Papaya | Short Film

STATUS: Completed. Festival Circuit.

Role: Director, Writer, Producer, Editor

Filmed because I wanted to.


Synopsis: For centuries, continuous wars and conflicts ravaged the Southeast region of Asia. Many lost their families and those who survived lost their homes. This is the story of the 'children' of the diaspora and what they had to build and rebuild. This is Papaya.

Independently Produced.

Pre-Production, Production, & Post: January - May 2019


  • Cinematic Language: Static shots represent the unmoving progress of Asian-Americans in many parts of the world.

  • Cinematic Language: Wide shots and the lack of close-ups represent the distance Asian-Americans are placed in culturally, visually, in media and entertainment, as well as, on the political spectrum.

  • Cinematic Language: Close-ups on the children represent the importance and power of the next generation to carry on traditions.

  • Cinematic Language: The High Angle puts the audience in an overwatch perspective as well as "everything should be and is okay" or is it.

  • The color choices are vibrant with red and green for positivity, hints of purple for dark moments.

  • Cinematic Language: Minimal dialogue is a reference to the lack of narratives in media and entertainment.

  • Cinematic Language: Minimal dialogue is used to keep the culture ambiguous and relatable.

  • The toy ninjas in the represent the 90's and quarter machine toys.

  • The toy ninjas in the represent the stereotypes given to all Asians and Asian-Americans.

  • In the scene, where Antara attacks the toys over and over. The toys representing a country in Asia. It is a reference to 1st generation children unwilling, conditioned, and ignorant of their culture and not wanting to accept their identity.

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©2019 by Kayleb Lee.