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The year was 1983, and like many kids, Nobu Adilman wanted to become a famous Hollywood actor. There was one major problem: he was a half-Japanese Canadian kid. 

But one day, his prayers were answered: Spielberg was making the sequel to his epic Indiana Jones blockbuster, later (and forever) known as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And Indy was going to have an “Oriental” (read: Asian — it was the ‘80s) sidekick; a sassy, streetwise, ass-kickin’ kid who would blurt out snappy one-liners and get to roundhouse-kick his way into pop culture history.

This was Nobu's golden ticket. But there were a few more problems.

Spielberg was embarking on an international call, with open auditions in major centres across North America (plus one in the U.K.) This meant major competition. Thousands of similarly wide-eyed, delusional children also saw this as their one-way ticket to stardom. And Nobu had no idea how to act.

But it didn’t matter. The moment changed his life. Thirty-five years after that fateful audition, Nobu Adilman went in search of all the men who, as boys, had also auditioned. Both funny and emotional, the adventure excavates a deep bond between strangers who once shared the same Hollywood dream. And, despite their collective rejection for the role of a lifetime, the conversations prove that endless positivity is created when more diverse people are included in the process of filmmaking. Even if they didn’t become Short Round, the experience changed their lives forever.

Credits (Click to expand)

Directed by
Nobu Adilman

Geoff Dionisio
Abu Doo
Mike Fenton
Peter Shinkoda
Michael Takasaki
and Nobu Adilman

Nobu Adilman

Teryl Brouillette

Director of Photography
John Minh Tran C.S.C
Teryl Brouillette

Teryl Brouillette


1st Assistant Camera/Operator
Scott Burton
Michael Mabbott

Sound Recordists
Sanjay Mehta
K. John Iskander

Colour Grade
Justin Lovell

Online Editor
Jordan Holt

Post Production Picture
ZERO11ZERO/Frame Discreet

ZERO11ZERO Executive Producer
Byron Kent Wong

Post Production Audio Facility
Tattoo Sound + Music

Post Production Sound/Mix
David Stinson

Camera/Lighting/Grip Equipment
John Minh Tran
Evidence Camera Rentals

Stephen Bortolon
Arthur Jr. Gallagher
Canada Limited

Post Production Sound by Sim Post

Visual Effects
shy kids

Website Design
Amanda Happé
Walter Woodman

Petra O'Toole
Barbara McIvor

Special Thanks
All the Short Rounds!
Mike Fenton
Matt Galloway
CBC Metro Morning
Jessica Low
Andréa Picard
Toshiko Adilman
Mio Adilman
Daveed Goldman
Kalman Andrasofszky
Scott McLaren
George Strombolopoulos
Dave Carey
Kathryn Borel
Angry Asian Man/Phil Yu
Chi-hui Yang
Patricia Lee
Mike Nelson + Sloan
Astrid Lange
Byron Wong + Team ZERO11ZERO
Dave Liang
Simone Newstadt
Jason Burns
Jose Lourenco
Rachel Goldstein-Couto
Rachel Feldbloom-Wood
Bob Culbert
Norma Garcia

Dedicated to
Jonathan Ke Quan