Synopsis: Fifth-grader Henry, finds himself bullied on the playground once again, and decides to spend time with his former kindergarten teacher, Mr. Loh, who prefers to eat alone.
What was your inspiration for this short?
I am really drawn to stories of poignancy and simplicity with relatable characters that represent a side of society not often seen in the greater mass media. LUNCHTIME started off as an experiment in film-directing for me. When I read Prince’s script, I immediately connected with both characters and also with the story. I felt this was a great way to begin my filmmaking journey.
Why do you think kids are bullied today?
I think people, whether kids or grown-ups, bully others for one reason. They don’t like themselves. They lash out at other people because they have been taught that they are not good enough and undeserving of love. Because of that self-loathing, they take it out on others. They see parts of themselves in others that they don’t like about themselves. Unfortunately, that anger and resentment is usually directed at people who are weaker or who won’t stand up for themselves. Somewhere in their early lives, kids learn this behavior. No one is born with hate. In a subtle way, LUNCHTIME shows the effects
of bullying in its early stages as well as later in life.
Do you think teachers can learn something from their students?
I love this question! It is the exact subject matter in my feature film I am working on called THE HAUMANA, which literally means “The Students”. I believe that we are all teachers and we are all students in our own way and if we are open to it, we can learn from everyone.
Whom is your film targeted towards and why?
Because of the subject matter I really wanted to tell the story in a nuanced way so that it was easy for people to digest. I would love for this film to be seen by people who feel like they don’t fit in, who are looking for love and acceptance and to know that they are not alone. I think that’s a pretty big demographic! Hahaha!
How do you feel about screening your film to a Hawaii audience at the 23rd Annual Honolulu Rainbow FF?
I am very excited for LUNCHTIME to be a part of this festival. It’s the perfect place to make it’s Hawai`i premier. It’s an honor to be shown along side fantastic films and to be a part of the opening night! It’s really great to know that an event like this exists and is thriving here in Hawai`i. I’m very grateful for all the aloha and support of Brent Anbe, Lisa Yamamoto and everyone at the Rainbow FF!