LIHU‘E — It’s a problem everyone on Kaua‘i can relate to: roosters crowing all night and chickens clucking all day. While most residents try to ignore them, 12-year-old Lia Yamasato embraced Kaua‘i’s unofficial official bird and created a short, animated film starring a rooster.
Yamasato’s stop-motion animation film, “The Annoying Chicken,” will debut at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival Oct. 22 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX.
“I was very happy, and I was very surprised,” the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School student said about being selected. “It’s being shown at Dole with so many other great films.”
The four-minute animated short features a bothersome rooster who is wreaking havoc on a man’s night sleep.
Yamasato said she was inspired to make the film by real-life events.
“I was calling my dad on the phone at his office in Kapa‘a,” she said. “When I was calling him, I couldn’t hear him because this chicken kept crowing and crowing.”
The four-minute animated short took about a month to film and edit, and Yamasato proves you don’t need expensive CGI techniques, 3-D or voice actors to create an entertaining flick.
The 12-year-old was partly inspired by the French television show and animated film “A Town Called Panic,” which stars children’s toys and their surreal adventures.
“Not too many people know of it,” she said of the film. “I love that sense of humor. It’s all in French, so you do have to read subtitles.”
Yamasato used toys, clay and other household items to create her cast of characters and patiently shot each frame of the film, which then was edited together to create the animation. Her father Aaron, who is also a filmmaker, narrated the voice of the man.
Yamasato was 11 when she filmed the project, which was originally submitted as a final project for her media class, CKTV Media Productions at CKMS.
“It’s a really good experience to be in that class,” she said. “I learned a lot from previous projects.” As part of CKTV, Yamasato has traveled to Honolulu and Orlando, Fla., showing the projects she has made.
Besides filmmaking, Yamasato said she enjoys dancing ballet and playing the piano and violin.
In addition, she loves math, science and, of course, CKTV.
Though she has a knack for filmmaking, Yamasato said she wants to be a veterinarian when she’s older.
“I enjoy film, but I really love animals,” she said. Her passion for animals bleeds through on her film projects. Another film she made was a public service announcement about how to control the feral cat population.
“The thing about film is you have to be very patient,” she said. “You have to create something you enjoy and be passionate about it.”
HIFF is dedicated to presenting top films from around the world and highlighting the creative content emerging from the Asia Pacific Rim.
“The Annoying Chicken” will premiere at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 22 at the Dole Cannery in Honolulu. HIFF runs through Oct. 23. Visit www.hiff.org for more information or call 808-447-0577 for tickets.
• Andrea Frainier, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681, ext. 257 or afrainier@ thegardenisland.com.