Private Project

Xmas Cake—This American Shelf-life

A coming of middle age story about a female pop singer’s journey from hot to not, and what ensues across cultures — from New York to Tokyo.

Xmas cake: def. Japanese slang for and unmarried woman over 25, or stale dessert.

When a free-spirited American in Tokyo confronts a suicide wave among single women over 25, she forms a pop band in their honor and accidentally gets BIG in Japan, signing with Sony. After briefly living the dream, she loses it all — fame, a fiance, and her livelihood — and must face starting over in a world that's bias against single women over 40.

This is a true story about Petra, a former pop star turned feminist storyteller, who becomes oddly empowered on her journey and is revived by her band's reunion and returning to Japan.

  • May Yam
  • Petra Hanson
  • Petra Hanson
  • Petra Hanson
  • May Yam
  • Petra Hanson
    Key Cast
    "As self"
  • Gaijin à Go Go
    Key Cast
    "the band"
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 12, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Japan, United States
  • Language:
    English, Japanese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tribeca Film Festival
    New York City
    United States
    April 27, 2019
    World Premiere
    Nominated Best Short Documentary
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
    Mill Valley, CA
    United States
    October 4, 2019
Director - May Yam, Petra Hanson