Pickled Rabbit

Vancouver, Canada | Film Short

Horror, Drama

Julie Zhu

1 Campaigns | British Columbia, Canada

Green Light

This campaign raised C$12,800 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

68 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


Immigrant children know all too well the heart-wrenching pursuit of parental approval. We can go to some dark places. We can do some dark things. Pickled Rabbit follows Sharon's desperate attempt to earn her dying mom's love. There's a cult, a foreign god... and maybe a monster transformation.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Pickled Rabbit aims to champion Asian experiences and narratives. From the story and themes to the cast and crew, we want to show Asian faces and celebrate them.

The Story

Sharon's whole life centers around taking care of her dying mother, An Yue. An Yue's scleroderma turns her body into an organic prison, making her feel like an invalid. The more Sharon dotes on An Yue, the more An Yue pushes Sharon away. It's a vicious cycle. Desperate, Sharon seeks the help of Wong Lei. Once a pastor, Wong Lei now follows a foreign god dedicated to health and healing.

Wong Lei offers Sharon a deal -- bring An Yue to a ceremony on Mid-Autumn and she will be cured. In the church, under the moonlight, Sharon brings An Yue in front of a statue of the god, Bao Shen. An Yue is presented a cup of mercury. Drink and she will live. A defiant An Yue looks at the face of her pathetic daughter and she downs the silver liquid. The moon pulses. The god watches. An Yue's leg SNAPS, she begins a transformation into something inhuman.

This story is a response to recent entries into Asian -American cinema like Everything, Everywhere All At Once and Turning Red. Instead of an idealized ending where the parents come to understand their child, my short explores the damaging effects of an emotionally withholding parent. These recent films have an important place but a lot of real life parent-child relationships do not have happy endings.

As a child of immigrant parents, this is my story and the story of countless other immigrant children. 

The god of Pickled Rabbit, Bao Shen, is our own creation but the myth of Chang'e and the Jade Rabbit that threads itself through the short is based off of a real Chinese myth that explains the reason we celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The story is of a beautiful maiden imprisoned on the moon, separated from her husband for eternity, her only companion the Jade Rabbit that pounds the elixir of life.

This story is consistent in mythology throughout East Asia and the symbols will be familiar to those of Asian descent. We use a cup of mercury, the moon motifs and the image of the Jade Rabbit as a way of twisting those symbols into something uncanny. This re-contextualizes them in a way that keeps them alive and relevant to contemporary audiences, as well as sparking curiosity in those who don’t immediately recognize them.  

Thanks to our amazing cast and crew, we finished principal photography in late January but there's still more to go. We still have the edit, colour, sound, visual effects, musical score, titles and of course, film festivals!   


A significant portion of the funds we're looking for will go to bringing the God in our movie to life and enhancing the horror elements.

The statue of our God, Bao Shen, casts an other-worldly statue against the backdrop, covering the cross of the church.

We budgeted for one bunny monster puppet with the intent of stitching three shots into one cool dolly shot. It's going to look great!


What we're asking for the minimum amount to complete the movie but there's more we'd like to do if we could!

More Visual Effects

Our special effects team did an amazing job with An Yue's transformation! We would love to be able to enhance their work with visual effects.

Theatrical Colour Session

This is where we get to project our movie in a theater and make sure the colour looks good on the big screen.

More Film Festivals

We want this movie to be seen! We'd get to submit to more film festivals. The more, the better!

With you're help, we can finish this movie! Please follow, share and pledge if you can.

All right, let's get pickling....


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

The Edit

Costs C$1,875

The story is made in the edit. Help us pay our editor.


Costs C$4,250

An otherworldly moving shadow, compositing three shots into one cool dolly shot and enhancing the horror. Help us bring it to life!


Costs C$2,500

We want the film look its best. Help us pay our colourist!

Sound Mix and Music Score

Costs C$4,500

Horror lives in its sound design. Help us pay for post-sound and elevate the creepy.


Costs C$500

We want to thank all the people who worked on the project. Help us make our credits and titles.


Costs C$1,250

Help us get this film seen with festival submissions.

Cash Pledge

Costs C$0

About This Team

Director/ Writer

Julie Zhu

Julie loves stories! She believes a powerful story can change world. Graduating from Queen's University with a Film and Media degree, Julie then moved to Ottawa where she sought more schooling at Algonquin College for scriptwriting. She then found her place on set as a script supervisor, working on features, series and MOWs. Now, she wants to spread her creative wings and tell her own stories.

Producer/ Writer

Joshua Bateman

Joshua Robert Bateman is professionally a Script Supervisor, and artistically a Script Writer dedicated to the art of film. He is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. His fascination with film and television would bring him to the Film Studies program at Carleton University. He followed that with the Algonquin College Faculty of Media and Design Scriptwriting Program in 2013 where he was chosen to run The Gonq Show a Sketch Comedy writer’s workshop for students of the Scriptwriting program from 2014-2020. During 2018 Josh wrote and co-produced Laura & Kennedy Pull an Alt-Nighter a subversive, yet successful, live sketch comedy show starring two of Ottawa’s funniest comediennes. Co-host of Movie Mondays on CKCU, and its later form I’m Talkinger Here! from 2016-2020 a talk radio show covering local, and international films where he booked and edited interviews with luminaries such as Zhang Yimou, Peter Strickland and Vince Vaughan. He made a change, during the pandemic, and pursued a goal of working on set, finding himself as a Script Supervision. He quickly rose to one of Ottawa’s best, and decided to take the skills he’d honed and try his hand in a bigger, more diverse market moving to Vancouver.


Helena Thom

Helena is a producer/director based in Vancouver. Her debut award-winning feature “13 Miles” was completed in 2022 and is currently available on Prime, Tubi and other streaming platforms.


Anthony Epp

A graduate of the film program at Vancouver Film School, Anthony has enjoyed working with a variety of independent and studio filmmakers in Vancouver. He began by Producing and Writing the feature documentary on hockey violence and fighting, Unspoken Rules (2009), for Superchannel. He has worked as an Assistant Director in television, web and feature films, on award winning independent movies like Seagrass (2023), directed by Meredith Hama-Brown, and The Island Between Tides (2024), directed by Andrew Holmes and Austin Andrews. Anthony has worked as a Production Manager most recently on the movie, “Ruthless Bastards”, starring Sean Patrick Flanery and Casper Van Dien, as well as the short films “Choices” and, most recently, “Pickled Rabbit”. Anthony and his co-writer/director Helena Thom co-founded Habethy Film Productions, which recently released their first original feature film, “13 Miles” (2022).

Director of Photography/ Producer

Stirling Bancroft csc

A graduate of of the film program at the University of British Columbia, Bancroft enjoyed photographing gritty independent projects like She Who Must Burn (2015) with Larry Kent, one of the “original English-Canadian auteurs,”¹ and Cadence (2016) for which director, Alex Lasheras, won an audience award at the Vancouver International Film festival. Public Schooled (2017), directed by Kyle Rideout, lead a charge of films lensed by Bancroft that screened at TIFF; FREAKS in 2018 with duo Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky, and Monkey Beach in 2019, directed by Loretta Todd and adapted from the critically studied novel by Eden Robinson. Commercially Sniper: Assassin’s End (2020) helmed by graphic novel artist and writer Kaare Andrews and distributed by Sony went on to top the US iTunes download list and placed well on the global top ten list of most streamed films for Netflix.

Meet our cast!

Christin Park

as Sharon Lin

Lillian Lim

as An Yue

Ryan Mah

as Wong Lei

Current Team