HOLDOUT is based off the true story of a Japanese WWII Lieutenant who got left behind on an island in South East Asia after the war. Fighting a one-man war against an enemy that no longer exists, he nonetheless takes solace in his patriotism and loyalty to the Empire. However, one day he encounters an American backpacker that leads him to question his entire existence.

Credits / Collaborators / Cast

Directed by: Brian L. Tan “BLT”
Produced by: Angie Laprete, Chris Pluchar, Wainani Tomich
Executive Producers: Ric Galindez, Roy Tijoe, Dean Des Jarlais
Written by: Christina Burlison
Cast: Toshi Toda, Mick Tolbert, Wesley John, Joji Yoshida, Timothy Chin, Ajax Maharlika
Director of Photography: Graham Robbins
2nd Unit Cinematographer: Vince Keala Lucero
VFX Supervisor: Paul DeNigris
Production Designer: Cedric Fujita
Music: Tony Fiala
Casting: Amanda Jacoby
Editing: Gabriel Montoya
Make Up: Mahealani Diego
Production Manager: Derek Sherwood
Assistants: Chris Chabriel, Sky Fung, Rebekah Dalton, Starlani, Corynn Musser
Sound: Scott Mohanram

The story behind the film

When I heard about the story of Hiro Onoda, the last Japanese holdout from World War 2 (who only surrendered 30 years after the war), I wondered what would drive someone to do that? It puzzled me for ages until I came up with a single hypothesis: The war had become so inseparable from his psyche that admitting it was lost would mean he would lose all sense of self, identity and purpose. It was easier to continue even if he knew he was wrong deep down inside. I thus decided to make HOLDOUT a cautionary tale of what happens when we get so caught up in a particular mission or cause that we lose sight of not only who we are, but our core values and beliefs in the process too. Shot on location in Hawaii over a weekend with the generous support of the talented Hawaiian film community, we braved inclement weather, almost constant rain, leech-infested mud, and a concussion from one of our crew members to make this film a reality. Thank you for watching!

– Brian L. Tan “BLT”


Genre: Drama / Action / War
Country: USA
Language: English / Japanese / Tagalog
Length in minutes: 23
YEAR: 2019