Good One 2024

Directed by India Donaldson Fresh

A 17-year-old grows disillusioned with her father as they take a hike through the Catskills in this incisive minimalist drama from debut feature filmmaker India Donaldson.

Aug 09

Hollywood Avondale

USA In English
90 minutes Colour / DCP
NZ Classification TBC

Director, Screenplay


Diana Irvine, Graham Mason, Wilson Cameron, India Donaldson


Wilson Cameron


Graham Mason

Production Designer

Becca Brooks Morrin

Costume Designer

Nell Simon


Celia Hollander


Lily Collias, James Le Gros, Danny McCarthy, Sumaya Bouhbal, Diana Irvine


Sundance, New Directors/New Films, Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight) 2024


Presented in association with


“You two are fools,” smirks 17-year-old Sam some way into India Donalson’s debut feature, Good One. She’s addressing her father, Chris (James Le Gros, Certain Women, NZIFF 2016) and his oldest friend Matt (Danny McCarthy) as they tell one story or another from their glory days. Matt’s teenage son was meant to join them on the trip, a three-day hike through the Catskills, but pulled out at the last minute, angry at his dad and loyal to his mother in the midst of their unfolding divorce. It’s an accurate observation from Sam, one of many she makes over the course of the weekend. She’s perceptive, and spends most of the film listening to these two reminisce over their youth and shoot passive-aggressive, adolescent digs at each other. Both men are divorced, with stunted ambitions and palpable insecurities. At best they’re embarrassing, tactless, a little pathetic. At worst, they’re selfish, oblivious to the casual callousness of their behaviour. Amid mounting tension, Sam remains tolerant, attempting to appease the egos of these middle-aged men, but following a moment of transgression, she is forced to confront the extent of their cowardice.  

The role of Sam is a star-making turn for newcomer Lily Collias (Palm Trees and Power Lines, NZIFF 2023). It’s her first lead role, yet she is naturalistic and completely magnetic. Critics have likened her performance to a young Winona Ryder, and there is a resemblance something sarcastic, gestural and incredibly expressive. It’s all in her face.  

Having premiered at Sundance and played Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, India Donaldson has made an assured, incisive feature debut. The daughter of New Zealand filmmaking legend Roger Donaldson (Sleeping Dogs, Smash Palace), this film cements India Donaldson as a thrilling new voice in independent filmmaking, sensitive and astute. The film’s intimate scale is deceptive ostensibly, it’s a movie about three characters on a hike. Yet in its modesty it is emotionally vast, an unshowy but profound slow-burn tragedy of betrayal. It’s a film about inadequacy and disappointment; about trust lost; about parents who don’t really know you at all, and worse, who don’t make the effort to try. — Amanda Jane Robinson