June 15, 2020


Thank you for your interest in "Tule Lake", a short film based on a true story, produced entirely by animation and illustration students at San Jose State University.

Please use the navigation tabs above to view the trailer and read up more about the film.

"Tule Lake" is currently being submitted to the film festival circuit and is unavailable online.  If you have further questions, or would like to acquire a screening copy of the film, contact Michelle Ikemoto at michelle.ikemoto@gmail.com

January 21, 2014

Social Justice January

Happy New Year!  To kick off 2014, "Tule Lake" has been invited to screen at a couple events:

Starting this week, the film will be screening in Montana for the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Film Festival & Non-Discrimination Ordinance Celebration.

Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Myrna Loy Center, 15 N Ewing St, Helena, MT 59601

The Network holds many educational, social, and fundraising events throughout the year and across the state. We honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year with a Social Justice Film Series. The event includes a reception with guest speaker and a series of great social justice films to get you thinking and keep you entertained.


Then in February, we'll be back in the Bay Area for San Francisco Japantown's "Films of Remembrance", as an extension of the SF Bay Area's Day of Remembrance.
Date: Sunday, February 23, 2014
Time: 2:00-8:00pm
Location: New People's Cinema, 1746 Post St, San Francisco (Japantown), CA

The SF Bay Area's DOR event features a keynote speaker, cultural presentation, community updates, a candlelighting commemoration and reception. [...] the Films of Remembrance provides a venue to screen recent films related to the Japanese American World War II experience and provide an educational forum.

November 4, 2013

Premiering in England!

Hi gang, towards the end of November, "Tule Lake" has been chosen as a finalist in the Animation category and will be screening at the 2013 BUtiful Film Festival in Bournemouth, which runs from 22-24 November!

Date: Friday, November 22, 2013
Time: 17:00-21:00 (GMT)
Show: Screening of Animation and Documentary Films [FREE tickets]
Location: Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow
                Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset BH12 5BB, UK

BUtiful is a film festival run by students at Bournemouth University. This initiative was born one year ago with the purpose of creating a structured organization within which students from different backgrounds could cooperate and work together.

October 25, 2013

GOIAF at PennState

At the beginning of November, our film will be screening at the Golden Orchid International Animation Festival held at PennState, from November 1-3, 2013.

Showings: GROUP SIX - Animated Short Films
Friday, November 1
12:00 pm - 2:10 pm
Rm 105, Wagner Bldg
Saturday, November 2
11:00 am - 1:05 pm
Rm 111, Thomas Bldg
Sunday, November 3
3:40 am - 5:45 am
Rm 111, Thomas Bldg

October 16, 2013

Tule Lake's Canadian premiere

Congratulations team!  This November, "Tule Lake" will be premiering in Canada at the 17th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival!

Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Time: 1:30 PM
Show: Program 6 - Mixed and Mistaken Identity [Buy Tickets]
Location: Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
                88 West Pender St, 3rd Floor, Vancouver, BC

VAFF is the oldest Asian film festival in Canada. It was founded in 1995 and debuted in September 1997. Since then, tens of thousands of film lovers have experienced a diverse selection of North American-Asian and international films.

I will be in attendance at the VAFF and hope to see you at the screening! ~ Michelle

September 28, 2013

"Tule Lake" premieres in Europe

Forgot one more festival to add to the October run--our film will also be screening at the Kerry Film Festival in Ireland as part of their Animation Shorts collection!

Date: Thursday, 10 October 2013
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Kerry School of Music [Entry fee €5]

The zany world of animation allows filmmakers to push storytelling and cinematic boundaries. This year’s animation programme promises to takes the audience on a cinematic odyssey into glorious worlds where just about anything can happen and normally does. Unicorn-hunting teddy bears, a dream-walking blind boy and his elephant companion and a special delivery for a 93-year-old all wait to entertain and enthrall you.

September 22, 2013

A Tule Lake Rocktober

This October looks to be a busy month for "Tule Lake", where our film will be hitting five venues across the U.S.!

Kicking off the month, "Tule Lake" will be showing on its home turf in the Bay Area for 2013 APAture: A Window into the Art of Emerging Asian Pacific American Artists  held at multiple venues in San Francisco and Oakland, all month long (4-26 October 2013).

APAture returns to the Bay Area to present the brightest emerging Asian Pacific American talent in a month-long multidisciplinary arts festival.

Date: Friday, 4 October 2013
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: The New Parkway, Oakland, CA [Buy Tickets]

"Join us for an evening of live and animated film shorts by a new breed of independent filmmakers. Screenings will be followed by audience Q+A."

"Tule Lake's" Washington state premiere will be the following week at the Social Justice Film Festival, held at various theaters in the Seattle area (10-13 October 2013).

Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Location: Schedule TBA

The Seattle Social Justice Film Festival is back! Films will cover all apects of social justice but, in conjunction with our lead sponsor, Books to Prisoners, this year's special festival focus will be on issues related to Prisoner Justice. The rest of the festival program includes an array of new films on women's rights, political dissent, prisoner justice, LGBT issues, homelessness, health care, marginalized populations, indigenous rights, environmental degradation, alternative economic models, and more.

Our film has also been selected as a finalist at the SoDak Animation Festival in Brookings, SD, which will be running from 17-19 October 2013.

Date: Friday, October 18
Time: 6:15 PM
Showing: Shorts Block 2 [$5 or FREE with SDSU ID]
Location: Performing Arts Center, South Dakota State University

The SoDak Animation Festival is the result of animators, artists, and faculty, staff and students coming together to celebrate that ultimate art form that is animation. This year's jurors include Ryan Woodward, Patrick Smith, and Corrie Parks.

That same week, "Tule Lake" will be returning to Manhattan for the 2013 International Film Festival Manhattan (17-20 October 2013), screening films at the Anthology Film Archives

Date: Saturday, 19 October 2013
Time: 5:50pm-7:40pm
Screening: IFFM 2013 "Program #7" [Buy Tickets]
Location: Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave (at 2nd St), New York, NY 10003

IFFM is committed in showcasing entertaining and diverse films in all genres and scope to equal the diversity of New York. It is also committed in exploring all opportunities to promote the artists, his work, his vision, and his cause if he has any, during the showing of the films and the events during the festival.

The following week, we'll be screening at the 5th Annual Boston Asian American Film Festival (24-27 October 2013)
Date: Friday, October 25, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: The Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA
                Bright Family Screening Room, 559 Washington ST, Boston, MA

The Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF) empowers Asian Americans through film by showcasing Asian American experiences and serving as a resource to filmmakers and the Greater Boston Community.

Premiere in the Great Lakes

This October, "Tule Lake" will be screening at the 2013 Great Lakes International Film Festival (September 26-28).  More information on the specific time of the screening will be edited to this post.

Date: Consult the schedule
Time: Consult the schedule
Location: PACA Performing Arts Center and Theater, 1505 State St., Erie, PA

Awarding outstanding filmmakers and script writers for Best Script; Best of Genre; Best of the Fest; Best Cinematography; Best Director; Best Actor; Best Actress, and more, the Great Lakes International Film Festival is an excellent stop on the fest circuit for filmmakers interested in having their film presented to a very warm and welcoming audience, meeting celebrities, parties, and networking with phenomenal filmmakers from across the country and around the world to the award ceremonies, industry professionals, and much more.

EDIT 10/6/13: "Tule Lake" was nominated alongside three excellent films in the BEST OF ANIMATION category at the GLIFF.  Though we did not take home the award, congratulations to the creator/s of the winning film and the other nominees!

August 13, 2013

Firing It Up in Ohio!

"Tule Lake" will be having its midwestern premiere in Lima, Ohio, as a selection at the 2013 Northwest Ohio Independent Film Festival, running from September 20-21.  This post will be updated later with information on the specific time of the showing.

Date: 21 September 2013
Time: 12:00pm
Screening: "Student Film Festival"
Location: Veterans Memorial Civic & Convention Center
                7 Town Square, Lima, OH

July 29, 2013

"Tule Lake" returns to the South Bay and Oregon

This coming August, "Tule Lake" will be back in its hometown San Jose as an Official Selection of the 2013 CAAMFest: San Jose film festival!  CAAMFest runs from August 16-18 at the Camera 3 Theater in downtown San Jose.

The film is screening as part of the "Future's Calling" Shorts Program; ticket sales available online. 

Date: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Time: 2:15 pm
Venue: Camera 3 Cinema
Location: 288 South Second Street, San Jose, CA


The following week, we'll be screening in Oregon as part of the 2013 Eugene Celebration Film Zone at the NW Animation Fest booth, held from August 23-25.  Entry is FREE with a Eugene Celebration Pass.

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2013
Time: 2:00pm (Screen 4) and 2:15 pm (Screen 3)
Location: Bijou Metro, 43 W. Broadway, Eugene, OR

Eugene's annual community festival includes free access to the Film Zone screening series, hosted by our friends at the Bijou Metro. NW Animation Fest contributes a Family Friendly film block.  CLICK HERE to buy passes

July 17, 2013

Three more festival screenings: New York, California, & São Paolo

Still going strong!  "Tule Lake" is going to be back in New York this July for the Animation Block Party 2013!

"Tule Lake" will be screening as part of ABP's Student Films, Independent Animators block at BAMcinématek.

Date: Sunday, July 28, 2013
Time: 4:30 pm
Location:  Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Rose Cinemas
Animation Block Party is the premier animation festival of the East Coast - dedicated to exhibiting all genres of the world's best independent, professional and student animation.  The tenth annual Animation Block Party is July 25-28, 2013 at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, Rooftop Films & BAMcinématek. 

We're also excited for our film's Brazilian premiere at the 14th Electronic Language International Festival (FILE) ANIMA+ in São Paolo!

Dates: July 23 to September 1, 2013
Location: The programme will occupy four spaces at Centro Cultural FIESP - Ruth Cardoso, on Paulista Avenue: the Art Gallery, the SESI-SP Digital Art Gallery (facade of the FIESP/SESI-SP Building), the FIESP Space, and the Mezzanine Floor, in addition to the Trianon-Masp subway station. FREE OF CHARGE!


Finally (apologies for the posting after the fact) "Tule Lake" was aired as part of the California International Animation Festival from June 15-27, where it won in the 2D Animation category!

Way to go, guys!!

May 15, 2013

Tule Lake at ASIFA-East

Great news guys!  Last week ASIFA-East sent out announcements for their 2013 award winners, of which "Tule Lake" was included among the student categories!

By lucky coincidence, the director will be in New York during the award ceremony weekend, where she'll be accepting on behalf of "Tule Lake", as well as bringing back a well-earned ASIFA award for House of Chai's "A Knock On My Door". 

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Time: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th St, NYC
Awards will be presented, thank you's recorded, and a lively reception will follow.  The Awards Ceremony and Reception afterwards are free and open to the public.  (After-Party TBA)


EDIT: At the May 19 screening, it was announced that "Tule Lake" would be taking home FIRST PLACE in the STUDENT FILM category!  Great work too to David Chai on his new Excellence in Writing Award--congratulations all around!

May 5, 2013

Women's Independent Film Festival - Screening and Awards

Congrats team!

Our film is an official selection of the 2013 Women's Indie Film Fest in West Hollywood, running from May 9-11.  You can find out more about the venue and buy tickets online here.  "Tule Lake" will be showing:
Date: Friday, May 10, 2013
TimeBLOCK 1 (6:00pm-8:00pm)
Location: The Actor's Company Theater, 916a North Formosa Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
We will also be taking home three awards in the Animated Film category!

Tule Lake at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration

If you're in San Francisco for the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, you can catch another FREE screening to "Tule Lake" at the Asian Art Museum! CAAM has selected our film to be screened alongside a collection of fantastic short films celebrating Asian American media.

Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Time: 2pm to 4pm
Location: Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin Street, Samsung Hall) Admission to the museum will be free all day and there is no additional cost to watch the films! 
The AHSC Cinema Showcase celebrates local Asian American media and media makers. From emerging talent to celebrated media pioneers, this exciting collection of short films and music videos reveal the vibrant Asian American media arts scene here in the Bay Area. Program includes official selections of 2013 CAAMFest, films chosen by 3rd i Int’l South Asian American Film Festival programmers and music videos by outstanding musicians, who will be playing LIVE on the festival’s main stage. From touching animations to exciting action flicks, there is something for everyone! This program is co-presented by 3rd i International South Asian Film Festival. [Source]
According to the showcase schedule, "Tule Lake" is slated to play at 2:48pm.

April 11, 2013

2013 Animation Educators Forum

Last Sunday, Professor David Chai (adviser to the "Tule Lake" crew) and Michelle Ikemoto (director) were among the student film Annie Award nominees as guest speakers at ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Educators Forum, for their "Short Films... Long Process" panel.

Photos courtesy of Frank Lima

There were a lot of great questions raised, amazingly accomplished members of the animation industry in attendance, and it was exciting getting to hear the varied processes behind the other nominees' films!  Hopefully hearing about the experiences will be helpful to animation educators in structuring their courses or advising their own students on their films.  Thank you to Aubrey Mintz for inviting us, we had a great time!

April 2, 2013

USF's Human Rights Film Festival

Our film will be back in the city by the bay this coming weekend, at the University of San Francisco's 11th Annual Human Rights Film Festival, which runs from April 4-6, 2013.

"Tule Lake" will be screening on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm as part of the Bay Area Student Shorts lineup (at the USF Presentation Theater)

From the USF Human Rights website:

As with past editions, our goals are to promote awareness and discussion of global human rights issues and explore challenges to human rights in specific locations. We believe in the power of film to educate about human rights violations and encourage citizens to take action. We know that committed citizens can help to stop abuses.

Tule Lake's Oregon Premiere

Our film will be making its Oregon premiere at the 2013 Northwest Animation Festival in Portland, OR.

The festival runs May 17-19 at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

The entire 3-day fest will repeat May 31-June 2 at the Bijou Art Cinemas in Eugene, Oregon.

It's going to be an SJSU A/I party, as "Tule Lake" will also be showing alongside House of Chai's "A Knock On My Door" and Bronto House's "The Pod".  Congratulations everyone!!

March 23, 2013

"The Making of Tule Lake, Award-Winning Anime Short"

At the end of March, the director of "Tule Lake" will be screening the film at the Japanese American Museum in San Jose, followed by a short presentation on the story behind the movie, and the process of creating an animated short.  Q&A to follow the presentation--we hope to see you there!

March 30, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

Japanese American Museum of San Jose, Second Floor
535 N. Fifth Street, San Jose, CA 95112 
Filmmaker Michelle Ikemoto will discuss her award-winning animated short film, Tule Lake, at JAMsj on March 30, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. Based on true events, this film is a story of perseverance and is told from the perspective of a Japanese American internee held in the Tule Lake incarceration camp during World War II.

In addition to sharing the story of her film, Ikemoto will give a presentation on the anime film-making process. She will also show some examples of the paper and pencil work that served as the basis for creating the film. In addition, she will share how she personally connected to the subject through memories shared by her grandmother, who was detained at the Tule Lake incarceration camp.

Cost: Entry is free with admission to the museum (non-members, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free).

To RSVP, contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138.
[Full article here]

March 3, 2013

Tule Lake at CAAMFest

CAAMFest (formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival) will be showing "Tule Lake" as part of the ON BODIES shorts program.

"We live through our bodies every day. Follow these shorts as they explore how flesh and bone can work as the instruments for justice, survival, memory, isolation, personal triumph, community and self knowledge." - Curated by Geraldine Ah-Sue

There are two different venues which will be screening the film, so you can catch "Tule Lake" on either:

  • SATURDAY, March 16 at 3:00 pm
    Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St, San Francisco
  • TUESDAY, March 19 at 6:30 pm
    New People, 1746 Post St, San Francisco

February 8, 2013

40th Annual Annie Awards - Thank you!

Thanks so much to everyone for your support and kind words, and to all the crew, faculty, friends and family who came to support team Tule Lake at the Annie Awards last weekend!  I had an incredible time, and I'm so grateful and honored to have had this once in a lifetime chance with you!
~ Michelle

February 6, 2013

23rd Cinequest Film Festival

Bringing it back home!  "Tule Lake" will be playing at the 23rd Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose (running from February 26 to March 10).

"Tule Lake" will be screening during Shorts Program 8: Student Shorts at the San Jose Repertory Theater at the following times:
  • Wednesday, March 6 at 9:30 pm
  • Friday, March 8 at 9:30 pm
Tickets are available for purchase online here, or onsite.  We hope to see you there, the Cinequest Film Festival has become a tradition for SJSU film screenings, and it's an honor to be adding our film to the list!

February 5, 2013

6th Annual International WAMMFest

"Tule Lake's" east coast premiere will be at the 6th Annual International Women And Minorities in Media Festival (April 8-13, 2013) at Towson University in Maryland.

January 10, 2013

Asians on Film 2013 // CreaTiVe Awards

"Tule Lake" will be screening at the 2013 Asians on Film Festival, in the NoHo Arts District at J.E.T. Studio in Los Angeles, CA.
Our film will be showing on Friday, February 15 at 4:30 pm.  
The full schedule can be viewed here, and I highly recommend sticking around for the screening of fellow SJSU alumni's films--team Clamsoo's "Couch & Potatoes" and House of Chai's "A Knock on My Door".
Tickets: http://aoff2013.eventbrite.com/ 

At the 2012 CreaTiVe Awards gala last week, "Tule Lake" also took home two awards--one for Filmmaker  in the short film category, and one for Student film in the 19+ age bracket.  Congratulations to all the nominees, and our awesome crew!

We neglected to take photos of ourselves at the gala, so here's
the awards, which will be joining past SJSU film winners soon!

December 29, 2012

"Tule Lake" on your TVs

In the coming week, "Tule Lake" will be available for public viewing for two days, in one of two ways: watching Silicon Valley Channel 30 (which can be watched on Comcast in San Jose and Campbell) OR livestreaming/video on demand on the CreaTV website.  

The 2012 CreaTV finalists will be playing all week, and you can catch "Tule Lake" during these blocks:

  • Sunday, December 30 at 12:00pm
    Filmmaker Less Than 30 Minutes
  • Saturday, January 5 at 12:00pm
    Student 19+

And just a reminder that the 2012 CreaTiVe Awards Gala will be held on Saturday, January 5 at the California Theater in downtown San Jose.  Tickets are available here.  

VIP reception begins at 5:30 pm, General Reception starts at 6:00 pm, and the awards show starts at 7:30 pm.  Hope to see you there!

December 3, 2012


Taking a minute to be informal because DUDE WHAT I DON'T EVEN-

"Tule Lake" has been nominated alongside a lineup of amazing student films at the 2013 Annie Awards, 'Animation's Highest Honor'.
The announcements for the 40th annual Annie Awards, presented by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, encompass 30 categories including film, TV production, commercials, short subjects, video games, student films and honorary and achievement awards. 
The awards ceremony will be held February 2, 2013 at UCLA's Royce Hall.
To the whole team, I hope you'll join us at the ceremony! Just to be nominated to sit among animation industry giants is an incredible honor, and an opportunity you shouldn't miss!

[Source: The Los Angeles Times]

November 15, 2012

CreaTV San Jose

"Tule Lake" has been selected as a finalist at the 2012 CreaTiVe Awards in two categories: Student (19+) as well as Filmmaker Under 30 Minutes
Winners will be announced at the CreaTiVe Awards Gala.  You can purchase your tickets online, call them in, or purchase the night of the gala.
January 5, 6:00-9:00pm, at the California Theatre in downtown San Jose. 

October 16, 2012

CSU Media Arts Festival

"Tule Lake" will be screening at the 22nd Annual Media Arts Festival along with two other excellent animated shorts from SJSU!
November 10, 2012 at CSU Fullerton in Steven G. Mihaylo Hall

1:00 – 3:00 pm Industry Mixer – Open to CSU students and faculty only
3:00 – 4:45 pm Keynote Speaker
6:00 – 9:00 pm Finalist Screening & Award Ceremony – FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

You do not need to reserve a space ahead of time for this event. ALL EVENTS ARE FREE.  Bring your friends and family to the Student Finalist Screening and Award Ceremony!

Update: Our film won two Rosebud Awards; 1st Place in the Animation category, and tied for Best In Show alongside Seth Craven's excellent short "Un-Armed Robbery"!

Great work, everyone!  And congratulations to fellow Shrunkenheadmen finalists, team Clamsoo and Bronto House, on all their films!

October 12, 2012

October screening in the South Bay

Good work, team!  "Tule Lake" will be showing 2 times at the San Jose International Short Film Fest!
Our film will be playing as part of two consecutive blocks at the CinéArts Theater at Santana Row--get your tickets now, and see it on the big screen:
  1. Saturday, October 20, 5:00 pm - "Return of the Ink & Paint Club"
  2. Saturday, October 20, 7:00 pm - "Best of Northern California Filmmaking"

Tule Lake team Michelle Ikemoto, Jason Wong, Izzy Hoover, and Jaydeep Hasrajani (right quad)
on the 2012 San Jose Short Film Fest red carpet along with Jaydeep's film team Bronto House (left)

July 23, 2012

ASIFA-SF Spring Screening

"Tule Lake" premiered for the first time at the 2012 ASIFA-SF Annual Spring Festival alongside several other excellent SJSU animated shorts, where it took First Place as well as an Excellence In Animation award in the College Student category.

Congratulations as well to Bronto House and Clamsoo on their awards!