PAULINA (2013)

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Director/ Writer:
Caylee So
Themes: Family, addiction, and sacrifice.
Format: 35mm Film
Genre: Family Drama, Short
Location: Long Beach, CA

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Paulina, a 17 year old girl living in the Cambodian gambling community, struggles with her father and the realities of addiction.

Immersed in a vibrant world where bets and wagers are a part of everyday living, 17 year old Paulina has found herself attracted to the game; a love understood and shared by her father, Sam, and an avid community of Cambodian gamblers. Met with strong disapproval from her sister Sopheap, Paulina remains strongly tied to the community. But soon she finds herself in the midst of her father’s war with addiction, and the realities of this world is unmasked; Paulina must inevitably choose between the world she is drawn to and the life she might someday want.

The visual style for “Paulina,” the movie, aims to define the three main stages to which the protagonist goes through her journey:

The enjoyment of the perfect world (fun, vivid, colorful, inviting)
The realization of a menacing habit (asphyxiating, dangerous, mysterious, disappointing, confusing)
The decision to grow up and save herself (hopeful, controllable, promising) Likewise, the cinematography of this project also attempts to portray the culture that Paulina is part of, as a way to bring the audience closer to the main character, and thus, to the story.

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