Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Act of Kindness 2015

Directed by Costa Botes, Sven Pannell Aotearoa

Charting the ripple effects of real compassion, this inspiring true story follows a spirited young New Zealander’s search for the Rwandan samaritan who assisted him through a dangerous predicament over ten years before.

Jul 31
Sold Out

Academy Cinemas

Aug 01
Sold Out

Academy Cinemas

Academy Cinemas

81 minutes DCP


Sven Pannell
Fabrice Kirwa


Costa Botes


Olive Musique
Richard Heacock
Bernie Gardner
Tom Mcleod

Sound Design and Mix

Matt Stutter


John Newell

Online editor

Tim Willis

Q+A with Sven Parnell and Costa Botes at both screenings.

In 1999, Sven Pannell, a Kiwi traveller in Africa, escaped from a perilous run-in with rebel soldiers, bargaining for his life with a wad of cash he had hidden in his boot. Broke and without any place to stay, Pannell came across a crippled, homeless samaritan named Johnson, who fed and sheltered him until he was able to flee the region. He left in such a hurry he never got the chance to thank him.

A decade later, Pannell returned to Rwanda with the hope of doing just that. Armed with a camera and a surfeit of optimistic pluck, he launches a dogged hunt for the man who generously came to his aid all those years ago – plastering up flyers, searching through registries, even broadcasting his compelling testimony to millions via Rwandan radio.

Throughout this affecting chronicle, Pannell and co-director Costa Botes capture an intimate, grassroots portrait of a nation’s resilience and compassion, observing the will of a people who’ve refused to be defined by the horrors of their tumultuous history. — JF