THE QUARANTINE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Varna, Bulgaria)July 2, 2019
  • 2nd MEXICO CITY INDEPENDENT FILM FEST (Official Selection, Mexico City, Mexico)July 4, 2019
  • 2nd HONG KONG FILM ART INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong)July 6, 2019
  • 8th STAMPED FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Pensacola, Florida, USA)August 22, 2019
  • 20th BLISSFEST333 MULTICULTURAL ARTS FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Denver, Co, USA)August 24, 2019
  • 5th FILMFEST BREMEN (Offiical Selection, Bremen, Germany)September 19, 2019
  • 2nd TWIN TIERS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Norwich, NY, USA)September 20, 2019
  • 3rd DURHAM REGION INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Oshawa, ON, Canada)October 3, 2019
  • 6th CROWN HEIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Brooklyn, NY, USA)October 10, 2019
    8th WINCHESTER FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Winchester, United Kingdom)November 8, 2019
    1st FILM FRAMES INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Pune, India)December 27, 2019
  • 5th INT'L HOLLYWOOD SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Los Angeles, USA)January 11, 2020
  • 6th BORREGO SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Borrego Springs, CA, USA)January 16, 2020
  • 20th FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM GAY ET LESBIEN DE GRENOBLE (Official Selection, Grenoble, France)April 3, 2020
    4th 21 ISLANDS INT'L SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, New York, USA)May 11, 2020
  • 2nd PALEOCHORA LOST WORLD SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Paleochora, Crete, Greece)May 30, 2020



Welby Ings
Welby Ings
Robin Murphy
Director of Photography
Grant McKinnon
Art Direction
Gary MacKay
Costume Design
Sara Beale
Kaveh Sharifien
Kerri Roggio
Sound Design
Ben Sinclair
Maaki Howard [Te Ariki, he a au koe noho ai] Paul McLaney [The Deeds of Mercy] Ben Sinclair [Abide with Me - Guitar]


Running Time
15:00 min
Shooting Format
2K Digital
Screening Format
DCP, BluRay, DVD, .mov, mp4 (HD)
Aspect Ratio



Markus Kaatsch
aug&ohr medien
Riemannstr. 21
10961 Berlin, Germany

+49 (0)30 61620068


Robin Murphy Productions Limited
18 Tiakitai Rd
RD 12
Havelock North 4294
New Zealand
+64 27 458 8257


Robin Murphy