Private Project

Lights Out

Charlie, a young Asian American man, discovers he has a superpower (!) that’s not very useful... It's only triggered when Charlie is “talking dirty” AKA narrating adult romance audiobooks in his closet. Charlie struggles to uncover the mystery of this new superpower, all while confronting a stagnant relationship with his long term boyfriend, Nathan. Loosely based on a true story, of the first Asian male romance narrator, ever, in the history of the audiobook world! (2021, USA) Directed by Kurt Kanazawa. Written by Kurt Kanazawa and Tramayne Tirrell.

  • Kurt Kanazawa
  • Kurt Kanazawa
  • Tramayne Tirrell
  • Kurt Kanazawa
  • Tramayne Tirrell
  • Kurt Kanazawa
    Key Cast
    Grey’s Anatomy
  • Tramayne Tirrell
    Key Cast
  • Natasha Tina Liu
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Television
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, Gay, Fantasy
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kurt Kanazawa

Director Kurt Kanazawa was born in Los Angeles and attended Harvard-Westlake School, The Juilliard School, and Columbia University. “Lights Out” is his proud directorial debut — co-written with his boyfriend Tramayne Tirrell while both had COVID, and directed remotely with a third actress in her own home — joyfully spotlighting Asian and Black solidarity through a gay superhero lens. Kurt is of Japanese and Filipino descent, with family roots in the Hawaiian Islands, speaks five languages (English, Japanese, Italian, French, Spanish), and is a former opera singer featured in The New York Times and Time Magazine, as well as an award-winning audiobook narrator and director of over fifty titles. As an actor, he has appeared on ABC’s "Grey’s Anatomy," and has starred in films at the Tribeca Festival (Immersive, 2021), Festival de Cannes (#XR3, 2021) and the Bentonville Film Festival (Shorts, 2019), amongst others. Notably, Kurt’s grandmother, Shimeji Ryusaki Kanazawa, is known as “The Florence Nightingale of Hawaii” for her work during World War II, for which she was awarded the American Red Cross, and later, national committee appointments by Presidents Reagan, Carter, and Clinton, respectively. @kurtkanazawa //

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Director Statement

Our story is about a FIRST. The first Asian-American Male Romance narrator in the history of audiobooks… ever!

In 2020, the first adult romance book to feature an Asian Male protagonist was recorded and released - Jayci Lee’s trilogy “The Heirs of Hansol,” read by Kurt Sanchez Kanazawa. Romance books are extremely popular, and the audiobook realm is one of the fastest growing sectors of the entertainment industry, with a Deloitte forecast to hit more than $3.5 billion in worldwide market share.

I am the narrator himself, and co-wrote this sci-fi fantasy short, “Lights Out,” with my boyfriend, Tramayne Tirrell. What started off as a playful idea came to fruition in this short that you see today - but not without it’s challenges.

We were both diagnosed with COVID-19 one day before our shoot. This was filmed within the confines of our apartment in quarantine, and virtually with our incomparable tour-de-force actress, Natasha Tina Liu.

Shot on a micro budget of $0, with no crew, and written, shot, edited, designed, directed, composed and acted solely by Tramayne and myself, this is a project truly born from passion and fully realized within our quarantined limitations.

Finally, in a world of endless injustices towards the Black and APA/AAPI/Native Hawaiian communities, this film is a joyful spotlight on the leaders and “firsts” within us all.

Also, please stick around post-credits! ;) Thank you for your consideration.