A young girl struggling with delusion and a weary local frequent their favorite seaside bench.

  • Alijah Jacob Castillo Buada
  • Alijah Jacob Castillo Buada
  • Alijah Jacob Castillo Buada
  • Hau'oli Carr
    Key Cast
    I Was a Simple Man (2021)
  • Ova Saopeng
    Key Cast
    "Jean Pelekai"
    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
  • Trung To
    Key Cast
    Pulp (2023)
  • Julian Natividad
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 4, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,597 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - San Diego State University
Director Biography - Alijah Jacob Castillo Buada

Alijah Jacob Buada is a Filipino-American Writer who excels in screenwriting, directing, storyboard planning, sound-scaping, and pre-production. He looks up to storytellers like Anthony Bourdain, Haruki Murakami, Eddie Huang, and Sofia Coppola.

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Director Statement

Awaken originates from a culmination of random public encounters and certain recurring dreams of mine. In essence, I am turning dream into reality.

Having such closely-knit bonds to my family members, I draw many parallels between them and the main characters of this story: Jean and Rain. What this film will seek to uncover and behold is that exact dual nature of love and pain when it comes to family ties. At the very least, you might even subconsciously recognize certain members of your own family through these two characters.

This is a story that delves into how a young girl named Rain struggles with bereavement and mental illness via delusion. It is in her figment of imagination where we explore the life of Jean. We navigate a dream-like state of their interactions, incidents, and personal lives. Despite how society outcasts them, the one thing they do have control over is their own cherished idea of family.

I hope you enjoy my story.

Alijah Jacob