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Blue Willow

Short Film (Full Length) – 2005


Veialu Aila-Unsworth directs this re-imagining of the ubiquitous blue and white ‘willow china’ ceramic pattern (designed by Thomas Minton in the late 18th Century). Aila-Unsworth’s exquisite animation uses the design as a tableau for a tragic tale. It tells the story — supposedly derived from an ancient Chinese folktale — of lovers fleeing an angry father. The doomed pair are ultimately transformed into birds by the gods, finally escaping from oppression ... and bangers and mash. Blue Willow was selected for the Berlin Film Festival (Kinderfest section).

A beautiful daughter ... a forbidden love. To find true happiness she must risk all.
– From the film

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for Veialu Aila-Unsworth

Veialu Aila-Unsworth

Director, Writer, Producer, Camera, Illustrator

Generic Profile image for Thomas Beauchamp

Thomas Beauchamp

As: Tajin

Generic Profile image for Jing He

Jing He

As: Old Koong-se

Generic Profile image for Dan Caddy

Dan Caddy

As: Chang & Father

Generic Profile image for Tim Beals

Tim Beals

Composer, Sound

Generic Profile image for Mark D'Ath

Mark D'Ath

Animator, Editor

See all 12 credits

Produced by

Veialu Aila-Unsworth


Funded by the Screen Innovation Fund, Toi Whakaari  - NZ Drama School and Victoria University of Wellington


Composed and performed by Tim Beals