The Distance of a Light Year is a 3D animated short film following the journey of a lonely girl living on a planet who spends her whole life looking for connection and travels the universe to find it. The story is inspired by a planet, PSO J318.5-22, found by scientists in 2013. The girl builds millions of shining paper stars and uses them as a revolving light signal on her lighthouse to draw attention to the dark universe. One day, she finds someone who responds with a blue light signal from a blue planet. But her lighthouse does not function. And so, she releases all of her paper stars and lets them float into a starry river. She travels years across the starry river across the universe but eventually finds out the river is not long enough to reach the blue planet. When she is about to give up and feels the most desperate, blue shining paper planes fly toward her and extend the river. On a huge paper plane, comes an old person flying toward her. Finally, she finds the connection and fulfills her life.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer animation--Technique; Animation(Cinematography); Interstellar travel--Drama; Loneliness--Drama

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Film and Animation (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Film and Animation (CAD)


Mari Jaye Blanchard

Advisor/Committee Member

Kevin Bauer

Advisor/Committee Member

Mark Reisch


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes