PAPER WORDS is a 3D-animated story about a girl whose active imagination gets misconstrued by others around her.
Five-year-old Mei, a girl from China, spends much of her time at school frozen to the corner of her classroom. She won’t talk, she won’t play, and she never looks the teacher in the eye. Her teacher, Mrs. Cooper, knows that something is amiss, but what? Even though Mei has just arrived from another country and doesn’t have any friends, she nonetheless ignores Lily, the other Chinese girl in the class who tries to talk with her. After a month of this odd behavior, her teacher starts to believe Mei has a serious mental disability. What her teacher thinks doesn’t concern Mei who seems genuinely content in her own magical world. She would rather be in her garden, examining the tiny world of insects or talking to her doll Peipei. However, Mei’s mother is very concerned by a parent-teacher conference revealing her daughter’s anti-social behavior. She must somehow engineer a clever way to expose the real Mei to the rest of the world.
This short is based loosely on a compilation of common immigrant stories and themes. PAPER WORDS’ colorfully rich sets married with an enchanting musical score provide the backdrop for this universal story that transcends the usual boundaries of time and place. Viewers will appreciate this simple yet sweet story as Mei captivates hearts with her playful personality, encouraging us to look beyond a book's cover.
PAPER WORDS is a co-production of Rising Chimera Productions and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), and a presentation of the Center for Asian American Media, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
watch the trailer for PAPER WORDS