Private Project


On the night of her red-eye flight back overseas, a young, bright-eyed and brazen woman reporter is faced with an ill-timed accident that ruins months of research for an article that would have saved her career. Resigning herself to the night, she settles into a local, homely ramen restaurant and orders a cup of hot sake, falling into steady yet forced conversation with the placid and guarded chef serving her. Like an onion, she peels away his layers until she finds the vulnerable, beating heart at his core; a heartrending story of love, once flourished, lost in an instant.

  • Madison Santamaria
  • Madison Santamaria
  • Cassie LeFevre
  • Yasong Wang
  • Bonnie Clarisse Utter
    Key Cast
  • True Nguyen
    Key Cast
    "Chef Hiro"
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 7, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    200 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 - Madison Santamaria

As a female, Asian-American director, she stands proudly as part of the movement towards equal representation, proving that regardless of who you are or what you look like, your story deserves to be told. Her passion drives her to share the stories left too often untold, showcasing minorities of gender and race at the heart of each of her films. Madison Santamaria is a third-year film student attending the University of Colorado Denver.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I wrote Yubikiri for a script writing class with the prompt to write a doe-eyed lovers script that restricted the writers from blatantly saying “I love you.” During that time I was inspired by Food Wars (a food anime) and Samurai Gourmet (on Netflix). The script was originally about a man and his love for food, but as I was writing it, it morphed into a story about a chef and a tragic encounter. As a writer and director, I guess I have always been drawn to the bittersweet, so writing a story of a man who has it all but is too focused on his work to appreciate it, in the end loses everything was successful in just that.