A scene from Julia Morizawa’s “Dragonfly.”

Julia Morizawa’s compelling animated short film “Dragonfly” will screen at Dances with Films on Monday, June 26, at 4:45 p.m. at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, 6801 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, as part of the Perspectives Program, Group 2.

“Dragonfly” tells the story of a young girl who learns of her mother’s survival of the Tokyo firebombing on March 9-10, 1945 through the eyes of her brother’s spirit.

The script was awarded Best Short Screenplay by Scriptation Showcase and Screenwriting Master in 2019. It was also a semifinalist or quarterfinalist in several other competitions, including the Austin Film Festival, Slamdance, and WeScreenplay Diverse Voices.

The movie is inspired by the story of Morizawa’s maternal grandparents. While exploring her family heritage, her mother offered scant information about their life during World War II, except that they lived in Tokyo until a fire forced them back to the family farm in Komoro.

Julia Morizawa (Photo by Peter Konerko)

It wasn’t until Morizawa began researching fires in Tokyo during the 1940s that she learned about the U.S. firebombing of the city and the immensity of the attack — the single most destructive bombing raid in human history — which destroyed 6 square miles of central Tokyo, leaving an estimated 100,000 civilians dead and over a million homeless.

Like many she meets today, she had never heard of it before since it is little-known compared to other events that happened during the war. In addition to honoring the grandparents she never met, Morizawa’s intention with “Dragonfly” is to raise awareness about the event and make sure those who were lost are never forgotten.

Morizawa is a writer/producer/actress whose work spans all media. Her improvised feature film “JesusCat (or How I Accidentally Joined a Cult)” won Best Comedy Feature at the Asians on Film Festival in 2014 and the Movie Heroes Rising Star Award at the Action on Film Festival in 2013. She earned a Best Female Filmmaker nomination at the Action on Film Festival in 2007 for her short “Sin & Lyle.”

Her play “Twenty-Two” premiered in Los Angeles in 2010, and her audio drama “American Comedy Horror Story: Orphanage” is available worldwide on most podcast apps.

Her acting career highlights include “Judas Kiss,” “Scandal,” “SEAL Team,” “Masha No Home,” “Without Annette,” “Galactic Galaxy,” and “Star Trek: Odyssey” (a fan production). She is best known for playing the titular Dr. Bright on the hit podcast “The Bright Sessions” for five seasons and two spin-offs.

“Dragonfly” is written, produced, and directed by Morizawa. Executive producers are Brian Sturges, James Babbin, John Titchenal, Lucas A. Ferrara, Derek Kolterman, and Christopher Luk. Maria Marta Linero was the animation director, with Eva Benitez as lead animator. The music is composed by Aiko Fukushima and the sound design by Giorgia Garcia-Moreno. Morizawa, Erika Ishii, Miya Kodama, and Thomas Isao Morinaka lend their voices.

Tickets can be purchased at: https://danceswithfilms.com/dragonfly/

Filmmaker’s website: www.juliamorizawa.com  

Moving into its 26th year, Dances with Films (DWF: LA) is an original on the festival circuit and the largest indie film festival in Los Angeles, hailed by Indiewire as “widely recognized as the premier showcase of innovative independent cinema, presenting amazing undiscovered talent to an industry audience in Hollywood,” “the future of Independent Film,” by Huffington Post and as “an innovator and leader in positioning raw and new talented directors” by CNN. Voted one of Moviemaker Magazine’s Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals on the planet (and the only one in Los Angeles to make the list in the only year filmmakers across the globe actually voted on it), Dances with Films presents more than 250 films each year to the L.A. filmmaking and film-going community.

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