Legal Smuggling

Creators: Noah and Lewie KlosterContributor: Christine Choy

Aesthetically the Sundance 2017 nominated film, Legal Smuggling, composed almost entirely of cut and paste illustrations, looks innocent enough. However all of this dissipates within seconds when the film’s subject and glorious narrator, Christine Choy, begins to regale the story of her relationship with cigarettes and her determination to sustain her love for smoking by doing the extreme – flying a few thousand miles to get them cheaper.  I’m loathe to use the term addiction (though, yes this is what this is) because the way Choy talks about her beloved twenty-pack of Benson & Hedges is a poetic, unashamed and unapologetic confession. 

With Choy’s unique gravelly voice and the Kloster brothers’ perfectly imperfect visuals, the audience is  guided through a succinct story that really kicks off during Choy’s teen years; from leaving the ‘Orient’ to ending up in an all girls’ Catholic school in North America. Choy does what any teenager does to adapt in new surroundings, follow the trend but for an all East Asian girl living in a time where all-white Hollywood stars are idolised and smoking is in vogue, a young Choy is limited in the ways in which she can adapt. It’s a humorous retelling, fast-forward to a trip to Canada, the charismatic and sharp narrator points to this as one of the only downsides to her escapade (there’s nothing to do in Canada… bleurgh!)

We’re treated then to a tense climax in Choy’s story, when her seemingly seamless plan faces one glaring obstacle, airport customs and security. And without giving the ending away, one thing is certain, this final act is a worthy wrap to a consistently thrilling production. 


Brothers Noah and Lewie Kloster’s debut animation film Legal Smuggling with Christine Choy has been selected for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival under documentary short films.  This exciting short film features Academy Award nominated filmmaker Christine Choy, as she undergoes an adventure of wild proportions when she accidentally illegally smuggles cigarettes.

As the price of cigarettes become astronomical in New York City, Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Christine Choy, goes the extra mile to secure her favorite brand. Bouncing from one airport to another, her duty free cigarettes get lost in the shuffle, forcing an attempt at smuggling.

Lewie and Noah Kloster grew up in Minneapolis, MN and together founded Tall Glass with Ice Productions, a 2D animation studio in Downtown Manhattan.  Legal Smuggling with Christine Choy is the first in a series and the next episode which in post production, will feature Ali Selim.  

Lewie Kloster is a current 4th year undergraduate student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He primarily works with his brother, Noah Kloster. Restricting himself from creating a world on screen, he takes what is present and translates it into narrative. Noah Kloster is an Animator who is in his first year at Pratt Institute in New York City. He grew up making visual artwork and acting in his brother’s films. Christine Choy began her film studies at the American Film Institute and earned her Directing Certificate.  Christine has produced and directed about seventy works in various forms, receiving over sixty international awards. Among them are numerous fellowships such as the John Simon Guggenheim, the Rockefeller, and the Asian Cultural Council, as well as an Academy Award Nomination for the documentary film, “Who Killed Vincent Chen?.



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