• Director

    Kaia Lavender

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2020, 7:18

  • Category

    Narrative Short

  • Format


  • Festival Year



In a story that would hit close to home for many, Josh is having a hard time coming to terms with his break-up with Lola, and has a need to visit her. Will his unexpected arrival back on her doorstep help him bring closure, or will it open him up to more pain? As you watch this film, you’ll come to your own conclusions about the natural exchange that couples share – a give and take that you may take for granted, until one day it is no longer there.


Kaia Lavender – Director
Tabitha Brownstone – Writer

Director Statement

I grew up in South Africa with the “rhythm of Africa” ingrained in my bones, but I am now also an American citizen, having overcome quite a few immigration challenges on my road to citizenship. As a teenager, I was deeply concerned about the racial prejudice of Apartheid and wanted to discover the underlying nature of human beings, no matter their race, gender, or what the biased propaganda machine led us to believe.

I decided to use my art to help people discover themselves and each other – to learn about their own and other’s individuality and to foster tolerance for others.

In that vein, the first play I ever directed, “FIRE,” was a collection of stories about the fire inside. What burns deep inside you, what drives you to live your life, what’s your passion, your goals? And to tap into that, rather than only viewing the outward appearance of a person or chasing the quest for external sensation and motivations born out of others’ actions and purposes.

Another project called “My Right to Be a Child” highlighted the human rights abuses of children in South Africa and explored the ways different humanitarian groups were addressing this.

Since then, no matter what the project, I have always sought to tap into what drives the individual in front of me or how I could tell the story of one to inspire many.

From the age of 16, I always wanted to come to Hollywood in my journey as a filmmaker and find access to a broader audience. On my way to the USA, I traveled to many places around the world and crossed paths with so many different people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Since I’ve arrived in America, a confluence of all cultures, I feel like I really belong here, but I am forever creatively enriched from all of my experience in traveling, and my roots are forever grounded in Africa.

And in my course of creation and storytelling, I will always seek to discover the spirit of a person that burns within, behind their eyes, behind their gender, behind the language of their voice and the strangeness of their customs, or the color of their skin.

Director Biography

Kaia Lavender’s film career started in South Africa when she directed a documentary about the famous controversial choreographer Robin Orlin, closely thereafter moving into an editorial on South African television shows.

As a director on the narrative side, with her stylistic realism, Karen has tapped into her raw, African roots, most recently exploring stories that show the reality of the real challenges that people face to survive, no matter how ‘normal’ people’s lives may seem.

On the commercial side, recently she has directed national TV and online campaigns for Ram Trucks, delving into the lives of real Ram Truck owners around the USA and Canada.

Kaia’s work in directing and producing spans award-winning independent films, TV interactive/transmedia projects, and commercials featuring fashion to motorcycles. She has developed projects for executive producers Bill Mechanic (Former head of Fox, Coraline, Hacksaw Ridge), Deepak Nayar (Bend It Like Beckham), and Conrad Riggs (Amazon Studios, Survivor, Apprentice). Brand clients include Ram Trucks, Ford, Hyundai, Yamaha Motorcycles, Wix, Microsoft, Target, PepsiCo/Mountain Dew, Skullcandy, Vans, DC Shoes, Cisco, Axe, Scion, and the U.S. Military as well as ESPN, NBC, Discovery, BET, and GAC networks.