Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 16.


A widow who struggles with the loneliness of mourning comes to terms with her place in the world without her husband.


We want to thank everyone wholeheartedly for the overwhelming support we've received. We have made our $7,000 goal! We couldn’t have done it without you. With the immense encouragement from our backer community, we will be able to bring this film into existence. You all have shown support for our vision and we are inspired and humbled. Again, THANK YOU.

My mother's shrine to those we've lost.
My mother's shrine to those we've lost.

Which brings us to now:

We still have more than a week left and we're going to shoot for a stretch goal of $10,000, or 100 backers, whichever comes first. Both goals will help us expand our community, which we are incredibly fortunate to have seen grow so much in the past month. 

Many of you may know how Kickstarter works: if you don't reach your funding goal, you don't receive any of the pledged donations. You get nothing. In coming up with an initial goal, we tried to think about the minimum budget that would still allow us to pull off our project. We settled on $7,000. 

The stretch goal of $10,000 simply allows us to do more. We would be able to buy four more rolls of 16mm film, alleviate post-production costs and festival submission fees, which can add up fast. 

The 100 backers -- even a $1 donation could help us reach that goal! -- would help us grow our support base and bring voice to this universal theme of dealing with grief. As a backer, you will receive exclusive updates of the film’s progress and behind-the-scenes snippets. 

The progress has been great and the whole experience has been really encouraging. Your enthusiasm has made us even more excited than when we first set out on this adventure. We really couldn’t have done it without you.

About NAMI:

NAMI is a short film for anyone who has experienced loss.

NAMI -- which means waves in Japanese -- follows one day in the life of a Japanese immigrant widow, who journeys across Los Angeles to reach the ocean. 

It’s a quiet story about loss and living.

My inspiration:

My parents as young adults
My parents as young adults

The film was inspired by an idea that has been brewing in my mind since my father passed away in my first year in graduate film school in 2009. 

While I lost myself in my work, my mom found ways to cope with the reality of his absence. One day I noticed that she was wearing my father’s belt under her clothes. 

Then I realized that she puts on his belt everyday. I understood that she needed a physical reminder that he was close to her. 

That image was the beginning of a character I would develop in order to explore the process of grief.

My mother, our stories:

Me and my mom
Me and my mom

This film was not only inspired by my mom, but she will also be its star. So the other impetus for shooting this film is to work with my mom as an actor. It wasn’t until I started learning more about Japanese cinema that she revealed that she had trained as an actor in Japan. 

My mother put acting on hold for 50 years to support my father and his artwork and to raise my brother and me. I’m excited to create a role that only she could play.

My mother's presence and grief aren't the only reasons I want to have her participate in this project: For me, telling the story of an aging Asian immigrant in the United States is an important character that too often goes unnoticed in the US. 

Older working class immigrant women may clean houses and offices, care for other peoples’ families, or cook but we don’t get to see their personal struggles and triumphs, which to me are just as important.

Where's the money going?

Filmmaking is a very costly endeavor. I received a grant from the Visual Communications Asian-American media arts group and most of the people involved have already donated time and money, but it is not enough to complete the project. 

We need you to help us bring this story to life.

I hope to shoot on 16mm films, which can bring warmth and a physical realness to the story and subject. As we move into an era when everything is being shot digitally, we also risk the reality that many subjects and characters will never be represented on celluloid film. Film provides an organic and random grain structure to each frame, creating a visceral and unique image that this story deserves.

But... it's not cheap. Your generous donations will help me pay for crew, rent equipment, and, buy, process and digitize the 16mm film.

Aside from a 5% Kickstarter fee and a 3-5% Amazon credit card processing fee, all funds raised will be used directly for the film.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is an all or nothing fundraising tool. So if we don’t make our goal of $7000 we will not be able to get this important character on screen.

And if you can’t give financially please help spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter or a good ol' phone call to ensure we meet our goal.

(Your card is not charged until the project is over AND we have reached our goal at 100% funding. If we don't meet our goal, then the money is not withdrawn from your account and no rewards are provided.)

I would be grateful for any support you can give to help make this film become a reality.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    9 backers

    THANK YOU SO MUCH: I'll send you a personal thank you email and a shoutout on our facebook page.

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    15 backers

    ORIGAMI CREATURES: A personalized thank you origami creatures accompanied with a hand-written card. ☺

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    45 backers

    THE MOVIE: A downloadable copy of our film NAMI and a pdf document that shows the previsualization of the film. Plus the card and origami creature. ☺

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    14 backers

    MOVIE AND YUMMY FOOD: A downloadable copy of our film NAMI plus hand-drawn Japanese recipe cards. The cards can be in Japanese or English with adorable original art so you can hang them on your wall!

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    12 backers

    THE ART: An original silkscreen poster of the film -- a limited edition print. Plus the hand-drawn recipe cards and the downloadable copy of NAMI.

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    5 backers

    PERSONAL MEMORIES: We all have that pile of photos we've been meaning to do something with, or an event we need to create a slideshow for. Let me create them for you! I'll make a digital slideshow of up to 25 photos with music and titles of your choice AND you'll still get the recipe cards and a digital download of the film.

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    2 backers

    (Only for the Los Angeles Area) JAPANESE HOME COOK’N: My mom and I will come over and cook a multi-course Japanese dinner. Plus you will receive everything in the "Movie and Yummy Food" reward.

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    1 backer

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER! You get a credit on IMDB, access to the script, look book, location scout photos. Plus the recipe cards, the downloadable copy of NAMI, and the limited edition poster

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: You will be credited as Executive Producer of NAMI. You get access to the script, the production notes and updates on the film's progress. Plus the recipe cards, a downloadable copy of NAMI, the origami creatures and the limited edition poster.

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Funding period

- (30 days)