Year of the Fish

Director: David Kaplan
Screenwriters: David Kaplan

Institute History


A modern Cinderella story set in New York City's Chinatown, Year of the Fish is a classic tale retold through the eyes of a young woman struggling to find a new life in the United States. Director David Kaplan has gathered an all-star cast, filmed them in live action, and then applied an algorithmic painting technology to achieve the rotoscoped animation. The result? Year of the Fish pops from the screen like a painting come to life. This is the level of originality we've come to expect from Kaplan—Sundance audiences may remember him for short films of fairy tales reconceived in a unique style all his own.

Although Year of the Fish is best described as an adult fairy tale, make no mistake: this story is a deep one. It tackles the realities of immigration and the frighteningly common occurrence of young people who, desperate for a better life, fall prey to an existence as indentured servants. This dark story becomes instantly palatable when wrapped in Kaplan's lovely package—a tribute to his storytelling talent. Year of the Fish is beautiful to witness and as ironically mysterious as the American dream itself.

— John Cooper

Screening Details


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