Dragonfly

A young girl learns of her mother’s survival of the Tokyo Firebombing on March 9-10, 1945 through the eyes of her brother’s spirit.

  • Julia Morizawa
    Writer
    JesusCat, Sin & Lyle, Twenty-Two
  • Julia Morizawa
    Director
    JesusCat, Sin & Lyle
  • Julia Morizawa
    Producer
    JesusCat, Sin & Lyle
  • James Babbin
    Producer
    Train Stop, Thanks for the Perspective
  • Brian Sturges
    Producer
    Wall of Flesh
  • Miya Kodama
    Key Cast
    "Sumiko"
    Bussin', Grey's Anatomy
  • Erika Ishii
    Key Cast
    "Miyoko"
    Apex Legends, Destiny 2
  • Thomas Isao Morinaka
    Key Cast
    "Susumu"
    Kubo and the Two Strings, Disjointed
  • Maria Marta Linero
    Animation Team
    Aero: Origins, Outside Inside
  • Eva Benitez
    Animation Team
    Outside Inside, Soul Food Sunday
  • Giorgia Garcia-Moreno
    Sound Design & Editing
    Operation Finale, The Rookies
  • Aiko Fukushima
    Music
    The Mummy, District 9
  • Project Type:
    Animation
  • Genres:
    drama, historical
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    May 7, 2023
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Dances With Films
    Los Angeles
    United States
    June 26, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Cine | Seen
    Portland
    United States
    September 7, 2023
    Oregon Premiere
    Official Selection
  • LA Femme Int'l Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    September 22, 2023
    Nominee for Best Animated Short
  • Hollyshorts
    Los Angeles
    United States
    October 30, 2023
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Julia Morizawa

Julia Morizawa is a writer/producer/actor with over 20 years of experience in film, television, new media, theater, and fiction podcasting. Credits include the improvised feature film “JesusCat (or How I Accidentally Joined a Cult),” which was awarded 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; the short film “Sin & Lyle,” which earned her a Best Female Filmmaker nomination at the Action On Film Festival in 2007; the play “Twenty-Two,” which premiered in Los Angeles in 2010; the audio drama “American Comedy Horror Story: Orphanage,” available worldwide on most podcast apps; and the sci-fi/adventure digital series, “Pure,” currently in post-production.

Julia’s current project, “Dragonfly,” is an animated short film about the Tokyo Firebombing of March 9-10, 1945. The script was awarded Best Short Screenplay by Scriptation Showcase and Screenwriting Master in 2019, and was a semifinalist or quarterfinalist in several other competitions including the Austin Film Festival, Slamdance, and WeScreenplay Diverse Voices. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in May 2023. Most recently, her feature screenplay, "Something About the Tide," placed as a Finalist in the 2023 WeScreenplay Feature Screenwriting Lab and in the Top 5 Finalists in Roadmap Writers' 2022 Jumpstart Competition, and her limited series TV pilot, “Where We Came From” was a finalist in the 2021 Screencraft True Story and Public Domain Competition. Additionally, her first book, “Memoirs of a Wannabe Sex Addict” was published by Fanny Press in 2010 and is available in paperback and ebook.

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Director Statement

On March 9 and 10, 1945, the United States military dropped 1,665 tons of incendiary bombs on the Shitamachi district of Tokyo. By dawn, more than 100,000 people were dead, one million were homeless, and sixteen square miles of the city were flattened. It was the highest death toll of any air raid during WWII, including the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In my personal experience growing up in the 1980s and 90s, little to nothing was taught about the parts of WWII that involved Japan and Japanese Americans. I read the books “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr and “Farewell to Manzanar” by Jeanne Wakatsuki and James D. Houston, and that was the extent of my education about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the Japanese internment camps. Some adults I meet today have never heard of either.

I began writing about my family heritage approximately 15 years ago. It wasn’t until I researched what my maternal grandparents might have experienced during WWII that I learned about the Great Tokyo Air Raid. I use the word “might” very strongly here because I never met my grandparents and my mother doesn’t know anything about their lives before she was born. Therefore, this story is fictional but inspired by true events. In addition to being a tragic homage to the grandparents I never knew, DRAGONFLY is intended to raise awareness about a historical event before it, and the people that were lost, are entirely forgotten.