Dechen is a Ladhaki, Tibetan Buddhist monk-in-training with a passion for gardening. One stormy night, he rescues an exquisite flower by bringing it indoors. However, despite his care and concerns, the flower inexplicably starts to fall apart and the boy struggles to accept the situation. Finally, Angmo, the head monk is forced to intervene and rescue Dechen from himself. Dechen finds peace at last when he understands how to truly save his dying flower - by eliminating the need to possess and control.

Winner of the "Outstanding Achievement in Traditional Animation" Dusty Award (2012). DECHEN premiered at the 23rd Dusty Film & Animation Festival at the School of Visual Arts Theater in NYC on May 7. This was my BFA thesis project and I was given a little over 2 semesters to work on it. The story was shaped by an experience I had while trying to get a beloved feral colony cat adopted in to a home and new surroundings.

DECHEN was animated traditionally on paper, the layouts were created out of mixed media and the animated frames were scanned and colored in Photoshop. I worked with SVA Film faculty member and noted musician, Nana Simopoulos once more to compose the overall music for the film, while my friend and professional musician, Marlon Cherry played the bells and the beautiful Kalimba. A couple of supportive and talented animation friends helped color the frames. Noted wildlife watercolorist and my drawing teacher, Deborah Ross sprinkled my credits with her lovely paintings. BFA Film Sound Design major, Steven Burgess (also a thesis student at the time) handled the sound design elements of my film. Don Poynter was my awesome thesis advisor, while dear friend and animation veteran, Howard Beckerman was the light at the end of the story-tunnel.

I could not have created and finished this film without the patience and support of my SVA teachers and supportive peers, friends, my super-patient husband and my beloved cats (both the indoor and outdoor ones).

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