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Monkey on My Back - Animated Short


Monkey on My Back just won the Gold Award among 16 teams in the startup tier at the 10th Animation Support Program in Hong Kong! It has also been officially selected for multiple film festivals around the world. More exciting news to come!

It’s 1980 and Jade Xiao, a once famous porcelain artist, is struggling to make ends meet. She is no longer the rising star of the Hong Kong art world and the pressures to stay relevant are pushing her towards a breakdown.


As Jade works late into the night, she suddenly finds herself face-to-face with a giant monkey who leads her through a terrifying journey into her psyche. Inspired by their own experience with burnout, director-writer team Crystal and Simon explore the complicated relationship creators have with their work. MONKEY ON MY BACK is for anyone who has turned their passions into a career, and struggles to maintain a healthy balance amongst the self-doubt.



Our Team


Our team features a trove of talents from all around the world. We look forward to doing a festival run. Whether you're interested in screening our short film, would like to feature us in press - or just want to say hi, we'd love to hear from you!

Executive Producer: Crystal Tai

Direction, Production and Writing: Crystal Tai, Simon Paluck

Head of Visual Development: Marbee Tran

Storyboard: Crystal Tai, Houcem Boudaha

Cast: Phyllis Cameron Ung, Celia Lai

Visual Development & Animation: Nga Nguyen, Crystal Tai, Eileen Huang,

Houcem Boudaha, Gonzalo Sepulveda

Compositor: Gonzalo Sepulveda

Original Music: Alex Purdue 

ADR Sound Recordist: Marco Furgiuele

Story Consultants: Kate Liu, Jeremie Becquer, Clement Burge

Special Thanks: Neco Lo, Toe Yuen, Lam Kee To, Anthony Lee, Polly Yeung, Honkaz Fung, Eddy Hui, Felix Ip

This animation was produced under this 10th Animation Support Program, funded by CreateHK.

- 2023 Varna World Festival of Animated Film
- 2023 The Great Canadian Film Festival
- 2023 Reels on Wheels International Shorts on the Road Film Festival
- 2023 Chaniartoon International Comic & Animation Festival
- 2023 Macau International Short Film Festival
- 2023 After Sunset Festival, Hong Kong Fringe
- 2023 FILMMART, Hong Kong
- 2023 MOViE MOViE anifest動画藝術祭
- 2023 Tai Kwun Movie Steps - Hong Kong Animation Express

- 2024 Renergy Media Film Festival, Toronto

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