ONE PAST follows a young woman, Charlie Style, as she arrives home one evening to find her sister Lyla dead from a freak accident. Charlie's world is shattered until Lyla returns as a spirit, but when forces beyond their control begin to pull Lyla away again, Charlie is forced to face a difficult choice. Was this a blessing or a curse... or both?
by Juli S. Kobayashi
Ever since I started writing and illustrating mini "books" as a kid, I've been drawn to storytelling. In high school, I decided I had to go to NYU film school. I was thrilled to be accepted and graduated with honors. I then quickly landed a job in the industry, and naively assumed it would merely be just a hop and a skip until I would sell a script or direct my first feature.
Cut to several years later: I had plenty of experience working steadily in many areas of film and TV. I was constantly struggling to find time to write. However, my dream of being a writer-director was slipping further from my grasp. It was somewhat shocking to realize that I had been working so hard and yet the last time I had directed was over ten years ago when I was in film school. Unbelievable how time flies.
When my colleague Celiné Justice approached me about making a short film together for Celiné to star in and for me to direct, it was the push I needed at the right time. Despite being very different individuals, we shared strikingly similar life experiences, which made us ideal creative partners. I agreed uncharacteristically quickly.
While juggling our hectic day jobs and lives, we chipped away at the script we titled ONE PAST until we felt a simple and emotionally truthful story emerged...with a fun supernatural twist! Our heroine Charlie ultimately realizes that her sister Lyla wasn't the one holding her back; it was her own fears and self-doubt. The theme of the film - the way you handle hardships will show your true colors - ended up being a lesson that Celiné and I learned many times over during our collaboration. Working closely every step of the way and pushing through some clashes, Celiné and I have forged an enduring bond and I've come to see her as a sister.
Three years in the making, I loved the entire experience of making this 20-minute movie, invigorating highs and backbreaking lows included.
We hope audiences will be entertained and moved by ONE PAST, and perhaps even see a bit of themselves in Charlie. Celiné and I have certainly learned a lot from her!
Reeling after a tragic twist of fate, a young woman is visited by a vivacious spirit.