Orbital Christmas

In near future, ALI, a Muslim space pilot, is working alone on a space station during the Christmas season, because all other crew is back to the Earth for holidays. One day, TAKAKO, a Japanese girl lives in the city on the Moon, stows away in an unmanned cargo ship and gets on board the space station. Although she wants to go to the Earth to meet her father, she took the wrong cargo ship. The problem is her father is caught in the atomic bomb attack by terrorists in Japan and missing now. And none can reach the area he is missing, because the area is contaminated by the radioactive substance and the electromagnetic pulse caused by the bomb broke every electronics. TAKAKO tries to go down to the Earth by an emergency pod. ALI stops her, because the pod does not enable the atmospheric entry to the Earth. TAKAKO gives up her hope. ALI tries to cheer her up, so that he makes a gigantic Christmas tree floating in the space even though he does not like Christmas as a pagan festival for him. And he makes a large banner which can be seen from the Earth and writes the message looking for TAKAKO’s father. At the end of the movie, her father who survives the bomb attack looks up the sky and finds the tree and banner, then he calls his daughter’s name.

  • Mitsuyasu Sakai
    Director
  • Mitsuyasu Sakai
    Writer
  • Dennis Castello
    Producer
  • Tetsuro Satomi
    Producer
    Batman Ninja
  • Mitsuyasu Sakai
    Producer
  • Ryan Shrime
    Key Cast
    "Ali"
    Madam Secretary
  • Kaori Neville
    Key Cast
    "Takako"
  • Eijiro Ozaki
    Key Cast
    "Hiroki"
    The Man in the High Castle
  • Jenna Parker
    Key Cast
    "Anika"
    One Stop Away
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    150,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Japan
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.55:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • New York Shorts International Film Festival 2021
    New York, New York
    United States
    October 20, 2021
    World Premier
    Official Selection
  • RED Movie Awards September 2021
    Reims
    France
    Europe Premiere
    Winner of Best Sci-Fi
  • Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival
    Sydney
    Australia
    November 11, 2021
    Australia Premiere
    Official Selection
  • THE SOUTH AFRICAN INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
    Cape Town
    South Africa
    November 24, 2021
    Africa Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Indie Short Fest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    California Premier
    Award of Excellence
  • WILDsound FEEDBACK Film and Screenplay Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    December 2, 2021
    Best Film
  • Space Faring Civilisation Film Festival
    Watson
    Australia
    January 22, 2022
    Best Optimistic Sci-Fi
  • Eastern Europe International Movie Awards
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Best Sci-Fi Short Film
  • EUROPE INDEPENDENT MOVIE FESTIVAL
    İzmir
    Turkey
    Platinum Award Best Sci-Fi Short Film
  • Independent Shorts Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Best Film of the Month (Runners-up)
  • Ealing Film Festival
    Ealing, London
    United Kingdom
    December 4, 2021
    Best Sci-fi
  • L.A. Sci-Fi & Horror Festival
    Calabasas, California
    United States
    July 26, 2022
    Best Science Fiction Short Film
  • IndieX Film Fest
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    November 6, 2021
    Best Short of the Month
  • OTB | Only The Best Film Awards
    MIAMI, FLORIDA
    United States
    December 5, 2021
    Best Sci-fi Short
  • Jaipur International Film Festival
    Jaipur, Rajasthan
    India
    January 7, 2022
    Official Selection
  • The Fantasy Film Festival FFF - Le Festival du Film du Fantasme
    Paris
    France
    Nominee
  • Flathead Lake International Cinemafest
    Polson, Montana
    United States
    January 28, 2022
    Nominee
  • Austin Revolution Film Festival
    Austin, Texas
    United States
    February 15, 2022
    Winner of World Short
  • Boston SciFi Film Fest
    Boston, MA
    United States
    February 16, 2022
    Certificate of Excellence
  • Sedona International Film Festival
    Sedona, Arizona
    United States
    February 19, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Zed Fest Film Festival & Screenplay Competition
    Burbank, CA
    United States
    December 27, 2021
    Semi-Finalist
  • Freewheeling Film Awards
    London
    United Kingdom
    July 30, 2022
    Best Short Film 2022
  • Berlin Independent Film Festival
    Berlin
    Germany
    February 9, 2022
    Best Sci-fi Short
  • Crystal Palace International Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    Official Selection
  • Eko International Film Festival
    Lagos
    Nigeria
    Official Selection
  • FantaSci Short Film Festival
    Orland, FL
    United States
    Official Selection
  • International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival
    Phoenix, Arizona
    United States
    Official Selection
  • NewFilmmakers Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Kalakari Film Festival
    Dewas
    India
    Official Selection
  • New York City Independent Film Festival
    New York, New York
    United States
    June 12, 2022
    Official Selection
  • New York Science Fiction Film Festival
    New York, New York
    United States
    May 13, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Carmarthen Bay Film Festival
    Llianelli, Wales
    United Kingdom
    May 16, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Balticon Sunday Night Sci-Fi Short Film Festival
    Baltimore, Maryland
    United States
    May 27, 2022
    1st place
  • USA Film Festival
    Dallas, Texas
    United States
    April 20, 2022
    Finalist
  • Lonely Wolf International Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    April 29, 2022
    Nominee
  • WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival
    Houston, Texas
    United States
    April 20, 2022
    Award Winner
  • 26th Annual Fade In Awards | SCI-FI Competition
    Beverly Hills, CA
    United States
    July 29, 2022
    Finalist
  • Japan Film Festival Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    September 17, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Burbank International Film Festival
    Burbank, CA
    United States
    September 8, 2022
    Semi-Finalist
  • Roswell Sci-Fi Film Fest
    London
    United Kingdom
    July 2, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Wild Indie Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    September 10, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Shockfest Film Festival

    United States
    December 10, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Fade In Awards | Sci-Fi Competition
    Los Angels
    United States
    July 29, 2022
    Finalist
  • Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market
    Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Japan
    October 7, 2022
    Official Selection, Japan Panorama Programme
  • Fotofilm International Short Film Festival
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    August 22, 2022
    Finalist
Director Biography - Mitsuyasu Sakai

Mitsuyasu Sakai was born in 1963 in Osaka, Japan. He went to Kansai University and got master’s degree for Electronics in 1988. Then, he started both working at NTT DATA as an engineer after graduation and writing articles about Sci-Fi novels and movies for magazines as a critic. In 1995, he quit a job and became a fulltime writer, then started writing for TV ANIME shows. Since then, he has been working as a script writer and a Sci-Fi supervisor for over 20 shows from OUTLAW STAR (1998) to BATMAN NINJA (2018). Meanwhile, he went to USC: School of Cinematic Arts to study movie/TV production from 2007 and got Master of Arts in 2010. ORBITAL CHRISTMAS is his first short film after he graduated USC. He fundraised whole budget of the movie from his fans in Japan through crowdfunding. He used his unique background that he did preproduction and postproduction in Tokyo and did production in Los Angeles with both Japanese and American staff.

Professional Affiliations
• Member, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan (SFWJ)
• Member, Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc. (MWJ)
• Member, Writers Guild of Japan (WGJ)

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This movie is about two of my dreams about the future of humankind. One is the future everyone lives in peace and harmony that any religion, race, or nation can coexists. I was born and lives in Japan where most people are Asian and Buddhist and there are few other race/religion's people, so that I was so impressed by multicultural environment when I went to USC. Especially I met and became friend with Muslim people at the first time. I am also an outsider in US as I am a foreigner and a pagan as same as Muslims from middle east, so that I feel sympathy. Then, the more I knew them, the more I liked them, even they have quite different religious lifestyle from us. This movie is kind of a love letter from me to them (Of course, I showed my script to my Muslim friends and got their approval before the shooting). The other is the future we can reach out to the stars. When I was a child, most of us believed we would build a base on Moon and went to Mars and beyond. With our technology, we can do it and we should do it for the next generations to expand our living boundary and solve environmental problems. Though it is drawn by CGI in the movie, it is certain real images in my head. We must build this future, IMHO. And, of course, I want to be known as a writer/director by this short movie. So, this movie is my dream project in many ways.