Experiencing Interruptions?

Hot Chocolate

A short animated film about a little girl who had recently moved to a foreign country and was trying to adjust to her new life.

She woke up one day, realized that her roommate had used up all of her cocoa mixes, so she had to go out to get more. On the way to the shop, she had a flashback of her hometown as her parents encourage her to go explore the world. She wondered if she could fit in this new world.

She arrived at the shop, bought herself a hot chocolate. The warm smell made her feel better. On the way back, she noticed an old man sitting on the sidewalk. The unexpected encounter has changed her point of view about life.

  • Thu Vu Kim Nguyen
  • Thu Vu Kim Nguyen
  • Thu Vu Kim Nguyen
  • Thu Vu Kim Nguyen
  • David Krystal
    Music composer
  • Michael Lyle
  • Matthew Mondrick
  • Thu Vu Kim Nguyen
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 20, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    1,300 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    December 11, 2016
  • Anim!Arte - International Student Animation Festival of Brazil
    São Luis, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
  • Screen It! Film Festival
    Helensvale, Gold Coast
    October 29, 2016
  • Say It In Eight Student Film Festival
    Downers Grove, IL
    United States
    October 17, 2016
    Merit Award
  • Beaufort International Film Festival
    Beaufort, SC
    United States
    February 16, 2017
  • El Ojo Cojo International Film Fest
    November 17, 2016
  • Chandler International Film Festival
    Chandler, Arizona
    United States
    June 30, 2016
  • Hsin-Yi Chidren's Animation Awards
  • Meters International Film Festival
    Naples, New York
    United States
    September 10, 2016
  • Los Angeles CineFest
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    August 10, 2016
Director Biography - Thu Vu Kim Nguyen

Thu Vu Kim Nguyen (Kim) was born in 1987 in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Kim is a creative, innovative young animator, director, and story artist. She believes creating a beautiful story can only be accomplished when the work is polished and seamless. She wants her stories to engage and captivate the audience whilst instilling valuable lessons.

Kim's online portfolio: www.fatcatrolling.com

2014 to present MFA Animation
Major: Animation
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television,
Los Angeles, U.S.A.

2008 to 2011 Bachelor of Creative Industry (with Honors)
Major: Animation
QUT Creative Industries,
Brisbane, Australia.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The idea for this story was drawn from my own experience as an international student. I studied abroad three times and each time I would experience some form of culture shock. The first time was when I went to France for a bachelor degree, I couldn’t absorb all the different things in the new environment and that frustrated me. I was so depressed that I ended up quitting school and went back home after six months.

This time, after three months of living in the U.S., it finally hit me once again. It was around the holiday season when people started planning their trips back to visit their family and loved ones. I couldn’t go back because an international flight ticket would cost me a fortune. As a result, I was stuck here and the feeling of nostalgia was actually making my homesickness worse. Instead of withdrawing from society like I did before, I decided to express myself the best way I can, to make a film.

I often found myself sitting in my student apartment and did not feel like I was at home. That is the reason why sincerely feel empathy with the homeless people out there who don't have any place to call home at all. I wondered where they would go and who they would spend time with during the holidays when it was cold outside.

It was a surprise for me to see so many homeless people on the street since the U.S. is such a wealthy country. This is obviously a social issue that is not easily solved. I'm sure many good-hearted people will feel connected to my story.

By making this film, I hope to send a message about giving and sharing and encourage others to do a good deed every day no matter how small it is. A simple cup of hot chocolate in the freezing winter could make a cold heart feel warmer.